Monday, April 3, 2017

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

It tolls for thee ... Mr Little.

Wellington High Court at 9.00 am ... Jury assembles.

10 am ... before Mr Justice Ellis - CIV-2016-485-414 - Hagaman vs Little (R Fowler QC) (J Tizard).   Defended hearing.

One hopes for Little's sake (or perhaps not) that his brief,  J Tizard, ain't Judith Tizard.   If it is he's doomed.

Happy daze.

Updated 1355 ...  J Tizard = John Tizard

27 comments:

Psycho Milt said...

This will be a laff riot. Hagaman's lawyer:

Fowler said 91-year-old Earl Hagaman was very frail and "nearing the end", and asked the jury how they would feel to be confronted with a "slur" on their reputation at that stage of life

"We only have one reputation, and once it's lost it's very very difficult to recover, and sometimes impossible."


Reputation? We're talking about a guy who wears the world's most ridiculous toupee, has a wife young enough to be his granddaughter and is claimed to have cheated one of his many previous wives out of a large sum of money. What would constitute a "slur" on the kind of reputation this particular "very frail" Nat donor has? Whatever he and McCully might or might not have cooked up between them pales into insignificance.

Anonymous said...

PM your a total tit.
Hagaman is a Labour donor.
Unlike you I know as I was at the function for donors.

You need to get a life PM

EH of D

The Veteran said...

PM ... unlike you to indulge in personality politics. Clearly you are feeling the heat and so you should. That Mr Hagaman has a ridiculous toupee and a young wife (your words) is no more relevant to the case than the fact that Mr Little is the proud possessor of a charisma bypass (me and many others).

The case will be determined on the civil standard ... that is 'on the balance of probabilities'.

Little alleged corruption/collusion between Hagaman, the National Party, and the awarding of a contract to the Scenic Hotel Group to manage an icon Niue Hotel. It is a delicious irony that the Trust that awarded the contract had, as one of its members, the NZ High Commissioner to Niue who just happens to be the Deputy Labour Leader's father.

The Hagaman's have been revealed as having donated money to National, Labour, ACT and NZ First.

It has been further revealed that Little just a week ago admitted he was wrong. apologised, and offered to pay a substantial sum towards the Hagaman's legal costs.

Little has admitted the defamation/slander. Too late, too 'little' for the Hagaman's. His defence is in tatters. The Court will now decide.

We may see the law of unintended consequences in all it's majestic power. Little found guilty ... can he remain as Labour leader? Many would say no. Who's waiting in the wings? Jacinda, daughter of one of the men he alleged was corrupt.

What a shambles.

Psycho Milt said...

What personality politics? Hagaman's making a big thing out of his reputation, and I'm just pointing out the kind of reputation a guy like that inevitably builds for himself.

Re donations: he may have donated to other political parties, but only one of them has Murray McCully in it and only one of them was running things when Hagaman copped a very sweet deal shortly after donating to it. If the pillock was that concerned about his reputation, he wouldn't be handing government bagmen fat wads of cash while bidding for government contracts - Little went easier on the government than it deserved, but fortunately for the Tories their supporters often have very deep pockets and can pay lawyers to punish people who describe their activities accurately.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Little may well find South Sudan to be a safe haven.

He should tell them he is an asylum seeker.

The Veteran said...

PM ... what planet are you on. Read the penultimate sentence on my 8.47 post. Little knew he had broken the law when 10 days ago he tried to buy his way out of having to front at Court. And you say he's innocent ... and the Pope's a Mormon.

You can squawk your righteous indignation for all its worth but the law is the law and your man ain't above it.

Actually you should be 'praising the lord'. Little, guilty, forced to step down and there's Jacinda in the wings. Short on substance but possessing a certain ability to connect helped by a fawning MSM. Nah, on second thoughts, stay Little stay, your reputation may be in tatters and your bank balance in serious OD but your Party needs you.

The Veteran said...

Boy ... Little has really stuffed himself. Following on from his outburst alleging corruption in the award of the management contract to their hotel chain the Hagaman's gave him the opportunity to withdraw and apologise. Cost minimal. An exchange of lawyer's letter. Little refuses.

Fast forward to February this year and Little, presumably acting on legal advice, offered the Hagaman's an apology and $26k to settle out of court. And just last week and desperate to avoid fronting up in court he ups that offer to $100,000. Too 'little' and too late say the Hagaman's ... we've already spent $215,000 in lawyer's fees and the apology was a non apology because it didn't cover off the main allegation linking their donation to the awarding of the contract.

Add into the mix the fact the Earl Hagaman is terminal soon and one could legitimately surmise that Little is about to be hit with a judgement of tsunami like proportions.

And all because Little was/is so arrogant that he thought he was above the law and so stupid that he couldn't see it coming.

pdm said...

Are those offers not admissions of guilt?

The Veteran said...

pdm ... yes, and why PM can't see or accept that has me worried ... for him.

Anonymous said...

PDM.....not necessarily. Courts take into consideration the test of reasonableness which includes a willingness to settle. Unreasonable behaviour can be construed as a refusal to sit down and negotiate a settlement and if it is a close judgement where the amount awarded is not to far adrift from the amount offered then it is a draw.

Veteran...Failure?....It is failure that has driven the human race to learn from it's mistakes. Working on your principle I would never fly Air NZ because of past failures and only fly Qantas. I work on the principle that Air NZ is safer because success breeds complacency and there is always a first time.

Lord Egbut.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Legbut

You are struggling.

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... yes in a general sense but, I suspect, not this time. The Court will be mindful of timings viz a viz the legal bills incurred by the aggrieved party in attempting to achieve settlement. The fact that Little declined the offer of early settlement is, in itself, evidence of unreasonable behavior and the fact he only tried to come to the party at the 11th hour (some might say 11.59) will weigh heavily on the Court.

Still, this is all conjecture. I will await the decision with interest.

You've lost me on the failure bit ... this thread????

Anonymous said...

No, not this thread but it doesn't matter 'cos Little has the boot put into him in every thread and when he says or does the right thing.....a deafening silence.

Lord Egbut

Psycho Milt said...

PM ... what planet are you on. Read the penultimate sentence on my 8.47 post. Little knew he had broken the law when 10 days ago he tried to buy his way out of having to front at Court. And you say he's innocent ... and the Pope's a Mormon.

Broken the law? Innocent? Defamation suits aren't about guilt or innocence, they're petty arguments won by the people who can afford the best lawyer. Little's comments were accurate but NZ's defamation law favours the wealthy, for the usual reasons, so he's in the shit. Speaking the truth to rich, vindictive trophy wives is a risky business. The only thing that makes me think less of Little in this is that his last-ditch attempts to save Labour money make him look stupid - people like the Hagamans love to damage labour parties when they get the chance, and he should have taken that into account at the time.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Vet

Better have a look at the last comment which, in itself, may be bordering on defamation.

Psycho Milt said...

Having an opinion about someone isn't actionable - if it was, this blog would open itself up to defamation suits on a daily basis.

In any case, the Hagamans are just running interference for National - Little's comments were about government corruption, the Hagamans are incidental to it but have successfully drawn attention away from the people the comments were actually directed at. Yet again, New Zealand's failure to protect speech benefits the Tories.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Milt, the bit which caught my eye was this.

"Little's comments were accurate..."

Hardly just an opinion, I think. If he is found guilty then you would be right there alongside him.

Psycho Milt said...

They were accurate. There's something very smelly about someone winning government funding shortly after making a fat donation to the governing party - regardless of who the donor is or which party they donated to. That's why such things should be investigated. If our bizarre defamation law mean you can be prosecuted for pointing that out, it's the law that needs changing, not Little's statements.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Well the FACT is, Milt, he made donations to ALL the major parties. In your view does that mean he should not be awarded ANY gummint contracts?

The FACT is Milt, the committtee which awarded the contract was full of Labour arty people.

Got any more FACTS, Milt?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Should read 'party' not 'arty'

Anonymous said...

PM,

I thought the contract was awarded prior to the donation not after it.

If Little had only said that he felt that the matter needed investigating he would have fine.

The fact was that he prejudged any potential investigation (without speaking with the relevant parties) by saying that it stunk to high heaven.

Why have an investigation when Mr Little had already judged that there was a link between the donation and the contract.

Obviously Mr Little moonlights part time as a High Court Judge???

Or if he really felt that he wanted to say what he did - he should have done under Privilege of Parliament.

Jimmie

Psycho Milt said...

Well the FACT is, Milt, he made donations to ALL the major parties.

That's a fact, is it? We know he paid $100,000 to the National Party because it was disclosed to the Electoral Commission. What disclosures have other parties made regarding donations by the Hagamans? If you can't find any, there are two possible explanations:

1. The claim is untrue.

2. Donations were made, but below the $15,000 threshold at which they have to be declared.

It's worth noting that Peter Goodfellow told the court he "was surprised when he saw the size of the donation." The money Hagaman handed the Nats wasn't a run-of-the-mill donation. If you have evidence he handed similar money to other parties, I'd like to see it before accepting it's a fact.

The FACT is Milt, the committtee which awarded the contract was full of Labour arty people.

This is another very dubious "fact." We know one of them was related to a Labour Party person, which isn't the same thing at all. And even if a bunch of the committee turned out to be card-carrying Labour members, that's no guarantee that they wouldn't let a cabinet minister's expression of having a preferred candidate influence them, were such an expression to be made.

Psycho Milt said...

I thought the contract was awarded prior to the donation not after it.

That's not how the media's reporting it. In any case, doesn't make a quid pro quo any less likely.

If Little had only said that he felt that the matter needed investigating he would have fine.

Why would it need investigating? If the reason it needed investigating wasn't that the awarding of government funding to a major donor has a bad smell about it, what interpretation are we meant to infer? It needed investigating because everything looked above-board? It needed investigating because every now and then we should investigate something at random? Little just stated the reason it needed investigating, and it was a good reason.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I'm surprised there is so little commentary about this case in the media.

I wonder why?

1) The case is dead set boring?

2) The media can't bear to report on the evisceration of their hero?

3) Not even the Herald can turn this case into a hit on the national Party?

Anonymous said...

Got to agree with Milt here, that's gotta be one of the worst toupees I've seen ! It looks like he's got a squirrel sleeping on top of his head.

https://gg.govt.nz/sites/all/files/images/020%20%281024x679%29.jpg

The Veteran said...

Milt ... my understanding is that 'their' donation to the Labour Party was back when Douglas was calling the shots. Some time ago and didn't have to be declared. I can understand why 'true believers' would want to disown the donation. Dunno re ACT and Winston First but no denials from either Party.

Actually this is all immaterial. Little has admitted he f****d up and the only question for the Court to decide is how much the damages and how much the costs.

I note that Little has said he will be covering the cost out of his own pocket ... guess that makes him a 'rich prick' then.

I'll put aside the snide comments about the Hagamans ... don't see it particularly edifying to 'dump' on a dying person or his wife.

Luv the scuttlebutt doing the rounds that the Hagamans are so pissed off with Little that they intend donating back to the National Party a sizeable proportion of any damages awarded. This could mean Little becomes National's biggest election year funder. What a hoot.

Anonymous said...

In the great scheme of things this is minor spat between two high profile figures. With all the rhetoric and political overtones I can't see a big settlement on the horizon. Hagaman will have to present his lawyers bill for audit and if it is outrageously OTT then it will be rejected also Hagaman being an American seems a bit confused between the US and NZ courts and what they will or will not allow........I suspect minimal damages. Veteran...91 and dying?....does money buy immortality? Making political capital out of this unfortunate event is at best short sighted and at worst exhibiting unholy glee at the misfortunes of others.

Lord Egbut