Curious reporting on appointment of Mike Sabin

Ex-Northland MP Mike Sabin has apparently been appointed to a new job, but there are a few curious aspects.

On Thursday a number of reports were that he had been appointed chief executive of a luxury resort in Northland. Stuff:

Former MP Mike Sabin lands new job at luxury resort

Mike Sabin, the former National MP who quit earlier this year, has been appointed as the general manager of a luxury resort in Northland.

A spokeswoman for Peppers Carrington Estate confirmed that Sabin would be chief executive of Peppers Carrington Resort. It is part of a 3000-acre estate on the Karikari Peninsula in Northland, which boasts an 18-hole golf course, located on “four breathtaking kilometres of secluded white sand coastline”.

While she had not seen Sabin on Wednesday, the spokeswoman said she understood the appointment was effective immediately.

That seems as far as most media went but NBR amended their coverage on Thursday.

Sabin-linked luxury resort goes to ground over new CEO

Former National MP Mike Sabin has been appointed as chief executive officer of Magnificent Jade, which oversees the New Zealand-based assets of Chinese real estate developer Shanghai CRED.

In 2013, Shanghai CRED bought Northland’s luxurious Peppers Carrington Resort for a sum understood to be almost $29 million. It was reported on NBR ONLINE and other media earlier this week that Mr Sabin had been appointed chief executive officer of the resort.

However, the Mantra Group, which operates the resort under the Peppers luxury resort brand, has since confirmed that Mr Sabin has not or is not an employee of Peppers, and that Peppers was not consulted on the appointment.

It’s curious that a widely reported story has changed significantly.

More curious is Sabin’s appointment as chief executive officer of Magnificent Jade, a company that “oversees the New Zealand-based assets of Chinese real estate developer Shanghai CRED” (which owns Peppers Carrington Resort).

Sabin’s background:

  • Employed as a Seaman Officer in the Royal New Zealand Navy in the 1980s.
  • Worked in the dairy industry.
  • Became a police officer in the 1990s.
  • In 2006 he founded MethCon Group, a company that supplies drug education. Sold company in 2010.
  • In 2011 he was selected as a candidate by National for the (then) safe seat of Northland as was elected.
  • Resigned as an MP in January 2014 citing ‘family matters best dealt with outside Parliament’.

Why would a Chinese real estate development company and owner of a luxury Northland lodge see Sabin as suitably experienced to be their chief executive? A curious appointment.