John Banks has just been found guilty of signing an incorrect donation return, and there is now evidence that Labour’s 2007 donation return was incomplete.
The Herald reports:
Millionaire businessman Donghua Liu has confirmed for the first time that he donated to the Labour Party.
The 53-year-old has been at the centre of political scandals involving National and Labour for months but yesterday broke his silence to say he had given “equally to Governments of both colours”.
National declared a $22,000 donation in 2012, but Labour found no records of Liu donations after the Herald revealed that he paid $15,000 for a book at an auction fundraiser in 2007.
Unless the donations were under $10,000 (and no one is seriously suggesting that) they had to be declared – either under his name, or bundled up as part of someone else’s donation (a practive illegal today, but allowed in 2007).
However Labour say they have no record at all of any donation. That suggests a serious issue. Who was the money paid to? Was it in cash or cheque? Why was it not passed to Labour Head Office? Where did it end up.
The Police need to investigate and have those questions answered.
But Liu said he would not make any further comments about political donations or swear an affidavit outlining dollar amounts.
He denied allegations from former Labour Party minister Rick Barker that he was “drip feeding” information about his links to Labour.
Mr Barker, who was a guest of Liu at a lavish dinner on a Yangtze River cruise, had challenged the wealthy businessman to go public about allegations of donations to the party.
“It’s important to remember that over the years I’ve given equally to Governments of both colours,” said Liu. “As a private citizen it’s not for me to make declarations about donations and political relationships.”
That’s not good enough, when the donations have not been disclosed. The Police should interview Mr Liu and ask him how much he donated, and who he gave the money to. Then that person or persons need to explain where the money went.
I believe Labour Head Office when they say they have no record of the donation. But it must have gone to someone. Who?