Disgraced US TV host cleared to keep Queenstown property

by Anne Marie May / 08 June, 2018

Matt Lauer will be allowed to retain his Queenstown property. Photo / Getty Images

A disgraced American TV host forced out of his job in November after allegations of sexual misconduct has been cleared to retain his South Island property.

Matt Lauer bought the lease for the Hunter Valley Station near Queenstown just over a year ago and the consent for that requires him to be a person of good character.

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) began an investigation after his employer, NBC News, issued a statement late last year explaining it had terminated Mr Lauer's employment due to sexually inappropriate behaviour in the workplace in relation to a colleague.

Until then he had fronted the channel's Today programme for over 20 years.

NBC stated it was the first complaint it had received about Mr Lauer's behaviour in that time but indicated the behaviour may not have been an isolated incident.

An OIO investigation obtained sworn statements from Mr Lauer.

However, an OIO spokesperson said the statements could not be made public as they contained confidential material relating to the terms of his employment.

"The OIO relies on the accuracy and truthfulness of the statements made by Mr Lauer.

"For completeness, we note that it is an offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false or misleading statement to the OIO."

The organisation also spoke to NBC and reviewed several allegations made against Matt Lauer on various media platforms.

In its report the OIO said: "While some of the allegations are troubling, the OIO cannot, and does not, rely on any unverified material or allegations made on social media."

The report said Mr Lauer acted inappropriately and in breach of his terms of employment but there was "nothing to raise a legitimate concern that he might misuse his position within Orange Lakes to replicate behaviour".

"The OIO has taken into account that while Mr and Mrs Lauer are the ultimate owners ... they are not involved in the daily operation of the Hunter Valley station and they continue to reside in the United States," the report said.

Land Information's overseas investment deputy chief executive Lisa Barrett said after taking legal advice the organisation had insufficient evidence to take proceedings against Mr Lauer.

"Mr Lauer has not been charged with any offence, nor convicted, and the evidence available to the OIO at this time does not establish that Mr Lauer is unfit to continue to hold the asset.

"However, in reaching this position we do not condone the inappropriate way that Mr Lauer has behaved."

The OIO would continue to actively monitor the matter should further information come to light, Ms Barrett said

It had made clear to Matt Lauer his continuing obligation to remain of good character.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

Latest

Germany considered changing the autobahn speed limit and people weren't happy
102497 2019-02-21 00:00:00Z World

Germany considered changing the autobahn speed lim…

by Cathrin Schaer

A Government-initiated working group suggested putting a speed limit of 130km/h on motorways to lower emissions and make roads safer. Big mistake.

Read more
Stan & Ollie pays tribute to Laurel and Hardy's brilliant buffoonery
102440 2019-02-21 00:00:00Z Movies

Stan & Ollie pays tribute to Laurel and Hardy's br…

by James Robins

John C Reilly and Steve Coogan are lifelong devotees to comic duo Laurel and Hardy – and it shows.

Read more
Colin Hogg: Why my mates matter (and keep on ending up in my books)
102594 2019-02-21 00:00:00Z Books

Colin Hogg: Why my mates matter (and keep on endin…

by Colin Hogg

With his second book about Sam Hunt proving a hit, Colin Hogg ponders why so much of his writing career has been inspired by his mates.

Read more
Vote for your favourite dish in the 2019 Peugeot People’s Choice Award
102345 2019-02-21 00:00:00Z Top 50 Restaurants

Vote for your favourite dish in the 2019 Peugeot P…

by Metro

Vote for your favourite dish in the 2019 Peugeot People’s Choice Award and be in to win dinner for two.

Read more
Death of the gods: The woeful response to kauri dieback disease
102578 2019-02-21 00:00:00Z Planet

Death of the gods: The woeful response to kauri di…

by Bob Harvey

The closer you get to a kauri, the more you realise you are looking at one of the wonders of the planet.

Read more
National’s failure to grasp climate change a major challenge for NZ
102598 2019-02-21 00:00:00Z Planet

National’s failure to grasp climate change a major…

by Steve Abel

National's Bluegreen wing are set to hold their annual conference this weekend. Greenpeace’s Steve Abel will be there to challenge the party.

Read more
The native Mandarin speaker who's translating te reo on television
102606 2019-02-20 22:10:47Z Education

The native Mandarin speaker who's translating te r…

by Vomle Springford

Lidu Gong first started learning te reo in bed.

Read more
Win a double pass to Everybody Knows
102573 2019-02-20 13:19:44Z Win

Win a double pass to Everybody Knows

by The Listener

Starring Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, Everybody Knows is a gripping new thriller about the fissures and fault lines that can tear a family apart.

Read more