Auditor-General must investigate Niue deal for donor

John Key must come clean on how a donor who gave more than $100,000 to his party during a tender process, won a hotel management contract which led to a Government-funded, $7.5million upgrade to the resort, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“Today’s revelations about the Scenic Hotel Group and its resort contract in Niue stink to high heaven following its dodgy deals with SkyCity and the Saudi sheep deal.

“It is why I have today written to the Auditor-General asking her to investigate whether Earl Hagaman – who was the largest living financial donor to the National Party - giving money to the party at the same time his company was tendering for the Niue contract was above board.

“New Zealand money, which was earmarked as aid for the island nation, has instead been given to upgrade a resort run by a National party donor. That’s not what Kiwi families want their hard-earned money going to.

“It was Murray McCully’s personal appointees on the Niue Tourism Property Trust which awarded this contract.

“The Government has been accused of cronyism with regards to this resort before, when in 2010 former National MP Mark Blumsky was given almost $80,000 in aid to develop tourism in Niue without the contract going to tender.

“We must have questions answered on how the tender process worked, who knew about links between donations and the tenderer and whether Niuean people will ultimately benefit from the resort’s funding. The perception of propriety is key.

“This looks like the latest in a line of questionable deals from John Key’s Government, which has seen New Zealand slide down the international corruption rankings.

“He is looking after the few, and it is hurting taxpayers and our reputation,” Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.