Proof of a Liu donation to Labour

June 18th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A Cabinet Minister presented a bottle of wine to the partner of businessman at a fundraiser for the party.

The Herald has obtained a photograph of Rick Barker with Juan Zhang, who has two children with Liu, after he won an auction for the bottle at an Auckland restaurant in June 2007.

It is not known how much Liu paid for the wine – believed to be signed by then-Prime Minister Helen Clark – and Mr Barker said he presented auction prizes several times at Labour fundraisers.

He was the Minister for Internal Affairs at the time, and visited Liu in his hometown of Chongqing in China earlier that year, although he did not know Liu was a donor to Labour.

How can you say you did not know he was a donor, if you presented the bottle of wine to his partner?

Two sources have told the Herald that Liu paid $15,000 at an auction in 2007 for a book signed by Helen Clark.

Labour general secretary Tim Barnett said a check of the party’s records showed no donation from Liu under his name.

However, he said it was possible he made donations at the local electorate level and had not been recorded by the party’s central administration.

That’s no excuse. The party is responsible for its electorates. National asks its electorates to notify it of any donations above the disclosure limits, and I am sure Labour does the same.

The question remains is who banked the $15,000, which account did it go into and why was it not disclosed – or alternatively whose name was it disclosed under.

Mr Barker, now a regional councillor in Hawkes Bay, said he was a guest of Liu at the dinner in Chongqing and visited his cement company while on holiday in China. But he had not known Liu was a Labour donor and he was not in China on official business as a minister.

“I went to China to catch up with some friends of mine, see some sights … and I made a side trip to Chongqing – I had not been to the city before.

So who paid for the side trip? If Liu paid, and the cost was over $500, it should have been declared on the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said yesterday he had nothing to do with the granting of Liu’s residency which occurred before he became Immigration Minister in 2006.

So Cunliffe is saying nothing at all to do with him.

This brings us back to the bottle of wine, that it is now proven that Liu paid for at a fundraising auction. If he paid more than $10,000 for the bottle of wine, that is a donation that also had to be declared by Labour. So how much did he pay for the bottle of wine? Surely someone in Labour knows. Was it $200? $400? $700? $1,500 or greater?

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41 Responses to “Proof of a Liu donation to Labour”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    So Cunliffe is saying nothing at all to do with him.

    Well, we are talking about something that happened three Labour Leaders ago :-)

    Any evidence of how the apparent $50k donation for John Key’s tie was declared back in 2007?

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  2. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    So … accountability dissolves when the leader changes – thanks for clearing that up Graeme.

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  3. Dead Earnest (160 comments) says:

    $10,000 dollars for a book signed by Helen Clark!. Send for the men in the White Coats!

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  4. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    I gotta be honest. I couldn’t give a shit about any of this.

    Its funny to point out what lying, hypocritical scumbags labour are.. but that’s about it

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  5. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    The minion never ceases to work for his master.

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  6. tom hunter (4,852 comments) says:

    Did someone say bottle of wine?:

    New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell says he will resign owing to a “massive memory fail” when giving evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Tuesday.

    Mr O’Farrell denied receiving a $3,000 bottle of wine in 2011 from Australian Water Holdings (AWH) executive Nick Di Girolamo.

    The Premier also said he had no recollection of a 28-second call made from his phone to Mr Di Girolamo around the time he was allegedly sent the wine.

    On Wednesday morning, ICAC heard that a handwritten note from Mr O’Farrell, thanking Mr Di Girolamo for the wine, had been uncovered.

    Soon after Mr O’Farrell called a media conference in which he announced his decision to step down.

    I’m with Dime on this in that I don’t give shit about the methods, the people or the money – it’s just fun to watch the wriggling, excuses, apologetics and so forth.

    Go Labour!

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  7. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    Dime

    Laura McQuillan’s tweet on the left here sums it up :

    ” Cunliffe’s blaming the govt for National axing superannuation in the 70s, but says Liu (during his time as a minister) was “before my watch”

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  8. Julian (177 comments) says:

    It was fantastic watching Cunliffe claim it was nothing to do with him and to ‘take it up with the Labour Party’ on TV the other night. Imagine how shrill the socialist screams would have been if Key said something as patronising and stupid as that.

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  9. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    Any evidence of how the apparent $50k donation for John Key’s tie was declared back in 2007?

    Now we have lawyers saying – others did it too. The left are so f##king self serving it’s a disgrace. Tell me Graeme, as a lawyer, what are my chances of getting off a speeding ticket by saying ‘What about the other guy speeding ?’

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  10. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    So … accountability dissolves when the leader changes – thanks for clearing that up Graeme.

    No. Accountability stays. That’s the issue. The person who was supposed to declare the donation is still accountable if it turns out it wasn’t disclosed (although they can’t be charged any more).

    Our political media have just been with John Key to visit Helen Clark. Did anyone ask her? Mike Williams was Labour Party President at the time. He is frequently on the Radio, indeed he was on Radio New Zealand on Monday, was he asked? Mike Smith is still a public figure, as Party Secretary at the time, he was responsible for actually making the declaration. Has anyone asked him?

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  11. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    “I went to China to catch up with some friends of mine, see some sights … and I made a side trip to Chongqing – I had not been to the city before.

    I still can’t get past this comment, which has been reported twice now.

    He went to a city no one has probably ever heard of in China just a few months before Labour received a $15,000 donation from the same man he visited in said “irrelevant” Chinese city and claims he went there to “see some sights”. Excuse me, but when I went to China, I went to Shanghai and Xian (home of the Terracotta warriors), and visited a mate up in the north. Going to Chongqing NEVER entered my head as I doubt anyone has ever heard of the place, and I further doubt it has any “sights” worth seeing. Come on Jared, ask him this: “What sights did you see in Chongqing”?

    I am seriously calling BS on this statement by Barker.

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  12. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    I agree NK. Although Chongqing is one of the largest cities in the world by population there is zero reason for a tourist to go there (and barely any excuse for a Westerner doing business).

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  13. Julian (177 comments) says:

    Graeme – the accountability sits with the party doesn’t it? Not a particular individual. Honest question.

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  14. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Tell me Graeme, as a lawyer, what are my chances of getting off a speeding ticket by saying ‘What about the other guy speeding ?’

    Low. But that’s not the analogy. A better analogy might be: why on earth are you asking me about speeding, when the person you think was speeding wasn’t just the previous owner of this car, nor the person who owned the car before them, but was the person who owned the car before them, and it was 7 years ago?

    I happen to think that it’s likely that no-one in Labour and no-one in National has broken the law over these rather similar donations. I know that even if they have, it’s too late to do anything.

    My point about raising the very similar 2007 donation to National is not that it makes what Labour maybe has done, right? It’s to ask why one is news and the other isn’t.

    In effect, its the reverse of your comment. I’m not trying to absolve Labour by raising it. I’m asking why National aren’t being talked about for the same thing.

    But, like I’ve said several times in several places, I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest to me that either National or Labour broke what were very loose laws in 2007.

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  15. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    Can someone explain what this is all about? Obviously there is a reason we are supposed to care about whether or not a donation was made to Labour 7 years ago. But with the Nats 20 points clear of Labour in the polls, I just don’t get why they want to dredge this up now. It might make sense if the poll results were reversed and National were looking down the barrel of defeat at the election, but that ain’t going to happen.

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  16. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Cunliffe seems to forget National didn’t change super on its own. We voted them in to do just that. They had the mandate. It was what Kiwis wanted but perhaps we aren’t allowed to think differently from the Labour rewriting of history.

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  17. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Graeme – the accountability sits with the party doesn’t it? Not a particular individual. Honest question.

    No, DPF and I have both long argued that accountability should sit with the party, but it doesn’t. All the accountability rests on the party secretary. For many minor parties, this is an unpaid position.

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  18. Dave_1924 (116 comments) says:

    Reasons to visit? Maybe to see how a real Socialist, Bo Xilai, runs a large population like Chongqing and makes money doing it /HUMOUR

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  19. Julian (177 comments) says:

    Thanks – that makes a big difference, especially the unpaid part.

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  20. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Nick R
    Like many here I couldn’t care less about fundraising for parties but this achieves two things. It totally spikes the National in bed with rich Chinese campaign and it makes Cunliffe look a hypocrite and a liar.

    I love it that John Key has insisted on rigorous declarations. Go to any National electorate meeting and you see exactly how scrupulous they are.

    It looks as though the Helen Clark book was a secret donation – undeclared, un acknowledged and conveniently forgotten.

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  21. CJPhoto (221 comments) says:

    I have traveled very extensively and I must say, I have never vistited a concrete factory!

    To say this wasn’t in his official capacity also has to be a lie as he states he didn’t know the guy.

    So a random person asks you to visit a concrete factory and dinner, in a different city to where you are and you accept?

    I call BS on this.

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  22. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Thanks – that makes a big difference, especially the unpaid part.

    It’s paid in Labour and National. But it always seems a little unfair that the person who might carry the can for Winston’s troubles was someone in a retirement village in Tauranga who didn’t actually run anything.

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  23. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    The question remains is who banked the $15,000, which account did it go into and why was it not disclosed – or alternatively whose name was it disclosed under.

    Where is the proof, other than gossip, that there was such a payment? If you don’t know these details, then how do you know there is any truth to either of the claims?

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  24. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    Graeme

    If that person didn’t actually run anything then they are a fool for signing things they had no control over. But let me guess, ignorance is an excuse when it’s done to help politicians ?

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  25. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    It totally spikes the National in bed with rich Chinese campaign and it makes Cunliffe look a hypocrite and a liar.

    Fair enough. Although from where I am sitting, that doesn’t seem to be hurting National at all.

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  26. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    100,000 Dollars

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  27. ross001 (213 comments) says:

    Well, we are talking about something that happened three Labour Leaders ago :-)

    Yes, I’m surprised David Farrar isn’t berating John Key for Rob Muldoon’s many sins…including scrapping a wonderful superannuation scheme.

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  28. ross001 (213 comments) says:

    But with the Nats 20 points clear of Labour in the polls, I just don’t get why they want to dredge this up now.

    Because whilst that might be relevant under FPP, the Nats’ lead is irrelevant under MMP, and it is clear that the Nats are scared of losing. Why else would 15 National MPs, including the odd senior Minister, call it quits?

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  29. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    So why are the MSM not jumping all over this? Where is Patrick Gower foaming at the mouth with faux righteous indignation? Where is John ‘advocacy’ Campbell fulminating from his bully pulpit? Where is Andrew Little with his demands for an inquiry? Why are the Electoral Commission not looking into this? Why is Crown Law not actively involved, after all it was Crown Law that pursued John Banks.

    I smell double standards. The scent of hypocrisy drifts across the Wellington beltway. The doughty Fourth Estate are nowhere to be seen.

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  30. ross001 (213 comments) says:

    So why are the MSM not jumping all over this?

    Perhaps because it’s a non-story. Who would’ve thought!

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  31. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    Very interesting indeed, and, because it involves ‘corruption’, inevitably begs the question:

    Where is our favourite (albeit, self proclaimed) ‘Campaigner against Corruption’? Where is the lady who trumpets loudly at even the slightest whiff of such an occurrence (well so she would have us believe)? Where indeed?

    PENELOPE BRIGHT, come in please, your country needs you, because there is corruption afoot, it’s getting murkier, you simply HAVE to investigate, for the good of all humanity (well, at least for the good people of New Zealand).

    Yet, I do find it really most odd. Here she is presented with an almost ‘heaven sent’ opportunity to investigate some ‘actual, factual, genuine’ corruption, and yet Ms Bright, P, is no-where to be seen (or heard). The silence from one who is normally highly vocal about how determined she is to expose such a matter to the light, is absolutely deafening…..

    This couldn’t be because it involves the New Zealand Labour Party by any chance could it? Surely not; it couldn’t be, never, never, never…

    Say it isn’t so, Penelope, oh say it isn’t so; tell us that your ‘crusade’ against corruption ISN’T only against those who are members of the New Zealand National Party and ACT, and that, true to your role as an ‘Anti-Corruption Campaigner’ you will undertake a full and impartial investigation into the allegations made against the New Zealand Labour Party, and that yes, should you find such evidence, you will valiantly take the guilty ones to the High Court and prosecute them to the fullest extent of your powers (and with whatever money is left after your house is sold for non-payment of rates).

    Tell us Penelope that that is what you will do, tell us; your Kiwiblog audience NEEDS to be reassured…

    Because if you don’t M’Dear, we will all draw the inevitable and logical conclusion….

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  32. goldnkiwi (1,304 comments) says:

    So has anyone asked Liu, I am sure he remembers and can relate any and all such circumstances.

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  33. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Don’t be too surprised. This is the same system that allowed Darren Hughes to flee justice.

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  34. Dirty Rat (383 comments) says:

    Question is

    Since when is purchasing something at an auction a donation ?

    Simple exchange of goods for consideration, not an exchange of cash for no obligation (except for fast tracking citizenship)

    That would obvious……

    And at Auction, is it an arms length transaction ? …which should have been your question, because this is not a donation

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  35. AJP (20 comments) says:

    @ross001

    Maybe it’s not such a non-story afterall, especially when Cunliffe remembers the lteer he wrote on behalf of Lui to NZ Immigration officials

    Just saying….

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  36. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Did Barker receive the money in a plain brown envelope ?
    Where did it go then ?

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  37. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11276510

    Oh dear.

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  38. goldnkiwi (1,304 comments) says:

    Such fun ;)

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  39. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    Cunliffe helped Liu buy a bach next to his own in the coromandel. Cunliffe even help Liu with painting his bach.

    Labour helped liu get residency, Cunliffe wrote letters for liu.

    Yet, Cunliffe maintains he hardly knows the man?

    Cunliffes actions suggest that he and Liu are best mates.

    Something just not adding up in my mind.

    Labour will definitely lose the election if Cunliffe does not resign.

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  40. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    Cunliffe helped Liu buy a bach next to his own in the coromandel. Cunliffe even help Liu with painting his bach.

    I think you’ll find that was Maurice Williamson.

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  41. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Cunliffe helped an old friend buy a bach somewhere, not Liu. I think that friend was one of his donors to hist leadership trust.

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