Steve Braunias in fine form:
I want to make it perfectly clear that I have never had any dealings with Donghua Liu.
I wouldn’t know him if I fell over him. If I did fall over him, I’d help him to his feet, and say to him, “How do you do? I’m David Cunliffe, the leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. You look familiar. Are you Chinese?” …
I want to make it perfectly clear that my dealings with Donghua Liu were a long time ago. It was before email. It was before the fax machine. Remember the fax machine? The paper always ran out, and it made that horrible shrieking noise whenever you dialled a number. I’m passionate about noise pollution and I’ll go on record now and say that a Labour Government won’t tolerate a return to the fax machine.
The letter I wrote to immigration officials on Mr Liu’s behalf in 2003 has nothing in common with the letter Maurice Williamson wrote to police on Mr Liu’s behalf. Maurice Williamson was interfering. I was merely putting in a good word for a guy who always had a friendly, open smile.
He’d wave out whenever I saw him, and I’d say, “How’s it, Mr Liu?” And he’d say, “Mate, call me Dong.”
The Dong I knew had an insatiable appetite for New Zealand literature. He wanted Helen Clark’s biography so badly that he paid $15,000 for it.
So on the mark.