The Herald reports:
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?