scenic circle

Rodney Hide analyses Labour’s Hagaman hit

Little alleges Hagaman’s $101,000 donation to National at the last election and his company Scenic Hotel Group winning the contract to manage the Matavai Resort on Niue “stinks to high heaven”, made worse by the Government spending $7.5 million to upgrade the resort.

But the Hagaman donation was correctly registered and made public, as the law requires. There was nothing underhand or secret.

The resort is not the Hagamans’. It is owned by the Niue Tourism Property Trust on behalf of the Government of Niue.

The Government did the resort’s development to boost tourism to Niue, which has doubled. The project is regarded as a success. The development benefits the Niue Government and people, not Scenic Hotel or the Hagamans. […]

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A closer look at Little’s Scenic Circle ineptitude

The accusation:

The “smoking gun” so far looks something like this – 87-year-old businessman, Earl Hagaman, made a sizeable donation to the National Party and the hotel group he founded subsequently won a Government contract in Niue to run the Island’s biggest hotel.

Labour is calling for an Auditor General’s inquiry and leader Andrew Little claims something “stinks to high heaven” about the way money “earmarked as aid” for Niue “has instead been given to upgrade a resort run by a National Party donor”.

Little then goes on to finger McCully by suggesting the group which decided the contract were the foreign minister’s hand picked appointees.

Little deliberately plants a few seeds with this statement; firstly, that money intended for traditional aid (presumably he means crops, humanitarian relief or medical supplies etc) was instead diverted to a luxury resort. And second, that there may be something dodgy about Government appointees deciding the contract.

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Builders and Wreckers: Key and Little

Last week could not have provided a more obvious contrast between the choice that voters face. ?Key worked hard to earn money for us all by charming the pants off existing and new trading partners in China. Little, on the other hand, ran smear after smear.

Prime Minister John Key is due to arrive back from his trip to China [today], but it is already being hailed as a success in terms of trade.

China looks likely to allow New Zealand chilled meat into its market, opening up valuable trade opportunities.

It could be worth hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars to our economy. Experts say exporting chilled meat to China will open a whole new market.

On his last day of a week-long visit to China, Mr Key said the first shipments could be on the way within a couple of months.

That’s a huge win for beef and lamb farmers. Read more »

Lesson for business: Don’t bother praising Labour, ever. They’ll shit all over you

In 2007, Scenic Circle’s Earl Hagaman couldn’t say a bad word about the Labour Government

The chairman of New Zealand?s largest independently owned and operated hotel group says the hospitality industry has a significant opportunity, and a responsibility, to make a commitment to the Buy Kiwi Made campaign.

Scenic Circle Hotels? Earl Hagaman says with over 2.4 million visitors to our shores each year, and Kiwis making 15 million overnight trips domestically*, the hospitality industry at all levels should be seeking to expose visitors to more New Zealand made products. ?We?ve got every reason to pick up the flag and run with it, so to speak.

Guests come here for a New Zealand experience, and that?s not limited to seeing the sights and observing the culture. Hotels, for example, can enhance guests? experiences by providing quality New Zealand made beds and bedding for guests to sleep in, natural New Zealand made bathroom supplies to use during their stay, quality New Zealand wool carpets to walk on, and a wide selection of New Zealand food and beverages that showcases what is produced here.

?We aren?t really interested in hosting international guests and showing them what they already may see, use, eat or drink in their home country. Even for Kiwis travelling domestically, hotel restaurants have an opportunity to focus on regional produce and wines, and we can promote other products that guests can buy themselves at home.? Read more »

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