National – Party 4 Sale?



Men in Dark Shadows 2



Recent revelations that the National Party may have benefitted from a deal involving a resort hotel in Niue, by receiving a $101,000 donation has been in the headlines since 18 April, when Radio NZ’s political reporter, Benedict Collins, broke the story;


TDB Recommends

Call for inquiry into Niue resort contract


In October 2014, New Zealand’s Scenic Hotel Group announced it had “secured” the Matavai Resort in Niue.

The Niue Tourism Property Trust, whose trustees are appointed by Mr McCully, carried out what the minister said was a fully commercial process to find a company to run the resort.

The month before, Mr Hagaman, Scenic Hotel Group’s founder, had donated $101,000 to the National Party, making him National’s biggest living financial donor in 2014. Only a man who had died and left his estate to National gave more.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully Photo: RNZ

But Mr McCully said there was no link between the contract and the donation.

Radio NZ further reported;

Scenic Hotel managing director Brendan Taylor said Mr Hagaman didn’t know the company was in the running for the Matavai Resort contract.

“Earl wasn’t actually even aware that we were negotiating in Niue, because basically that was me and I had it all in-house until such time that we knew we had been awarded the contract.

I did get [Earl’s wife] Lani Hagaman to sign the contract because I wasn’t actually available to do it, but apart from that Earl really had no involvement in Niue whatsoever.

His donation is something he did purely from a personal situation, and basically the hotel company and what Earl does from a personal point of view we kind of keep separate.”

It simply defies credulity that the two events are not somehow connected – especially when, as Radio NZ discovered that “RNZ News could find no record of Mr Hagaman having ever made a large donation to the National Party before“.

It also beggars belief that Scenic Hotel managing director, Brendan Taylor, is asserting that “Earl wasn’t actually even aware that we were negotiating in Niue” when Brendan Taylor got “Lani Hagaman [Earl’s wife] to sign the contract”?!

As the story began to gain traction elsewhere in the msm, National Party president, Peter Goodfellow, said he  “ would be making no further comment about the donation“.

Three days later, on 21 April, our esteemed Dear Leader, John Key, attempted to close down the growing scandal;

Mr Key, speaking in China, said today that, while he hasn’t followed the issue closely, he’s not at all concerned.

“People make political donations and that’s well and truly disclosed.

“But actually Scenic Hotels have been operators for a very long period of time, that’s a management contract from what I can see in Niue – there’s nothing untoward there.”

It is intriguing that even though Key says “he hasn’t followed the issue closely, he’s not at all concerned“.

How can he be “not at all concerned” if “he hasn’t followed the issue closely“?

This is not the first time that National has been revealed to have benefitted from donations made by businessmen  who have been closely involved in commercial activites with this  government.


In early 2011, National was roundly criticised for spending millions on thirtyfour new BMW limousines at a time when the country was experiencing recession after the Global Financial Crisis.

At first, Key denied all knowledge of the purchase, claiming he had been “kept in the dark” over the multi-million dollar upgrade;


Ministers knew of BMW buy-up last year


But our esteemed Dear Leader, John Key,  did know, as was revealed four days later in late February, 2011;




However, the BMW scandal becomes more serious than Key merely ducking responsibility and patently lying when he denied all prior knowledge of the limousine upgrade.

In May 2011, it was revealed that the suppliers of the BMWs had made a $50,000 donation to National prior to the vehicle-purchase. As reported in the NZ Herald at the time;

A private BMW dealer has rubbished the suggestion that a $50,000 donation from his company to the National Party had anything to do with the Government’s new fleet of BMW cars.


Labour’s internal affairs spokesman, Chris Hipkins, revealed that the BMW dealer’s donation came two days after a July 2010 meeting between Mr Key’s chief-of-staff, Wayne Eagleson, and the Department of Internal Affairs, which approved the BMW upgrade.

It was a month after a function that Mr Key attended at Auckland BMW dealership Team McMillan.

Radio NZ reported;

Prime Minister John Key says he has no responsibility for a $50,000 donation made to the National Party by a BMW dealership the day after the Government renewed its VIP transport contract.


Bob McMillan, the owner of BMW Team McMillan, says the claim he donated money to National the day after the party agreed to a contract for ministerial cars is ridiculous.

As senior Labour MP, Trevor Mallard said at the time;

“They sat down with Ministerial Services and agreed to a renewal of [the BMW] contract, and two days later $50,000 went to the National Party. If that was overseas, we would say it was corruption…”

Mr McMillan’s denial of any link between his donation of $50,000 to National, in return for the contract for the limousine up-grade sounds remarkably similar to Scenic Hotels managing director, Brendan Taylor, denying any link between Earl Hagaman’s  $101,000 donation  to the National Party and his company securing the contract with Matavai Resort.

To compound matters, the BMW dealership at the center of the donations scandal then expressed an interest in acquiring the soon-to-be-replaced government limousines (to re-sell, at a profit);




Whether or not the purchase went ahead is unclear.


In 2010 and late 2011, another apparent conflict of interest was reported when Shanghai Pengxin put in a bid for the Crafar dairy farms.  Shanghai Pengxin, under various guises, gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the National Party;






A full analysis of the links between Oravida, Crafar Farm purchase, and the National Party was reported in a previous blogpost here; Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Rua).


Whilst details are hard to confirm by the very nature of these highly secretive deals – many made informally – the questions arising from these (and other) murky ‘arrangements’ is sufficient to underscore a recent downgrading of our Transparency International Corruption Perception Index;


corruption free - NZ drops again - transparency international


We have had sufficient number of glimpses into dubious activities that hint at corrupt practices. Even fourth place on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index may be wildly optimistic.

As the Saudi farm-bribe and use of GCSB to spy on behalf of Tim Groser has shown, National is not averse to employing dodgy practices and dirty deals to enrich itself or what it perceives may “benefit” the country (and consequently it’s re-election chances).

There are simply too many coincidences to ignore the inescapable conclusion: it is my considered opinion that National has benefitted financially from several commercial/government transactions.

Our political system has been tainted with corruption.





As at 21  April, the so-called “Taxpayers Union” – a self-appointed group of “watchdogs” to protect public interest from political corruption and waste of taxpayers’ money, had made no comment on the Niue Scandal;


taxpayers union home page


The “Taxpayers Union” had condemned the Universal Basic Income; had a ‘go’ at Maori Iwi; lambasted Labour; criticised MoBIE; and several other attacks on perceived “wrong-doing”.

But not a peep on the Niue scandal.

But considering that the “Taxpayers Union” is made up of National Party apparatchiks and supporters, that is hardly surprising.





Radio NZ: Call for inquiry into Niue resort contract

Radio NZ:  Contract not linked to donation – Scenic Hotel

NZ Herald: Labour questions $101,000 National donation and Niue resort management contract links

Radio NZ: PM not worried about Niue resort deal

Fairfax media: Ministers knew of BMW buy-up last year

Fairfax media: PM signed papers relating to BMWs

NZ Herald: Dealer denies donation link

Radio NZ: PM rejects claim donation linked to BMW upgrade

Transparency International (NZ): Corruption Free? NZ drops again

Fairfax media: Auditor-General had doubts Saudi sheep deal was legal

NZ Herald: GCSB spies monitored diplomats in line for World Trade Organisation job


Scoop media: BSA decision – One News on Sale of BMWs

Newzealandinc: McMillan family sells half stake in Team McMillan to Tim Cook’s Collins Asset

Previous related blogposts

Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Union, and the NZ Herald

Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Toru)

Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Rua)

Farms, politicians, and emails

A Query to the Taxpayers Union – ***UP DATE ***

User Pays: the eventual conclusion




guy body editorial cartoon april 11 2016 panama papers tax haven



= fs =


  1. Of course the two things are related.

    The reason you donate to a political party is to press it to further your interests (or beliefs, if you have any above self-interest).

    Why the hell else would they give money?

    How is this even questionable?

      • @ Wesleydale – yep a pathetic, weak excuse for journalism, promoting all is well in the sordid dealings of the morally corrupt NatzKEY and it’s equally grubby business donor cronies!

        As for saying the Niue deal is “squeaky clean,” that is really asking for an extremely long stretch of the imagination!

        What Hide hasn’t calculated is that a good majority of ordinary Kiwi folk are awake, wide awake in fact, to the dodgy tactics used by “honest” John and his disreputable government!

        Hide is a salivating embarrassing, public mouthpiece, lap dog of NatzKEY, ever ready to do the bidding on its behalf, no matter how suspect or sordid the situation is!

  2. Great article Frank ;

    As it depicts a real TRADER -raider mentality Key loves to live inside of while just insulates himself from the downside to his communities of what is going on every day now with company closures mergers and acquisitions until we are all out of luck and out of life.

    So the questions are to Mr Key Inc’,’

    Now are selling our country to rich Chinese PM?

    Are you more or less doing this through your new promotion using the slimy idea of NZ Tourism inc’ and laced with our taxpayers money to invite 10 000 rich Chinese on a cheap trip here just for a Tourism junket cheaply using our dwindling taxpayer funds?

    Are you keeping their hidden Trusts away from our public scrutiny?

    We are truly suspicious of you Mr Key as a carpetbagger and a traitor.

  3. I’m not surprised at all by the “purely coincidental” connection between Chinese business people looking to acquire assets in New Zealand and their very generous donations to the National Party. The National Party in New Zealand now effectively acts in the same way as the Chinese Communist Party in China.

    In China, the way to get ahead in business is to pay bribes and have mutually beneficial relationships with CCP officials so they’ll bend and shape the rules to your advantage. We used to call that corruption in this country; now it’s just sound business practice apparently.

  4. Brilliant piece of work Frank. Thanks. The situation summed up well, revealing NZ is being led by one of the most corrupt leaders in the world I’d say at the present time, which is disturbing!

    When FJK states “…he hasn’t followed the issue closely, he’s not at all concerned …” (re the Hagaman/Niue resort deal) he is removing himself from all responsibility of the matter!

    In typical “honest” John mode, in every situation revealed here by Frank, he doesn’t want to know, in case he has to be accountable for the actions of the (corrupt) party he leads, behaviour pointing to an extremely weak and deceptive PM, who shouldn’t be anywhere near the reins of power, demonstrating he is totally unfit to lead, or be an MP in fact!

    Seems everything FJK touches is tainted by dirt and deceit. We Kiwis deserve much better than this.

    But what really amazes me is the fact after all this time he’s still there, in a position of power, as PM of NZ!

    I ask WHY, when he should have been gone ages ago given his underhanded and extremely suspect activities against 99% of the citizenry of this country?

    WHO is keeping FJK there, allowing him to indulge himself in his own particular sordid brand of dark arts politics?

  5. I agree Frank that taken in isolation any one of those instances you cite might have a plausible explanation (except the Saudi deal, that was just plain bribery). But taken as a whole it doesn’t paint a very pretty picture of the National Party and it’s corrupt practices.

    If this doesn’t send the msm to follow up your research, they really are a waste of space.

  6. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Mantra by which these sleazebags must live. That’s what you get when the people elect a wheeler-dealer ax a Prime Minister. Be careful what you tick in 2017.

  7. It doesn’t matter, and probably can’t be proven anyway, how tight the causative connection is in all of these “donations”. The perception alone stinks. International business people don’t hand over hundreds of thousands for a selfie. Clearly they think they will get an advantage from making these payments and that is yet another shock to New Zealand’s reputation inflicted by an administration who know the price of everything (and everyone) but the value of nothing. Certainly not our reputation as an incorruptible honest broker.

    On a slightly different tack, it is asserted that no matter what Key does, the New Zealand population will continue to fawn on him. I’m not so sure. It is just that all the ghastly series of dodgy dealings are not put together and presented by a voice known not to be partisan for the Left. The Daily Blog can endlessly witness this grubby procession, but it will not be until the Herald, TVNZ or TV3 start to speak consistently about these things that the uncommitted public will open their ears.

    This unprincipled administration is seemingly sustained by these organs’ joint abrogation of their journalistic responsibility. I believe it would only take one large News Block breaking ranks to start the beginning of their end.

  8. We have a right to expect our media to research stories following
    the downgrading judgement, of the perception of our countries transparency/corruption record.
    It is not acceptable that Television NZ, The Herald and others ,
    regularly accept too quickly, the often repeated J Key comment “I am comfortable with— “.
    After nine years and mounting evidence this could be/ should be
    motivation to ask questions and go and have a good look, as blogger Frank has done.
    Well done Frank Macskasy, Well done Bryan Gould.

    • I listened to RNZ’s Focus on Politics tonight, it was all about John Key and Nathan Guy, their recent trip to China and how they got things out of it. No opposition spokesperson was interviewed, only Key and Guy, enjoying a free run to spread their propaganda.

      Once upon a time Focus on Politics was interesting to listen to, as they offered views from various parties and also presented critical reports, now it has for some time become rather dull, almost like reading out pre-prepared statements and comments from Ministers and only occasionally very limited comments on that from the opposition.

      How tame RNZ has become is a worry, as the rest of the MSM are pretty damned useless.

      And they have not even got an audio for Focus on Politics for today on their website, maybe out of embarrassment?

      • @ Mike in Auckland … probably RNZ has been threatened with a funding cut, if it doesn’t toe the party line and promote “all that’s good and upfront” with “honest” John and his tainted government.

  9. NatZ trolls are writing down all our comments here so they must be worried and that feels good that we are worrying them.

  10. The wealthiest of the rich rich club are not paying their proper taxes worldwide and the people in need and their services and infrastructures are paying for these — elitist — ” cover your ass ” greedy ; smarmy idiots.

    Thanks Frank for the info you shared. The Chinese in bed with the Natz scratching each others backs. Is impeachment in our vocabulary ?
    Is standing up and saying ” we have had enough ” part of our reality ?
    I wonder how asleep many of us are in our complacency and apathy ?

  11. Trolls been sniffing around this site all week and they active with this blog from Frank, exposing most corrupt leader!

    • There is a poll top right on this page with national at 997 votes and act at 134 votes. That I think is telling of the people that come to this site.

    • You tin-foil hat wearers think that when you think you are hitting a nerve, or uncovering corruption, the ‘slaters’ and ‘trolls’ are out in force defending the indefensible.

      I suppose the long-bow you’ll draw next will be to imply that Oravida buying water is somehow corrupt because Jenny Shipley, the first woman New Zealand Prime Minister is Chairman of Oravida. It’s not true.

      Oravida buying up water is not indefensible in a free-market economy. Pure New Zealand milk powder, deserves to be re-hydrated with pure New Zealand water. It’s logical and quite in keeping with New Zealand’s clean green image. And let’s face it, getting pure water out of the aquafers, is more hygienic than getting it out of our rivers, thanks to National.

      Nothing to see here, move along.

      • DAVID SEE-LESS – Oravida is not buying NZ water, it is stealing it at a cost of around $526 annually in compliance fees. They also regularly donate money to the Natz and John Key claims that ” no one owns the water ” and he supports what they are doing. Our ” PROFITS BEFORE PEOPLE ” greedy lying PM would sell his soul if it meant making money and Oravida regularly him ” hush up ” money. Oravida takes 400,000 litres A DAY ! ! ! from just one NZ aquafer. Oravida likely makes approx. 200 + million ! ! ! each year selling NZ water to China.
        What part of insanity and massive greed do you not understand ?

        These water companies are paying practically nothing for the millions of litres they take. This is not about defending a free market economy, IT IS ABOUT ETHICS AND RESPONSIBLE ECONOMY BASE ON FAIRNESS FOR ALL INCLUDING THE ENVIRONMENT. This water situation is so not fair to the NZ people nor to our environment. It is so unethical and criminal for these water companies to take advantage as they are. Thank you to the Green Party for supporting the call for a temporary moratorium on all bottled water projects until ” ownership and sustainability of NZ water is worked out. ” Good job.

        None of us wear tin foil hats either and we will continue to expose true corruption and DIRTY POLITICS at every turn, you can count on it. David see less – have you ever taken a moment and read the book DIRTY POLITICS ? Might help you a bit.'we're-giving-away-that-water-for-nothing

      • That pure aquifer water should be reserved for us, not stolen by foreigners to profit wildly from in another country. It is TAKEN not sold, and no matter how many times you contend it is sold IT IS NOT

      • And let’s face it, getting pure water out of the aquafers, is more hygienic than getting it out of our rivers, thanks to National.

        Nice bit of satire there, “David”…

  12. As Brian Gould pointed out, people don’t get that rich by throwing money away……..especially $101,000.

  13. National will be gone yesterday once the 66 Chinese nationals are extradited back to China because Nationals funding will dry up.

  14. Nothing surprises me about this government any more. It’s all so drearily predictable and “nobody-takes-any-notice-anyway-so-lets-just-do-whatever-we-feckin-well-like.
    The take “reprehensible” to an utterly un-imagined level.

  15. I’ve never understood the oft-quoted claim that FJK is a “common bloke” that ordinary people can relate to. How do you “relate” to someone who blinks less frequently than a crocodile? Watch his next TV interview – he averages one blink every 30 seconds. It’s probably all to do with his wheeler-dealer money-changer past, an environment where you get screwed if you take your eye off the ball for more than a millisecond.

    • I find your comments fascinating Malconz, I have always thought he had odd eyes, I called them dead eyes, but I thought it was a hooded sort of look as though he was deflecting away from comments. Now I shall be watching for his blinking – or lack of it. Oddly snakes have a hooded look as well and of course reptiles do not blink often. Didn’t know about crocodiles though. He never looks sincere and its an unsettling feeling watching him being interviewed. The fact that he has a speech impediment and mangles his words doesn’t help either or his breathing which he has no control of.

      It takes all kinds but it never ceases to amaze me that he is so well loved by the people. Obviously their moral compasses are not set correctly.

  16. Great post. Good to put everything together to show how ‘donations’ and ‘fundraisers’ seem to occur with alarming regularities before a lucrative government contract by the National party is awarded to the donors.

    In every other country this is called corruption, but I guess John Key who wants to make NZ a tax haven and has his previous lawyer who specialises in them also doing ‘wealth’ management for his own assets and who refuses to declare his own tax income to the public is ‘relaxed’ about it.

    We all know why Campbell Live was canned so that all this does not appear in MSM and the wider public get to hear about the real news and can vote accordingly.

    So I guess censorship and political interference can be added to the list.

    • Good Link Rae

      Love the quote…
      “He says there could be a gift duty on money repatriated from offshore to be used to buy New Zealand property, or a stamp duty, and it’s unlikely Asian buyers would be offended by the measure.

      Prime Minister John Key isn’t convinced that Chinese buyers are a big issue yet, saying it’s unknown how many are already New Zealand residents.

      He also said any measures would have to apply to both local and overseas buyers.”

      Of course John Key thinks its fine for Kiwis to compete with offshore billionaires who pay zero tax here for property, while the resident Kiwis have to pay NZ income taxes and get low NZ wages but soon will not be able to afford to own land or buy a house here…. Hmmm something wrong with that picture…

      • The thing that gets my goat about this is, back when he touted the idea of a stamp duty on foreign buyers, it WAS to differentiate between local and foreign, it was to be about the only measure we’d have left to control foreign buy up. This was to be the trade off for signing away our right to bar or restrict foreign buyers via the TPP which we have to give China the same considerations as. People were definitely led to believe it could be applied to foreigners only to placate the outrage as this particular aspect of the TPP.
        Now, he comes out and says that any such measure would have to apply to NZ residents/citizens as well because fta. I really want this to be right out in the open, I am afraid it is going to slip under the radar with the general populace. We should, as a country be furious, even those who don’t want restrictions should be furious, this has been one of the most sneaky and underhanded moves the guy has made, and that’s saying something!

      • What most Kiwis will also not know is that the China NZ FTA is not as beneficial and “free” as we are made to believe:

        Have a read of the following, from Farmers Weekly, which I think few here will usually bother reading:
        “Free trade not so free” is the title of this older article.

        John Key may boast about more tourism and NZ exporters becoming able to sell stuff via Ali Baba there, but the truth is, there is not that much benefit from the FTA with China as many believe.

        And in order to keep the wealthy Chinese and Chinese government happy, sweeteners are offered for them to immigrate here, buy NZ homes, farms and business shares, and to “invest” here.

        I wonder what Key has offered them during his visit to China, as New Zealand’s position on the South China Sea and wanting also a renegotiation of the FTA did not seem to go down well in China.

        Meanwhile the MSM seem to just report the “achievements” like Queenstown benefiting by hosting Chinas top Amway sellers:

        By striking such deals Key keeps NZ business people and also mayors of towns benefiting happy. And the many people that keep voting him seem to believe that some morsels will fall into their laps, like more jobs and so, hence Key stays popular and in power.

        • Why buy the milk when you can buy the farm under the FTA’s.

          In addition, who is it benefiting, not the farmers, not Kiwis trying to buy a home in NZ, but corporation shareholders of Oradiva and National party members.

  17. “It’s probably all to do with his wheeler-dealer money-changer past,”

    I’m still inclined towards the reptilian shape-shifter concept.

    • Great link SimonM

      Liked the quote from your link.

      “If registering a birth or death was this easy, the opportunities for mischief would be endless. You could create as many “persons” as you liked, then use them to claim benefits, vote, register businesses, or apply for a passport, then kill them off if they got into trouble. The rights of companies are more limited, but the opportunities for fraud are almost as broad.”

      Creating a fake identity is considered fraud, but it is completely acceptable to create fake corporations, lose money, transfer goods and services between companies and countries and by doing so not pay taxes, hide your identity and get away with it.

  18. “We have had sufficient number of glimpses into dubious activities that hint at corrupt practices. Even fourth place on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index may be wildly optimistic.”

    Indeed, I think we are ranked far too positively, because so much what goes on here in the old boys and old girls networks would overseas be called corruption and inappropriate practices. But as our government and business players choose to not call it as such, we get away with far too much in this country, that is the ones that are involved in all this.

    I bet that if Andrew Little would meet with the various donors to National, and promise them that they get even more good deals, they will suddenly have their donation box full of money, more than they would ever dream of.

    But as Andrew would not go there, Labour and also other opposition parties struggle to fund their campaigns and own operations.

    • A more likely scenario is the Chinese government wanting to station a People’s Liberation Army battalion in New Zealand to “protect” its citizens. Something our Dear Leader is bound to agree to as long as they pledge to buy more milk powder.

      • Simonm – such a scenario isn’t as implausible as it might seem. A stationing of troops could be done under a guise of “on-going training”… Spin-doctors would have a field-day slapping all kinds of euphemistic labels on such an event.

  19. A question for Steven Joyce
    By Michael Reddell

    “A reader pointed me to an article on the NBR website in which Science and Innovation Minister [isn’t there something wrong when we even have a government “innovation minister?] was quoted as telling a business audience yesterday that:

    more migration is the only way to bridge the current skills gap for ICT companies in New Zealand.

    “That’s one of the reasons I’m leery of calls to halt immigration – apart from the fact there’s not much reason to because of the economic gains,” he said.
    In the last fifteen years, we have had huge waves of immigration, under both governments, and yet there is not the slightest evidence of economic gains accruing to the New Zealand population as a whole. Tradables sector production per capita has gone nowhere in fifteen years, productivity growth has been lousy, and there is no sign of any progress at all towards meeting Mr Joyce’s own governments (well-intentioned but flawed) exports target.

    And yet the Minister’s answer is even more immigration….”

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