Yesterday, we learned that the government had awarded a multimillion dollar hotel management contract in Niue to a company whose founder just happened to have given them a huge donation the month before. Today, Scenic Hotels is eager to assure us that its all just an astonishing coincidence - but in the process they've revealed something else:
A hotel group that won a contract to run a Niue resort has denied any conflict, despite its founder making "numerous donations" to political parties.
"I don't think there's been any surprise over the years from Earl and his political affiliations," he said.
"It's comes up in casual conversations in our board meetings that Earl's made donations. He's done it over the years.
"I mean, it's not first time he's donated to the National Party and he's made quite numerous donations to the ACT party over the years as well.
So he's a regular National Party donor - but obviously below the level where such donations would have to be declared. Which makes it rather interesting that in January 2014, National awarded him a gong:
Christchurch millionaire and founder of the Scenic Hotel Group Earl Hagaman has been recognised for his services to business, tourism and philanthropy.
Hagaman, who with his wife Lani was estimated to be worth $180 million in the 2013 NBR Rich List, has been made a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
He donates so often that it "comes up in casual conversations" and then he's awarded an "honour". Another astonishing coincidence! Just like all those other people with such coincidences! Maybe with such astonishing powers over coincidence, they should all take up gambling?