The Herald reports:
A former Labour Minister intervened three times in the immigration bid of Donghua Liu including waiving the English language requirement for the millionaire businessman.
Damien O’Connor, in his role as the associate Immigration Minister, wrote three letters to Liu’s advisor Warren Kyd – the former National Party MP – before deciding to grant residency against the advice of officials the day before the 2005 election.
This is highly unusual timing. Why would you make the decision the day before the election? Most Mnisters will only make the most urgent of decisions once the election campaign is on, and Parliament has risen.
Even more unusual is that Damien O’Connor was fighting for his political life is a marginal seat. To take time out from campaigning the day before the election, and instead doing non-urgent ministerial work is very odd.
The West Coast MP has said he cannot remember why he granted residency to the businessman whose links to both National and Labour have created political waves this year.
Surely he remembers a case so compelling that he felt he had to make the decision on what could have been his last day as the Minister.