Jones granted Liu citizenship against the advice of Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) officials who informed the minister that Liu was suspected of identity fraud, including entering New Zealand and applying for permanent residency and citizenship under a false name, and was subject to an Interpol red notice indicating he was wanted for arrest in China on charges relating to alleged large-scale misappropriation and embezzlement and of stealing another person’s identity and using it to obtain two false passports.
Liu had not resolved the matter, either by contacting the Chinese authorities or through the Chinese court system, Jones was told, and “had not fulfilled the onus of satisfying … that he meets the good character requirement” of the Citizenship Act.
Jones has not publicly explained why he overrode advice to decline Liu’s citizenship application and earlier this month declined the Herald’s request to do so.
And that is not good enough. MPs and Ministers need to be accountable for their decisions. You can refuse to comment if it is some issue of private business. But you can’t hand out cizienship to alleged wanted criminals and refuse to explain.
And then we have:
By 2007 Immigration officials recommended Liu’s permanent residency be revoked on grounds that he had allegedly provided false information.
The Immigration Minister of the time, David Cunliffe, did not act on the advice, instead recommending further investigation and noting that he did not “discount the possibility of reconsidering it in the future”.
As part of those further investigations, Immigration last April obtained a search warrant to seize from the DIA identity documents Liu had provided as part of his citizenship application.
Two weeks later Samuels wrote to Barker again, condemning the delay and urging Liu’s citizenship application be given urgent attention.
Delegating for Barker, Jones granted citizenship to Liu on August 6, 2008.
Five days later, Liu had a citizenship ceremony at Parliament, in the Maori Affairs select committee room. Samuels officiated.
So DIA are saying this guy is so bad you should revoke his residency, while Labour Ministers not only refused to do that, but did the opposite by making him a citizen and giving him a private VIP ceremony at Parliament.
A second story by Taylor focuses on David Cunliffe:
The Weekend Herald can reveal that Mr Liu was given citizenship nine months after officials advised the Immigration Minister at the time, David Cunliffe, that dual identities allegedly used by Mr Liu were grounds to revoke his permanent residency. They provided a legal opinion in support.
So you have multiple people in the gun:
- Shane Jones for giving him citizenship, against advice
- David Cunliffe for refusing to revoke his permanent residency, against advice
- Dover Samuels for advocating on behalf of Liu, despite knowing about the allegations from China
As I said, it is excellent to see the Herald cover this story. A pity though they did not credit the original investigation by TGIF.