Mr Brewer messed up when he took to Facebook to claim the luxury Huka Lodge in Taupo had been sold to a Chinese buyer.

The councillor posted a photo of himself with some Chinese businessmen and claimed they were planning to develop the lodge into a Kiwiana theme park and apartments.

“Great to meet the new international owners of Huka Lodge in Taupo this morning,” he wrote. “Wonderful Chinese businessmen who have big redevelopment plans for Huka Lodge, including a Kiwiana theme park and apartments.”

He has since issued a statement saying it is completely untrue.

“It was an April Fools’ Day joke. I’m really sorry if this has put the cat among the pigeons again following Winston Peter’s silly claims a while back,” he said.

Brewer stressed that Huka Lodge told him it is not for sale and the owners had no intention of selling.

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