20 Apr 2016

Hotel owners hit back in resort row

7:21 pm on 20 April 2016

The hotel chain owners and National Party donors who won a government contract to manage a luxury resort in Niue say they would welcome any investigation by the Auditor-General.

Matavai Resort, Niue

Matavai Resort, Niue Photo: RNZI

The Labour Party has been calling for an inquiry into the process.

One month before Scenic Hotel announced it had won the contract for the Matavai Resort, Mr Hagaman - its founder and executive chairman - donated $101,000 to National.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said there was no link between the two events, but Labour leader Andrew Little has asked the Auditor-General to investigate the awarding of the resort management contract.

Earl and Lani Hagaman said they would support any inquiry into what they said was a contestable process.

The couple accused Mr Little of a political beat-up, saying he was trying to score points at their expense.

They said they were not interested in being a political football, and were considering other legal options to counter what they said were unfounded accusations.