Murray McCully has denied a link between a a hotel deal in Niue and a large donation to the National Party.
The donation – just over $100,000 – was paid to the National Party by Earl Hagaman, the founder of Scenic Hotel Group, shorty before the company won a contract to run the Matavai Resort in Niue.
“The National Party receives millions in donations each year,” the Foreign Minister said in a statement, “and sometimes people give us policy suggestions or ask us for stuff. It’s always a very happy coincidence for the National Party when monies and askings come from the same person/lobby group at roughly the same time. But that’s all it is. A coincidence. A fiscally delicious coincidence.”
McCully was also at pains to point out he was, in his role as Foreign Minister, setting up a range of opportunities that would benefit New Zealand long after he had retired from parliament to the McCully Suite at the Matavai Resort in Niue.