Dong Liu clarifies donations

June 25th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Controversial businessman Donghua Liu has issued a new statement to the Herald confirming “close to” $100,000 in total payments to and its MPs – including anonymous donations – but clarifying that the money was not for one bottle of wine.

Liu, to whom Labour gave permanent residency against official advice, says his earlier signed statement on the wine auction was “capable of two meanings” and after repeated inquiries from the Herald he says he wants to clarify what he spent the $100,000 on.

The signed statement obtained by the Herald on Sunday said that at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser, he “successfully bid on bottles of wine including one bottle signed by the then Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon Helen Clark, with a contribution of close to $100,000″.

The previous sentence in the signed statement said dinner and a boat trip on the Yangtze River in 2007 with a group including , the Minister for Internal Affairs at the time, which Liu estimated to cost between $50,000 to $60,000.

Okay, this reduces the amount donated to Labour. Paying for Rick Barker to cruise up the Yangtze River is not a donation to Labour. It is a gift to Barker, and if his share of the cost was over $500, he should have declared that in his Register of Pecuniary Interests.

This leaves $40,000 he still claims he donated to Labour, including the $15,000 for the Helen Clark book. The disclosure limit in 2007 was $10,000 – so we still do not know why these were not disclosed.

“Some of these donations were made anonymously which was perfectly legal and so such donations will only ever appear in some individual donation returns as anonymous.”

This suggests that possibly the $40,000 was split up between multiple electorates or candidates.

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92 Responses to “Dong Liu clarifies donations”

  1. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Its not a clarification its a retraction.

    Story over.

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  2. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Alan, yeah seems as though it is this Helen clark book and that may be about it. The rowing club donation is extremely weird though

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  3. Lipo (229 comments) says:

    DPF “This suggests that possibly the $40,000 was split up between multiple electorates or candidates.”
    or
    Someone pocketed the money themselves

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  4. kowtow (8,212 comments) says:

    labour gave him residency and national gave him citizenship

    No one looks good.

    If residency and citizenship were corruptly obtained can they be withdrawn?

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  5. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Lipo
    Yes that could be true, i dont know why he dosent have bank statements on this. Surely this is not all done in cash?

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  6. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,066 comments) says:

    DPF “This suggests that possibly the $40,000 was split up between multiple electorates or candidates.”
    or
    Someone pocketed the money themselves

    Or, considering that the original allegation is that Liu donated $150,000 to Labour, including $100,000 for a single bottle of wine, and that’s suddenly changed to Liu giving money to a rowing club and throwing a staff function and claiming that he spent far smaller amounts of money on multiple bottles of wine but still refuses to provide a shred of evidence that he did so, maybe there is no money split between electorates and candidates and nothing to account for.

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  7. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    Cleaver move – Wait for Labour to call him a liar then drop the bomb…. Popcorn ….

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  8. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    The rowing club thing is strange. We really can’t count money given to a rowing club as a donation to the labour party.

    If the rest has been split up its probably all legal. What I dont understand is this, he’s obviously added up various things to get to this number, why doesn’t he show his figures and be done.

    He obviously also wants to close this issue down and move on. He realises that at some point in the future 2017 or 2020 the left will win and making a mortal enemy of them isnt in his long tern interest.

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  9. virtualmark (1,510 comments) says:

    Hold on chaps, I think what’s being clarified is this:

    Donghua Liu contributed nearly $100,000 to Labour, mainly via buying some bottles of wine (some accounts say 3 to 4 bottles) at an auction. The bottles of wine were signed by Helen Clark (wow!), and handed over by Rick Barker.

    Separately Donghua Liu spent in the order of $50,000 on a dinner cruise on the Yangtze that was attended by Rick Barker, along with a large number of Donghua’s employees from a cement company in China. Rick Barker’s share of that hospitality may or may not have been enough that Barker should have declared it. But it wasn’t a donation to the Labour Party as such.

    What’s still unclear is the purchase of a book signed by Helen Clark, rumoured to be for around $15,000.

    What has been clarified is that the earlier allegation of $150,000 or so of total donations has been revised downwards to exclude the $50,000 or so spent on the Yangtze River dinner cruise.

    Happy for anyone to chime in if I’ve got that wrong.

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  10. SW (240 comments) says:

    You are muddying the waters here quite frankly DPF.

    What exactly is the allegation? The $15,000 ‘book’ comes from a ‘party source’ (Shane Jones?), not Mr Liu as I understand. Obviously the Herald has not released his written statement so we can’t be sure of that.

    You called for a police investigation – when are you going to retract? Or do you think it is still warranted? What laws do you think have been breached?

    I suggest a lot of questions about media impartiality should arise from this story. It is such a high profile and damaging one for Labour, yet what is its substance and does it come from the Herald or National via the Herald?

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  11. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    You’ve got it wrong. The 100k included the cost of the river trip.

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  12. Nick R (506 comments) says:

    The Herald can’t keep changing the story and expect to maintain credibility. If Liu made these payments to Labour he will be able to prove it – there should be bank statement and the like. Where are they? Similarly, where is the $15 book?

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  13. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    Alan

    The rowing club thing is strange. We really can’t count money given to a rowing club as a donation to the labour party.

    The rowing club said they bought new blades – so like the Labour party they were probably up the creek without a paddle. ;-)

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  14. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    Donghua Liu is just using the same equivalence that John Key uses – a donation to the National Party is a ‘charity’ golf game, so by that logic a donation to a rowing club is a political donation. #PlanetKey

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  15. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    I think you are all making an assumption here that needs to be clarified.

    Is it possible (precedent says no) to make Labour accountable for anything at all ? Move On !

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  16. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    the herald is looking very bad over this.
    Hopefully labour takes the herald to court,i couldnt care less for either party so hopefully the case damages them both

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  17. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    Still think the police should get involved DPF?

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  18. mikemikemikemike (323 comments) says:

    I look forward to your retraction and and updated commentary DPF…something tells me not to wear out the F5 key thinking that’ll come any time soon though

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  19. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    YesWeDid

    You’re a comedian – Police involved against Labour rorting the electoral funding laws …. You’re having a laugh – surely…

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  20. secondcumming (92 comments) says:

    Can anyone provide a status update on Mr Liu?

    Last I heard he had plead guilty to assault on a female – has he been sentenced yet??

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  21. doggone7 (769 comments) says:

    SW: “You are muddying the waters here quite frankly DPF.”

    It’s called “Fomenting happy mischief.” Some people would call it creating misrepresentations and preying on ignorance. If your child presented things in the way they are often done here you would tell them they are simply lying. They would know they are. The adults on here might prevaricate about subtleties and nuances of language to evade the reality – but they know there are lies being told.

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  22. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Did he give cash to any rowing clubs that didn’t have a senior Labour ministers daughter as a member?
    Where is Steven Ching in all of this?
    When and where did Cunliffe meet with the donor to discuss writing a letter to strong arm immigration?
    Where is the missing donations?
    Who else from labour went on the love boat?
    Anybody tried to talk to Chris Carter or Dover Samuels about any of this yet?
    And finally, how do we find out how many other mega rich foreigners got help to overturn the advice of a govt department and secure a visa?

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  23. SW (240 comments) says:

    Burt unless you can articulate what electoral laws Labour have rorted in this particular affair, my suggestion is you stop making erroneous comments.

    Feel free to ignore my suggestion – although doing so won’t make your statements anymore correct.

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  24. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    OK so how many other “Rowing Clubs”, “Bowling Clubs” & “RSA’s” are secretly Labour Party fronts to launder money. There are a couple of suspicious looking characters who hang out at the bar of the local RSA, they both have very florid looking faces, obviously a dead giveaway, not so much as “reds under the beds” as reds propping up the bar!

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  25. notrotsky (81 comments) says:

    zzzzzzzz damage done Labour and Cunliffe look like the mugs they undoubtedly are… well played national …well played.

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  26. Nick R (506 comments) says:

    @ Barnsley.

    I can think of 1 other mega rich foreigner who got a visa against official advice. Large German gentleman. Can’t quite remember his name.

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  27. s.russell (1,603 comments) says:

    To be fair to Rick Barker: it seems from the various stories that the boat trip included all Liu’s staff and Barker thought he had just been tacked on to a company picnic type event. Liu is apparently claiming the whole whole cost as a benefit for Barker. That actually seems unreasonable. Maybe that is just another confusion. On this basis I have to suggest that it is not unreasonable for Barker not to have declared a $50,000 cruise.

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  28. ROJ (114 comments) says:

    SW – rort can still be legal, in fact usually is. Legal is not at all the same as right, or transparent!!

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  29. ROJ (114 comments) says:

    For all his money, does Liu actually employ a solicitor, or a good translator for that matter?

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  30. SW (240 comments) says:

    Barneley Bill – cheers for that list of irrelevant questions.

    If an idiot like yourself knew about this before it was in the media, it really does make me question things. How did you know? Why did you know and not Labour? Is it because people you know feed the media this story, or do you have some media contacts that told you.

    Whatever the answers, I don’t think it reflects well on our ‘impatial’ media.

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  31. mjw (391 comments) says:

    Ouch. A number of people now have egg all over their face, and Labour is smelling of roses.

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  32. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    hehe, Labour is smelling of roses. Like the Outkast song?

    I know you’d like to thank your shit don’t stank
    But lean a little bit closer
    See that roses really smell like poo-oo-ooo
    Yeah, roses really smell like poo-oo-ooo

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  33. SW (240 comments) says:

    ROJ – others have been alleging illegality, so to down grade to a legal ‘rort’ is shifting the goal posts.

    Regardless, please explain what the so called ‘rort’ is?

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  34. ROJ (114 comments) says:

    You might grow roses, but frequently that requires a lot of manure

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  35. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    SW

    The rort appears to be failing to declare donations and gifts – but that’s something only nasty national do along with their secret trusts… which Labour legislated against and …. would never do themselves … I know, it’s different when Labour do it.

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  36. ross001 (193 comments) says:

    The disclosure limit in 2007 was $10,000 – so we still do not know why these were not disclosed.

    Actually, we don’t know if any donations were made. That won’t stop you and others reporting Liu’s fanciful claims as fact.

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  37. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    ross001

    That’s right – and that limit wasn’t for Labour anyway – they use parliament to pass retrospective validations for such things – move on.

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  38. anticorruptionnz (212 comments) says:

    This highlights the need for a proper body to investigate such matters. this shold have been delat with long ago and not dug out of John Keys top drawer when his own misters are under fire .

    Two wrongs do not make a right .

    Labour should be investigated and so should national .. its the pot calling the kettle black

    labour also gave one of its own members coercive law enforcement powers against the recommendation of MAF… they have been concealing it for years and National have also stayed quite on it suggesting that they too have something to hide.

    we desperately need an independent commission against corruption

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  39. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    This appears to be playing out perfectly. Cunliffe is already demanding apologies and … possibly considering legal action. Wait for his big bold denial and denigration of the accusers before the final evidence is released. Boom !

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  40. ross001 (193 comments) says:

    the herald is looking very bad over this.

    To be fair, Fran O’Sullivan told John Armstrong to pull his head out of his arse over the latter’s desire to see Cunliffe resign. It’s not very often you see one Herald writer give a colleague such sage and pointed advice.

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  41. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    @anticorruptionnz, I agree totally, we need an independent commission against corruption.
    You’ll also find people like Cameron Slater have been saying this for some years, e.g. here: http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2011/12/why-new-zealand-needs-an-independent-commission-against-corruption/

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  42. hj (6,877 comments) says:

    Chinese thugs knocked out by amateur Kung Fu fans

    For six months, a property developer had been trying to get his hands on Mr Shen’s house.
    “They called it a remodelling project, to turn our village into a town,” he said.

    “They wanted to tear down the whole street, and promised we would get a new house of the same size in two years, as well as rent to cover the interim.

    But I heard of people in a neighbouring village getting a much better deal, so we refused to sign.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9710514/Chinese-thugs-knocked-out-by-amateur-Kung-Fu-fans.html

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  43. SW (240 comments) says:

    Burt – I challenge you to set out:
    – what were the seperate donations/gifts that Mr Lui gave to Labour?
    – of those donations/gifts, what ones should have been disclosed by Labour under the relevant laws at the time but were not?

    If you can answer those two questions then you must have info that isn’t currently public.

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  44. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    SW, so you don’t think it is relevant that we should know when Cunliffe met the visa hunter? Or did he just write the letter because he telepathically sensed that a complete stranger might need some help to strongarm a decision out of a govt department?
    We really are a banana republic when a dodgy tricky character like Cunliffe can get away with avoiding the hard questions by puffing his chest up. He must have been studying the 12 volume DVD box set of “Winston Peters media moments” over the last ten years.

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  45. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    SW

    I challenge you to name one election in the last 20 years where allegations of rorting the tax payers haven’t circled Labour ?

    I know, it’s different when Labour do it . Move on.

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  46. Than (451 comments) says:

    I’m not sure why Labour and their supporters are crowing about this. It has been clarified they didn’t receive $150,000 of undisclosed donations from Liu, only ~$40,000 of undisclosed donations. OK, but the same question still applies – what happened to these donations and why is there no record of them?

    Liu being specific and putting the facts straight only makes Labour’s “he’s lying” position even less credible.

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  47. doggone7 (769 comments) says:

    SW: “If you can answer those two questions then you must have info that isn’t currently public.”

    He/she/it doesn’t have to give answers. You make things up, you spread it around directly or indirectly, newspapers and bloggers will repeat it and so it becomes facts. The fertile ground of the barren minds will take it as gospel, make it gospel and you’re away smiling on Kiwi Blog and Whale Oil.

    The Herald. Sometimes after indiscretions, mistakes and mischief on front pages and in headlines there are later corrections. Front page? Headlines? No way. Inside page, down the bottom in some little side column.

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  48. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    Than

    Exactly Than, but it’s a little bit of good news for Cunliffe and I guess the lovers of self serving courageous corruption will take any good news they can.

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  49. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    doggone7

    Not it’s more complex than that – see the self serving lovers of courageous corruption have long practiced the 3-D approach.

    Deny, Delay, Denigrate.

    It’s denigration stage now right ?

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  50. SW (240 comments) says:

    BB – No I don’t, Culiffe’s letter was a stock standard one asking about timetabling – it was not a ‘strongarm’ type of letter. Go read it yourself…

    Burt – meeting a challenge with a challenge, good on you!

    Firstly I note you use the word ‘allegations’. Regardless, unless I’m wrong, every election except the pledge card debacle? So that would be what 2011, 2008, 2003, 1999/2000 and 1996. Happy for you to correct me…

    Anyway I’m not some Labour Party apologist (not involved in politics at all). If you can’t see what is actually going on with this story then good on you.

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  51. SW (240 comments) says:

    Than – because you don’t have to disclose donations under a certain limits. When a donation is shown that should have been declared then Labour will need to explain (in other words, the $40,000 isn’t alleged to be one donation).

    If Labour haven’t declared a donation they should have then the story has some substance. But surely that needs to be known BEFORE the story is published, not afterwards.

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  52. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    SW

    You sure you’re not a Labour party apologist. The Pledge card debacle spanned 1999, 2002 & 2005. Also in validating “the way we have always done it” Labour validated 14 years of alleged illegal use of tax payers money. So that takes us all the way back to prior 1996 – You fail !

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  53. SW (240 comments) says:

    No Burt – it is ‘what is the allegation of wrongdoing here (legal or otherwise)’ stage….

    At this point in time there is nothing, and that is a week after the story broke…

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  54. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    SW

    I don’t know anything that’s not in the public domain. I don’t claim to. I’m just basing my position on previous form – for which there is ample to suggest they are donkey deep taking cash for favours.

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  55. Fossil (8 comments) says:

    If the writer of Liu’s first statement and the journalists at the Herald had any idea of syntax they would have seen that his words could be read two ways. The Labour-leaning teacher unions are surely to blame for this deficiency.

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  56. doggone7 (769 comments) says:

    SW: “But surely that needs to be known BEFORE the story is published, not afterwards.”

    Why? (I’m not being serious.)

    Questioning any (what once upon a time would’ve been called ) clearly unethical behaviour of the media or incorrect information there, if it pertains to the Labour Party, will earn the “apologist” label. It’s sort of equivalent to using the label ‘PC’ when there is an intellectual vacuum and the inability to actually come up with sound reasoning. A bit like a kid chucking a stone back at someone who’s upset them.

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  57. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    So Liu still is only offering words, and no solid proof.

    I would like to see an immediate investigation into this man’s finances. The fact that he is ‘uncertain’ who he paid what to, and it involves our politicians is reason for us to know. Regardless of which party is involved, when someone parts with big money, even if it’s in lots of $5,000, it is the SUM of his donations to ALL political parties that is of interest. It looks very much like he has tried to cover his butt by buying all of them. I wonder if the Greens, etc have been involved – but don’t know it?

    This man stinks of dishonesty and corruption. He was happy to make a number of statements which people bought into, and now he’s changed those. Why? Did he check his accounts and find it was different, or it wasn’t the people he had insinuated or ‘whatever’.

    Serious fraud office need to pick up this one – but how do you get them to do that?

    Either way there is something shonky going on, and we need to be able to have faith in our political system and know that everyone has equal influence and that someone who is less than desirable can not buy favours from any of our MP’s.

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  58. davidp (3,578 comments) says:

    I don’t care about Cunliffe’s letter to immigration. There was nothing improper about it. I don’t care about Liu’s donations to either Labour or National. I don’t think either party offered him any corrupt benefits, apart from Barker flying across China to visit his cement factory which is pretty trivial in the scheme of things. I don’t really care who funded Cunliffe’s leadership campaign either. To be consistent, I don’t care about Collins having dinner with a NZ exporter when she was in China, partly because I hope our parliamentarians and public servants are helping exporters earn the country money. I also don’t care about Banks splitting the Dotcom donations. Dotcom asked for favours in return but Banks didn’t supply them, so there is no corruption involved.

    The only issue for me is why Labour decided to campaign against Collins and Banks on the basis of favours and corruption when they knew that they had been doing exactly the same things. That represents hypocrisy, but also monumental stupidity because it was based on a hope that no one ever revealed the hypocrisy. Either Cunliffe and everyone around him are too stupid to realise that this was a really bad campaign strategy. Or people pointed this out to Cunliffe and he ignored him. In neither case do I think he is suitable to run the country.

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  59. SW (240 comments) says:

    Thanks for clarifying Burt. I prefer to judge what’s in front of me rather than relying on my prejudices. No doubt your a good fella though

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  60. twofish (86 comments) says:

    So now the next polls will come out and Cunliffe and Labour are lower even still, but Cunliffe will claim it is all the allegations of a Chinese who can’t apparently speak English and everyone from Cameron Slater, the Herald, DPF, John Key and a rabble of blog commenters including myself bad-mouthing him.

    Bugger!

    When does the Kim Dotcom extradition trial start?

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  61. goldnkiwi (1,265 comments) says:

    Clarification due to ambiguity due to translation/translator. Seems reasonable to me. English language subtleties are a mystery even to some who have known only it from birth lol.

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  62. SW (240 comments) says:

    Davison – no just stop. That’s cool that you don’t care about our political system being abused to do favours for the privileged. Good on you. But please don’t draw some false equivalence about Collins, Williamson and Banks to allegations against Labour.

    They are not the same things. You saying so doesn’t make them the same things.

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  63. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    “Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
    “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

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  64. ross001 (193 comments) says:

    The only issue for me is why Labour decided to campaign against Collins and Banks on the basis of favours and corruption when they knew that they had been doing exactly the same things.

    Banks was found guilty of corrupt behaviour, which might have escaped your memory. And Collins admitted to behaving badly which is why she apologised to the PM. I think you’ll find that Labour had nothing to do with that behaviour.

    Alas, you’re unable to show me that Labour has done anything like what I’ve just described. It must annoy you that the Tories are so dishonest…

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  65. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    “Banks was found guilty of corrupt behaviour”

    No he wasn’t.

    You’re accusing ‘Tories’ of being “so dishonest”, are you being dishonest or sloppy?

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  66. ross411 (603 comments) says:

    $50000 on a boat trip? Must have been some red rope level debauchery going on at that price.

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  67. RRM (9,786 comments) says:

    NZ Labour Party:

    Accepted Mr Owen G. Glenn’s money, then denied it, then called him a liar.

    Accepted Mr Donghua Liu’s money, then denied it, then called him a liar.

    Now, it’s clear that Labour WANT to be the party of rich prick big businessmen ( :-) ) but why WOULD YOU give them the time of day, let alone give them your money?

    It seems like a very expensive way to get a bunch of angry little people to bad-mouth you all over town??

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  68. SW (240 comments) says:

    Pete George, are you serious? Of all the things to write about on this thread that is what you choose? John Banks was found guilty of knowingly filing a false electoral return – you might correctly perceive that as low scale corruption, but it’s corrupt behaviour isn’t it?

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  69. davidp (3,578 comments) says:

    ross001>Banks was found guilty of corrupt behaviour, which might have escaped your memory.

    No he wasn’t. He was essentially found guilty of asking a donor to split a donation in to two so that he wouldn’t have to declare it. Whereas he could have just legally funnelled the same donation through a secret trust like Len Brown and David Cunliffe did. So, he is only guilty of not using a trust.

    Much of our electoral finance law is involved in trivial process rather than outcomes. It is intended to trip people up on matters of detail that are of little consequence. For instance, not placing a promoter’s name and address of what is obviously a party balloon. Because of this triviality, the Police don’t want to get involved. It was Banks’ bad luck to come up with a vengeful man who was pissed off that Banks hadn’t provided him with corrupt favours when he asked. And a bitter old man who has been convicted of multiple criminal offences, and has decided that his life’s mission is to drag other people through the courts to see how much misery he can create.

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  70. RRM (9,786 comments) says:

    It must annoy you that the Tories are so dishonest…

    Hi, Hamnida! ;-)

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  71. RF (1,371 comments) says:

    RRM. 5.01pm. What.. hambone is back !!!!!!!

    Must have been early release.

    Now we have to put up with more of his anti everything right … Wait for the Neolib tag.

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  72. lurcher1948 (151 comments) says:

    Avoid chinese bribing with millions….

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  73. Steve (North Shore) (4,544 comments) says:

    Cunliffe wants an apology from Liu, this is the same Liu that Cunliffe knows nothing about, never met etc etc.
    The man is a train wreck

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  74. doggone7 (769 comments) says:

    Fancy calling Liu a train wreck! Do you know him well enough to do that?

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  75. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    Ross001

    John Banks was found guilty of knowingly filing a false electoral return – you might correctly perceive that as low scale corruption, but it’s corrupt behaviour isn’t it?

    Is it?

    Corruption
    having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.

    I don’t see any potential for personal gain. It was lax and/or stupid, but I don’t think it was corrupt and the charge had nothing to do with corruption.

    Collins was also lax and perhaps a bit stupid too.

    And Labour have played this out pretty stupidly. It turns out that some of the scrutiny of them has been unfair but they haven’t been particularly fair with accusations that they have made over time either so their’s some utu involved.

    There’s shoddy politics all round. Not great for encouraging people to vote this election.

    Some of it’s been over-egged – as you seem to be over-egging what Banks did. So it’s relevant.

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  76. Francis_X (147 comments) says:

    Give it up DPF. It’s fallen flat.

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  77. SW (240 comments) says:

    Pete:
    1) I ‘seem’ to be over-egging. I made one comment and I stand by it. The personal gain for Banks was money that he didn’t have to disclose. If that’s not a gain then he doesn’t need to ask for the donation to be split in two, like the Court accepted as fact that he did. I agree it isn’t crime of the century and was stupid. I don’t agree that labelling it ‘corrupt’ is factually incorrect, let alone dishonest, like you did.
    2) No, Collins at the very minimum didn’t declare a conflict or perceived conflict of interest. At its worst, Collins was using her position to benefit her husbands company (above other NZ companies) and hiding that from the NZ public on purpose. Either way, she was not truthful and that is public record.
    3) Calling this shoddy politics all around is equating political stupidity with actual misuse of power – I think you should reconsider that in light if this debacle (but you won’t – you see balance as weighing up two completely different things and calling them the same)

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  78. Francis_X (147 comments) says:

    “martinh (1,151 comments) says:
    June 25th, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Lipo
    Yes that could be true, i dont know why he dosent have bank statements on this. Surely this is not all done in cash?”

    And if it was, there’d be a withdrawal record somewhere? (Unless the gent has a habit of squirreling away $150,000 under his bed?)

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  79. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    SW

    1) Banks did have to disclose the donations, but he failed to disclose he knew the donor’s identities. He got caught out on that, fair enough (to an extent), but he did (poorly) what a number of parties and politicians have done for years, try to keep a separation between what they must know to solicit donations and supposedly not knowing the actual donor identities. He was sloppy but no more corrupt than David Cunliffe or John Key or Winston Peters or their parties.

    2) It wasn’t “her husband’s company”. She was careless and not up front, she deserves criticism for that. Labour tried to dig more dirt and then cried foul when the same was done to them. Both at times looked pathetic.

    3) Banks, who you were criticising, has hardly been guilty of misusing political power, certainly no more than many other politicians.

    Of course the various cases have differences, but they add up to what most of the public will see in all this – shoddy politics. That’s bad for our democracy, especially with an election coming up.

    You may be more intent on pointing your fingers more at some than others but I think the bigger issue is the overall damage all this does, especially how National and Labour and Peters keep trying to dig and dish dirt.

    The individual cases have differences but they have issues in common making the whole caboodle looking dirty to most people who unlike you don’t try to different some as bad and others as blameless.

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  80. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    Talking about misuse of their positions what about Winston Peters and Labour MPs travelling to China at taxpayers’ expense with the apparent aim of finding dirt to dish out.

    I doubt they were researching immigration policy.

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  81. SW (240 comments) says:

    Lots of words and pointless disagreement, so little substance.
    1) I know that, sorry for imprecise language on a blog. Let’s just agree to disagree, but I note that none of the people you mention have been found to break the law. None are forced to resign from Parliament. None are directly relevant to Banks – different laws not breached and different facts.
    2) it’s not not her husbands company. He doesn’t own it – but it’s an acceptable turn of phrase. What I meant (as you know) is that a financial benefit to the company will inevitably be a financial benefit to him. That’s why Directors try their best to do things beneficial for ‘their’ companies….
    3) No I wasn’t, I was criticising you for labelling ‘dishonest’ someone saying Banks was guilty of corrupt behaviour. My comments were not a judgement.

    Well you are probably right, but only because the public have been woefully misinformed. I’m not saying that in the way writers from the Standard tend to do regularly. I’m saying for this particular issue the Herald appears to have run political interference on behalf of National and got the basic facts completely wrong.

    Look I expect the media to do their job and pursue scandal (Banks, Feilds, Collins, Peters, Dover Samuels etc).

    It’s not about pointing fingers at some and not others, it’s about pointing fingers at wrong doing. Not publishing alleged scandal based on unsubstantiated claims filtered by a political party and hoping the prove to be correct later. That tarnishes our whole system, and I can’t recall an appropriate counter example to this.

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  82. SW (240 comments) says:

    Please provide a link to your recent claim?

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  83. Nostalgia-NZ (5,101 comments) says:

    Putting it frankly, anybody who puts a peg in the ground on what Liu ‘most recently’ claimed in any situation is an idiot. There’s more than a hint of desperation to look to salvage anything from the claims of Liu. If this affair was, as it clearly appears, a planned political assault it was always based on stupidity. Liu cannot be trusted by any political party. I won’t be surprised if he makes allegations about who may have assisted him with his ‘allegations’ that he has now discounted as not to be true. There must be more afoot for JK to admit that he knew about the statements earlier. Liu appears to be the kind of person who seeks to hold advantages over others. He may yet explain the ludicrous situation of Williamson not only ‘helping’ him find a ‘bach’ – but also working on it. I must live in the wrong neighbourhood because there’s no MP helping out with renovations or repairs, not to people they’re unable to converse with, or at all. Sometimes I think Liu is going to circle back and open more cupboards, it’s whether he has willing ‘believers’ or alternatively sceptics that have already read his book.

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  84. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    “it’s not not her husbands company. He doesn’t own it – but it’s an acceptable turn of phrase.”

    No it’s not acceptable, it’s quite inaccurate.

    “I was criticising you for labelling ‘dishonest’ someone saying Banks was guilty of corrupt behaviour.”

    I didn’t label you as dishonest, I asked if you were being sloppy or dishonest. Banks wasn’t found guilty of corrupt behaviour. He pretended to not know donor identities by incorrectly signing his electoral return, Len Brown is likely to have known donor identities but he hid them in a trust. The former was found to be illegal, the latter was legal at the time (not any more). One was more careful with playing by the rules but neither looks to have been corrupt.

    In fact Banks came unstuck because he wouldn’t do a donor a favour so he resisted a perception of corruption.

    I’m saying for this particular issue the Herald appears to have run political interference on behalf of National and got the basic facts completely wrong.

    The Herald got basic facts wrong, yes. But you have alleged they “have run political interference on behalf of National” without providing basic facts to back up your claim (the Herald did provide some facts but got some wrong).

    Not publishing alleged scandal based on unsubstantiated claims filtered by a political party and hoping the prove to be correct later.

    And again with “filtered by a political party”. You seem to be alleging the Herald has unfairly attacked one party in biased collusion with another party. That’s a serious unsubstantiated claim against a media organisation.

    Media use politicians and parties as sources, as the Herald may have in stories about John Banks and about Judith Collins and Oravida and many others.

    To accuse that the Herald “run political interference on behalf of National” without providing any basic facts while accusing them of not providing basic facts is ironic.

    Are you running political interference on behalf of anyone?

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  85. m@tt (625 comments) says:

    “it’s not not her husbands company. He doesn’t own it – but it’s an acceptable turn of phrase.”
    No it’s not acceptable, it’s quite inaccurate.

    How ever it is phrased PG it makes no difference to the reality that Oravida shareholders will expect their directors to make full use of both their business and personal relationships for the good of the company. If you are seriously suggesting that they’d be saying to him ‘Please don’t ever allow your wife with the ministerial position to ever exert any influence to further our business interests’ then you are either totally deluded or being intentional obtuse to the point of dishonesty.

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  86. SW (240 comments) says:

    Pete George – why are you being so painful? I’m on a kiwiblog comment section expressing opinions, get a grip.

    It’s neither ‘inappropriate’ or inaccurate. It’s no more inaccurate then saying ‘DPF’s party’ when referring to National. This a blog comments section Pete, not a published article.

    Go back and read my comment, I didn’t say anything about Banks it was another poster whom you asked whether they were being sloppy or untruthful? Were you being sloppy or untruthful in your diatribe above?

    To be clear, in my view this story is clearly one that has been given to the Herald and not uncovered by investigative journalism. I don’t think that opinion is particularly controversial – just read what is publicly available Pete and ask yourself how this became a story.

    To answer your question, absolutely not. I’m in no way politically affiliated to any party. But nor am I naive, stupid or just plain dishonest.

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  87. Nostalgia-NZ (5,101 comments) says:

    ‘In fact Banks came unstuck because he wouldn’t do a donor a favour so he resisted a perception of corruption.’

    That’s absolute nonsense PG. Setting out the concerns of a donor, resident or a citizen by way of letter to the appropriate authority has no ‘perception of corruption’ at all. But the sense of abandoning them after soliciting funds in a way to keep secret their identity certainly does.

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  88. flipper (3,953 comments) says:

    This is mostly a load of nonsense because all the allegations, back and forth, up and down, and sideways, will not make a scrap of difference to Waitakere Man and the like because:

    1. They have always believed that all politicians are “crooks at heart”,

    2. This wrangling is just more of the same

    3. It is of more interest political junkies and beltway/academic type than to the great unwashed.

    4. For the past six or eight weeks donations and corporate largesse by politicians has dominated MSM and blog attention.

    5. For the Nats that was good because it deprived labour of differentiation policy oxygen.

    6. For Labour it was as trap (of their making) for young players, so to speak, and they fell for it.

    7. Yesterday, for example there was a concerted one/two by Cunliffe and Turei over poverty and the income asset gap, the latter featuring discredited Boston/Oxfam statements. That also is a load of beltway, hand wringer, rubbish.

    8. Then it was on to excessive Government borrowing over the past 7/8 years…. borrowing that was used to sustain support for the lower socio economic group. Own goal – again!

    9. And think about the timing. Yesterday Labour released a modified version of the Helen Kelly/CTU tax policy. Pity that it got buried under more Liu stories. The day before their list MPs got buried.

    10. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Liu allegations, Labour is still left with no where to go. Talk of legal action against Liu is just rubbish.

    Good morning :-)

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  89. Francis_X (147 comments) says:

    “10. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Liu allegations, Labour is still left with no where to go. Talk of legal action against Liu is just rubbish.”

    Yes they do. Straight to Court to lay a defamation case. Not only has Liu not backed up his claims of donations to Labour, but he’s now changed his story. Proving his donation to a rowing club is as far as he’s got? Really?? Nah, that dog won’t hunt. If that’s the standard, you could smear 90% of MPs for corrupt behaviour just because someone they know happened to donate to a local club.

    You have to do better than that.

    It’s quite simple. If Liu made the donations, he should back it up with bank statements.

    After all, if we demand high standards from Cunliffe to remember a letter he wrote 11 years ago, then we sure as hell can expect the same from some dodgy character making claims about something that happened 7 years ago.

    Final word; if this was a dirty trick as some are suggesting then it was clumsy and amateurish. It was bound to unravel without a “smoking gun” (evidence) All that Liu has accomplished is make himself look shonkey and people like DPF and Whale Oil supporting the unsupportable.

    Game over.

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  90. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    Good morning flipper. I hope you don’t have a dual personality.

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz/2014/06/they-call-him-flipper.html

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  91. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    Oh goody! Three months out from the election and Labour are going to lay a defamation case against one of their donors. That can only end well.

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  92. flipper (3,953 comments) says:

    Good morning to you Nookin….. :-)
    I am not sure….but you might be surprised by the standing of the person who gave me the nick name.
    En passant, I am thinking of “suing” the cartoonist for breech of “copy right” in the same way that Francis (below) thinks Cunners could go to Court over Liu, et al
    ****

    Francis_X (148 comments) says:

    June 26th, 2014 at 8:58 am

    “10. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Liu allegations, Labour is still left with no where to go. Talk of legal action against Liu is just rubbish.”

    Yes they do. Straight to Court to lay a defamation case.

    *****

    Think again Francis.
    How long will it take to bring any case to Court? If you think Liu is an impecunious soul, then you are delusional.

    It is not a cheap exercise Francis.
    The way I read this Cunners is going to need every dollar he can muster to fight a campaign to save him and Labour from oblivion.
    But yes, they could go to Court. But then there are the consequences…. Ex parte orders would be unlikely, given the highly charged issue …. distant court calendar dates, undertakings as to costs, discovery…… media attention diverted on to an issue that labour would like to shut down – yesterday. Need I go on ?

    In the meantime a little bravado helps with the media. It produces the sort of rubbish that Small writes in the Dom Post. :-)

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