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Andrew Little comments on Auditor-General report

Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little acknowledges the Auditor-General’s report into the awarding of the management contract for the Scenic Matavai Resort in Niue, which was unable to address the key issues raised.

The report states the Auditor-General:

• Does not have the mandate to inquire into political donations in these circumstances (p4),
• Does not have the authority under New Zealand or Niuean law to audit the Niue Tourism Property Trust or Matavai Niue Ltd (p2),
• Does not have all the information that may exist on this matter (p3),
• Found no evidence in the available information of conflicts of interest being disclosed, but says that information may exist (p3),
• Cannot fully answer all of the issues raised (p3).

The report also does not appear to address all contact between Scenic Hotel Group and the Government concerning Pacific hotels before the formal tender process began.

Andrew Little says:

“I have a duty as Leader of the Opposition to raise questions in the public interest and respond to media stories on the use of public funds.

“Taking the issue to the Auditor-General was the right thing to do.”

Mr Little will not be making any further comment at this stage as the matter is currently before the courts.