It’s the decision, not the process

May 21st, 2012 at 12:01 pm by David Farrar

Vernon Small at Stuff reports:

Labour leader says he has received assurances from that he followed due process in granting citizenship to , also known as Yong Min Yan, when he was associate immigration minister.

Umm, that is a red herring. The process is that the Minister gets a recommendation and makes a decision. Hard not to follow due process. The issue is why Jones granted the citizenship when officials had so strongly advocated against, pointing out the multiple identities and passports plus the criminal charges against Liu.

But while we are on due process, what part of due process is having a special ceremony in Parliament organised by a Labour MP just days after the decision was made – normal due process is you get a letter in the mail a few weeks later, and then go to the town hall in a group.

“Having looked at the material we have available, it appears that the process which Yong Min Yan (Bill Liu) was granted citizenship was considered and proper.”

He said Labour did not have access to departmental files, but was relying on information retained by Jones about the case.

Good God. That doesn’t even qualify as a whitewash.

Jones had denied any pecuniary association with Liu.

“He has received no money, gift or travel.”

“Shane is not a friend of Mr Liu. He believes he has met him on one or two occasions.”

No one has suggested Jones received money. The suggestion is that Labour did – on multiple occasions.

Shane Te Pou, a Labour party organiser, met businessman Yan in 2005 at a Labour Party fundraiser at Auckland’s Viaduct.

Te Pou told the High Court this morning that he took Yan on a trip to the Hawkes Bay to investigate exporting wine to China. …

When they returned to Auckland, Te Pou entered an arrangement to fill in Yan’s citizenship application.

Te Pou used to be known as Shane Phillips, and guess who his brother used to work for? Shane Jones.  Here’s what I blogged in 2008:

Tonight, TGIF Edition can also reveal that one of Yongming’s former associates in this country – Shane Phillips – was a Labour Party campaign manager, and his brother Daniel Phillips works in the office of Associate Immigration Minister Shane Jones – the man who gave ‘Bill Liu’ citizenship against the recommendations of officials who’d investigated his background.

And:

A further $5,000 was given to Dover Samuels by the oddly-named ‘Tamaki ki te Paki Wu’, apparently residing at a house in Derrimore Heights in Manukau City.

So, according to the official documents, two separate Wu’s slipped a total of eight grand between them into the Dover Samuels campaign fund. But who was this mysterious Mr Tamaki Wu? A check of the Manukau address Dover had given for him provides an added twist to this story: it was registered not to Mr Wu but to Daniel Phillips – Dover’s former private secretary now working for Associate Immigration Minister Shane Jones. So $5,000 had come to Dover from the address of a man whose brother was involved with Chinese
businessman ‘’ (real name Yan Yongming), yet the money was not in Daniel Phillips’ name, but a person or entity named Tamaki Wu.

So $8,000 was donated to Dover, from someone living at the address registered to a staff member in Shane Jones’ office.

It is obvious Shane Jones approved the citizenship because his very good mate Dover Samuels asked him to do so. Just as Damien O’Connor used to grant residency to almost anyone Taito Philip Field asked him to. Dover was a beneficiary of donations from Liu, as were other MPs. Was Jones aware of this? Was Jones aware that Liu’s restaurant had hosted fundraisers which can bring in tens of thousands of dollars, none of which gets disclosed as they count as coming from each individual who attended.

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30 Responses to “It’s the decision, not the process”

  1. tvb (4,199 comments) says:

    Jones would be far enough away from this to give him plausible deniability. But it does not pass the smell test. He must have been damn good to the labour party.

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  2. David Garrett (6,336 comments) says:

    Keep at it DPF….something tells me the MSM are not going to find this very newsworthy…just a hunch…

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  3. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    This could be just the tip of the iceberg. We need an inquiry to determine the full extent of Labour’s Cash-for-Citizenship corruption.

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  4. David Garrett (6,336 comments) says:

    tvb: Ah, no….there is no “plausible deniability” here…the decision was a non-delegable one for the MINISTER…and Jones was the Minister….

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  5. Paulus (2,496 comments) says:

    MSM already making light of this.
    Shane Jones should front up to the public and explain why he approved this against all professional departmental advice.
    Sounds like CORRUPTION to me. Follow the Bribes to Labour.
    Shearer should stand him down until all the facts are in the open.

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  6. mikenmild (10,628 comments) says:

    Immigration must be one of very few areas where cabinet minsters can personally intervene to benefit individuals. Is there any reason for this, apart from the opportunity to exercise political patronage?

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  7. tknorriss (327 comments) says:

    It looks like the police might be starting to sniff around. From the article.

    Police declined to say whether they were investigating the claims that Yan received special favours.

    “We are aware of the comments made in court but it would not be appropriate to make further comment while a trial is underway,” a spokesman said.

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  8. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > The issue is why Jones granted the citizenship when officials had so strongly advocated against

    No, the issue is: why do many Ministers think their role is to rubber-stamp advice? Can they not think for themselves? DPF seems to think that is a good trait.

    [DPF: Advice on policy - it is not. Advice that someone is of unfit character as they are wanted by Interpol, have multiple identities and multiple passports - well that is the sort of advice you should follow unless you can point to conflicting evidence]

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  9. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > No one has suggested Jones received money. The suggestion is that Labour did – on multiple occasions.

    Hmmm and National also recieved money from Liu, who was a mate of Pansy Wong.

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  10. David Garrett (6,336 comments) says:

    ross69: defending lefties whatever they do since 1868 (with apologies to the publishers of the “BEER….” series)

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  11. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > that is the sort of advice you should follow unless you can point to conflicting evidence

    So there was no conflicting evidence?

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  12. mikenmild (10,628 comments) says:

    Again, having ministers take personal decision on individual applicants virtually invites corruption, does it not?

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  13. Monty (962 comments) says:

    simple question – directly or indirectly how much money was donated to the Labour Party Coffers by Bill Liu or his associates.

    This stinks of corruption – Labour effectively sold passposts.

    Next question – would Bill Liu have been granted citizenship if it were not for the considerable donation to the Labour Party.
    Next question – will Cunnliffe and Jones be evicted and stood down for their parts in this corruption.

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  14. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Clearly there was conflicting evidence provided by Liu, his lawyer and possibly others.

    http://www.investigatemagazine.com/jonesfile.pdf

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  15. mikenmild (10,628 comments) says:

    There are certainly questions to be asked – I assume the Police might enquire into this. On the face of it, though, it seems unlikely that Jones would have broken any law by exercising the discretion vested in him. In fact, couldn’t a Minister pretty much guarantee any donor favourable treatment in immigraiton matters? While odious, would that break the law?
    Nice to see so many of our politicians in ethical difficulties at one though – that’ll certainly boost their collective repution in the eyes of the public.

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  16. David Garrett (6,336 comments) says:

    mikey: I think that’s probably right…Judicial Review is available where a Minister excercised his discretion NOT to grant citizenship…the only logical applicant for a review of the decision TO grant would be one or more than one concerned citizens…and they would have problems with “standing” in a legal sense.. Although the outcome of the Susan Couch casewill be interesting in that regard.

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  17. BeaB (2,057 comments) says:

    ross69 A moment’s thought will lead you to the rather startling difference between an opposition MP doing a minor favour and a Minister going against official advice and evidence to confer citizenship on a generous donor. Not to mention the other shady goings on.

    Come on Shearer, man up. Or are you too limp to take on the Maori guys?

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  18. flipper (3,537 comments) says:

    Ministers rejecting advice from officials or intervening on immigration matters is a time honoured sport.

    One, Mandy Rice Davies (of Profumo fame) wished to pay a short “business” trip to NZ.

    Tom Shand, as Minister of Immigration at the time, intervened to stop her entry. As a British citizen she did not require visa. But there were other (possibly SIS? ) issues (like her Soviet sex partners which resulted in Profumo’s (UK Minister of Defence) resignation) involved.

    As to the current Jones/Shearer/ Minus T imbroglio…… Shearer and the MSM just add grist to John Key’s mill by ignoring Jones’/Minus T’s actions.
    Time for a Privileges Committee hearing?

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  19. mikenmild (10,628 comments) says:

    I’d hate to think that any part of my affairs could be determined by a politician who might be informed on my status as a donor to a political party. The more I reflect on that, the more outrageous it seems. Why on Earth would politicnas even want to be put in a position to make these decisions? I fear that there might be a huge iceberg of similar cases extending back many years.

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  20. Nookin (3,033 comments) says:

    “Clearly there was conflicting evidence provided by Liu, his lawyer and possibly others”

    Starting with his real name!

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  21. tknorriss (327 comments) says:

    Shearer being interviewed on this by Larry Williams tonight. I hope Williams has been keeping up with the blogs.

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  22. David Garrett (6,336 comments) says:

    For his sake he had better do a better job of it than he did on Nat Rad this morning…

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  23. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    Corruption. No other word for it.

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  24. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Shearer was floundering around all over the place in that interview with Larry Williams. Well and truly hooked, with Williams winding him in at his leisure.

    His attempt to deflect the citizenship ceremony as being handled by ‘officials’ as if it had nothing to do with anyone in the Labour caucus was pure gold – I can’t imagine anyone buying that. Particularly when the question about it followed on the heels of Shearer claiming that Labour MPs had little to do with Bill Liu.

    Then at the end when the so called leader of the party told Williams that he would have to ask Shane directly, think any presence of leadership went out the window then and there. Mind you, the damage had been done throughout the interview as Shearer stumbled and bumbled around every question put to him.

    A very clear point of difference between John Key and David Shearer – JK exudes credibility, Shearer exudes incredulity.

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  25. David Garrett (6,336 comments) says:

    bhudson: Nice line, and please forgive me being a pedant…but you mean he INDUCES incredulity…it is we who are incredulous, not him….

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  26. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    David G,

    I stand corrected. I wanted them both to exude, but couldn’t quite come up with an appropriate word for Shearer which ended in “lity”. It took three edits to get it wrong! :-)

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  27. burt (7,794 comments) says:

    The Labour party continue their ridiculously low ethical standards…. How surprising.

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  28. Keeping Stock (10,095 comments) says:

    @tknorris – Williams had clearly been keeping up with the blogs, and Shearer gave probably his worst interview ever; it was an absolute shocker.

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  29. mynamewastaken (3 comments) says:

    I think that there is an issue with immigration and that while Ministerial discretion should be preserved, that it must be transparent. There must be reasons for a decision that are recorded and can be compared to the expected standards for these kinds of decisions, whether the decision follows or departs from the advice of officials.

    To bring this into perspective, Mr Key a few weeks ago declared on tv that Dotcom’s application to buy a property was probably turned down on the basis of the Minister having a “feeling”. In my view a minister making a decision that effects someone’s life on this level, on the basis of a “feeling” is unacceptable, and contrary to natural justice. What if a Minister happens to be racist, sexist, homophobic, or has a prejudice against people with particular religious beliefs? It’s impossible they will not have feelings about the targets of their bias but such biases are no basis for making decisions of this nature.

    Both this case and the Dotcom case highlight the need for greater transparency and accountability around decisions of this nature, and around the process and standards that apply to such decision making.

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  30. Paulus (2,496 comments) says:

    Sorry for Shearer – he has inherited Helen’s shit on this one, with Philly pleased to be out of it.
    But Shearer is not man enough to toughen up on this one.
    Not a good look.

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