Former "Today" show host Matt Lauer had used his $25 million annual salary to secure quite a few h homes over the years. But his firing from NBC amid reports of "inappropriate sexual behavior" could cost him a sheep and cattle farm along Lake Hawea in New Zealand.
Lauer and his wife had purchased the lease from the government this February, but his alleged misconduct may violate New Zealand’s behavior clause. According to the Overseas Investment Office, New Zealand requires all foreign investors to be “of good character,” and a government agency is now reviewing the agreement.
“The Overseas Investment Office is aware that allegations have been made in relation to Matt Lauer and that he is no longer working for NBC News in the USA,” Lisa Barrett, Deputy Chief Executive of Policy and Overseas Investment, told Page Six. “We are discussing this with his representative and are seeking further information.”
Government-owned land can only be leased, not bought, in New Zealand, which considers it a privilege for overseas persons to own or control its assets. Lauer spent an estimated $9.2 million to lease the 27,000-acre farm, called Hunter Valley Station, from holding agency Orange Lakes Ltd.
“A condition of the consent granted to Orange Lakes Ltd to purchase the lease for Hunter Valley Station is that the individuals with control of that company must continue to be of good character,” Barrett added.
Lauer owns several homes in and around NYC, including an Upper East Side co-op he purchased in August 2004 for $5.882 million. He is reportedly staying in the Hamptons, where he has a $36.5 million compound and a $18 million mansion, since his termination from the morning talk show.