Jones admits he was not sure of Liu true identity

May 23rd, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

First an easy rebuttal of Jones claim that he was told Liu would be executed if he went to China. The ODT reported:

The department’s case officer, Johannes Gambo, told the court Yan boasted that he had politician friends who would ensure he was granted citizenship.

When told he would not receive citizenship, Yan said he was 99 per cent sure he would, according to Mr Gambo.

“He said he had a lot of support from members of Parliament … he was going to take them to China.”

Do you really think he would be planning to take his MP mates to China, if he was at risk of being executed and organ harvested?

Also an amazing concession by Shane Jones, as reported by Stuff:

Labour MP Shane Jones knew there were serious questions over the true identity of Chinese millionaire Yong Ming Yan when he gave him a New Zealand passport. …

Mr Jones admitted he knew there were questions about Yan’s identity. “I certainly know that there was a live issue as to whether or not this man is who he says he was … there was always a mystery … Those were allegations.”

So Jones has said that he was not sure that Liu or Yan was who he claimed he was, yet he still gave him citizenship!!

I can’t think of another non third world country where the Minister grants citizenship to someone on the urging of his mates, despite not even knowing if that is the person’s real identity.

The papers about this case are on the Investigate site and worth a read. Some salient points:

  • Nowhere at all in the papers is there any mention at all of fearing of going back to China. It is all about how much he has invested in NZ. So the reasons Jones says he made his decision on are not even in the official papers. It is all this mystery official’s verbal briefing!
  • The fraud charges in China are for NZ$2.7m
  • The papers clearly state he is entitled to reside indefinitely in NZ in terms of the Immigration Act, so this was NOT an issue about whether or not he might be deported to China. That is a total red herring.
  • According to the Chinese Government he stole another person’s identity in 1999 by falsely registering their birth, and used this to obtain two false passports. He stole the identity of Yang Liu.
  • The papers refer to Liu claiming he has worked to develop trade and good relations between China and NZ, including involvement in formalising agricultural agreements. Does this sound like someone terrified of China, and who fled because he was facing persecution?
  • The papers also refer specifically to humanitarian considerations and does not detail any applicable in this case.
  • The letter from Dover Samuels fails to disclose Liu donated to him.
  • Strangely the Samuels letter says Liu deeply respects NZ’s anti nuclear policy. God knows what that has to do with anything, unless it is code for being a Labour Party donor.
  • The papers make it clear that Rick Barker was the Minister initially dealing with this issue.  He must have recused himself only after a very late stage. Recall that Labour fundraiser Shane Te Pou took Liu down to meet Barker.
  • A follow up letter from Samuels borders on the hysterical and accuses the officials of subjecting Liu to “mental torture”, and that his treatment is not the mark of a civilised country. Samuels seems to think citizenship for migrants is a right, not a privilege.
  • Pansy Wong’s letter of support refers to the Immigration Minister not revoking Liu’s residency, and citing this as grounds for citizenship. So Cunliffe’s decision not to follow the advice of his officials, is then used to advocate for Liu to get special treatment from Jones, against official advice again.
  • Wong’s letter was just addressed to DIA, and did not in fact advocate what the decision should be, just that they should commence consideration and take account of his community contributions. I find that quite different to Samuels who directly advocated the outcome to the Minister in the strongest possible terms.
  • Chris Carter’s letter, like Pansy Wong’s, cites Liu’s contributions but does not call for a particular decision and is a general reference, not an advocacy letter direct to the Minister. I find no fault with Carter or Wong, except that they would both have been wise to have declared Liu had donated to them campaigns.

I suggest people read the full file. There are parts redacted but hopefully after the court case they will become public also.

A great cartoon by Hubbard Emmerson.

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Wong wronged

September 6th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Andrea Vance reports at Stuff:

The husband of disgraced former minister Pansy Wong wrongly claimed more than $2000 of taxpayers’ money for private business trips, a watchdog has ruled.

A report ordered by Speaker Lockwood Smith last year found the couple had abused the MP’s travel perk on one occasion, in December 2008, and forced them to pay back almost $500. Wong resigned as Botany MP in December.

But, Auditor General Lyn Provost said another trip – in  June 2008  to China’s Lianyungang province – was for “private business purposes” and Sammy Wong should not have asked for a rebate.

However, Provost said her investigations found there was ”no pattern of wrong doing” by the couple “or of extensive business activity linked with overseas travel”.

Wong said she welcomed the report because it found they had not “intentionally abused the system”.

She denied her husband meant to mislead the first inquiry.

In a statement she said: “At the November 2010 inquiry, Sammy Wong contacted the company in Lianyungang, China, to ascertain the dates that he visited there. He received a list detailing trips he had made and the June 2008 trip was not on it.  None of the trips listed involved any parliamentary travel rebates. He accepted the external confirmation in good faith and had no intention to mislead any inquiry.”

Wong added: “I hope the findings of the Office of the Auditor General and my actions taken demonstrate that accountability was accepted and any mistake made was unintentional.”

While in no way condoning the claiming for two trips which were ineligible, I would note Pansy has paid a very high price for just $2,000 of wrong claims. Many other MPs were found to have inappropriately charged more than that to credit cards etc, and they got away with just paying it back.

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Sammy Wong

April 14th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

John Hartevelt reports:

Claims that the husband of a former Cabinet minister misused thousands of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded international travel are being investigated by the auditor-general.

Good. I have faith in that office to do a sound job, and check that any travel was within the rules.

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A valedictory and a maiden

December 15th, 2010 at 7:01 am by David Farrar

I can’t recall the last time Parliament had a maiden speech and a valedictory speech on the same day. First NZPA report on the valedictory of Pansy Wong:

“It was beyond my wildest dreams when, 14 years ago, a girl born in Shanghai who grew up in a Hong Kong apartment where eight families shared a kitchen and bathroom, made an historic maiden speech in Parliament,” she said. …

“My political career has been an all-consuming one,” she said.

“It would not have been possible without my husband Sammy’s unrelenting support. As a consequence, his business interests were severely curtailed.”

“The playing field is far from being equal, but anything is possible if one works hard for it…nowadays it is accepted that Asian New Zealanders can succeed in the highest office.”

“It is time to turn a page in my life’s journey, to focus on personal and family priorities.

“The journey has been a remarkable one and it is time for me to exit political life.

“Sammy, I am coming home.”

I’m personally very sad to see Pansy go in these circumstances. I’ve known her since 1996, and she has always been delightfully cheerful and down to earth – has never let being an MP go to her head.

Pansy used to live in my apartment block so when I worked at Parliament, I’d sometimes get a lift in with her. We used to joke about the ghost of Muldoon haunting our apartment block (he used to live here also).

I was also the regional liasion to the Wellington Asian Committee for a couple of years, when I was Regional Deputy Chair. They were a powerhouse wheb it came to organising events and functions. It was always amusing as they planned a function and went around the committee, asking people how many tickets to a yum cha or the like they could sell for say $50 each. Most people would commit to selling 30 – 50 places each. Pansy would often take on responsibility for 100 places, and then when it came to me, I would sheeplishly commit to two tickets!

I often reflected that the only thing more surreal than me being the regional liasion to the Asian Committee, was that I also was regional liasion to the women’s committee also :-)

So a sad farewell to Pansy, with the contrast being the maiden speech of Mana MP Kris Faafoi:

This is not the first time I have spoken in the House of Representatives.

In 1994 as a spirited 18 year old Jim Anderton chose me as his Youth MP.

That September day I arrived not realising I had to give a speech.

Flustered and nervous I scrambled to write something on the spot.

I also recall a young – well spoken – ginger headed Youth MP from up the line.

He spoke enthusiastically and seemed comfortable in his surroundings.

16 years on Darren nothing has changed!

Some say Darren is still a Youth MP :-)

I didn’t know Kris had been a Youth MP. Knowing this, his switch from journalism to politics is more logical.

Can I take this opportunity to also acknowledge the other candidates in the recent by-election.

In particular I would like to acknowledge the Honourable Hekia Parata and Jan Logie.

On the whole the mood on the hustings was genuinely friendly.

Mana is one of the few electorates where spontaneous Pacific Island dancing is not an uncommon happening at campaign events.

I’m sure we are all glad my former TV colleagues did not make it to many of those.

Heh.

Dad – I don’t know how you did it – but when I went hunting through your Wairarapa College yearbook and noticed your nickname was Romeo – it sounds like you did OK.

My mother Metita – left as part of a repatriation scheme – she didn’t know she was leaving Tokelau until the day she left.

They departed their homeland as 16 year olds – they left behind their loved ones, their culture, their religion to seek a better life in New Zealand.

Through hard work and sacrifice – and some help from the state – they toiled to make sure their hard work counted for something.

My parents wanted to ensure their three sons and daughter were raised as New Zealanders – they also wanted us to hold on to the important aspects of their way of life from the Pacific.

One reason I always like maiden speeches, is they are a reminder of the families behind an MP, and the incredible sacrifices parents make for their children.

Last week I got a letter of congratulations from Ward Clarke – my High School Principal.

I have two vivid memories of Mr Clark.

He espoused the value of the afternoon nap.

And each year he delivered us this quote from William Penn which inspired me and which I would like to share as I come to an end -.

I expect to pass through life but once.

If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.

A very nice touching speech. Well done Kris.

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Pansy gone

December 14th, 2010 at 10:51 am by David Farrar

At a 10.30 am press conference Pansy Wong announced she is resigning effective 17 January 2011. She will not take any pay from 20 December.

This means a by-election, probably in late February 2011.

Pansy, subject to leave, will make her valedictory speech to the House this afternoon.

Pansy won the seat with a 10,872 majority. Even with the traditional swing against the Government, I can’t see it swapping hands. In fact the challenge for Labour may be to come second – in 2008 their candidate got only 21% of the vote and ACT’s Kenneth Wang got 15%.

UPDATE: John Key has announced by-election dates of Sat 5 March for the ballot. Nominations will close Tue 8 Feb.

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The Pansy investigation

November 28th, 2010 at 12:31 pm by David Farrar

Jonathan Marshall reports in the SST:

EMBATTLED MP Pansy Wong has been “interrogated” by officials over allegations of travel perk misuse.

The National MP and former minister is under investigation by Parliamentary Services after admitting travelling to China with her husband using a travel perk that entitled her to a 90% discount. Rules state the perk can only be used for private travel but her husband, Sammy, conducted business while there.

All of Wong’s travel, including 10 trips taken while a minister in the current administration, are under review.

Last week Wong was hauled into an “interrogation” by investigators, a source close to the inquiry said.

“Pansy was spoken to and it is expected the results will be ready within a few days,” the source said.

Good. Decisions should be made on the basis of a thorough investigation and the facts as they are revealed.

There are generally seven outcomes from MP “misbehaviour”. In rough order they are:

  1. No action taken at all
  2. Money is repaid, but no other action – various Ministers and former Ministers who had minor inappropriate spending
  3. A formal reprimand or warning – Phil Heatley
  4. A demotion but no loss of pay – Chris Carter, demoted from front bench to second bench over his perks
  5. Sacking/forced resignation from a role which results in loss of pay – sacked from Cabinet, or as Deputy Speaker etc
  6. Suspended or expelled from Caucus
  7. Criminal charges laid

No 5 has already happened. What we don’t know is whether the facts support No 6 or No 7 occuring. No 7 will not be a decision for the Government, it will ultimately be a matter for the Police of the SFO.

No 6 will be a matter for the party caucus. It is generally used over issues of party loyalty – Chris Carter for example was not suspended over his use of perks – he was suspended for his letter to the press gallery. Even Taito Philip Field was not suspended for his corrupt behaviour – he was suspended/expelled for saying he might stand against Labour.

It is possible No 6 could happen if Caucus felt that the report is so damning that Pansy should resign immediately from Parliament. However the view might be that having a by-election in election year is a waste of money, if (for example) Pansy indicates she will be retiring at the election anyway.

It is good the report is likely to be complete soon, as that will then allow judgement and decisions to be made.

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Arguably the most hypocritical statement of the decade

November 23rd, 2010 at 4:27 pm by David Farrar

Just when I thought their collective amnesia and rewriting of history could not get worse, Phil Goff hits a new record.

Here is the NZPA story:

Prime Minister John Key should stop protecting former minister Pansy Wong and sack her after she misused MPs travel perks, Labour leader Phil Goff says. …

“She is aware of when she broke the rules and how often she broke the rules. It doesn’t need a speaker’s inquiry to confirm that.” …

“I just remember the constant attention that was given to Chris Carter. No excuses for Carter. I never made any. Excuses are being made for Wong,” he said.

“Other MPs have been prosecuted criminally for doing what she has done. She is still there as an MP, she ought not to be.”

When asked about leniency for former Labour Minister Taito Phillip Field, who is in jail for misusing his position, Mr Goff said that case needed to be determined in court.

“He was prosecuted. He was booted out of the Labour Party and I say there is enough evidence that the same should happen to Pansy Wong.”

So Phil Goff is demanding Pansy be booted out of Parliament without even any sort of report or inquiry. Further down we will look at Labour’s record on this, but let us put things in perspective. Pansy claimed a perk she should not have. For doing so she was immediately sacked from Cabinet.

Numerous Ministers in the last Government had the taxpayer pay for things, which they were not entitled to. We paid for Shane Jones’ porn, amongst other things. None of those former Ministers have quit Parliament over it. Even Chris Carter was merely demoted from the front bench to the second bench. That was in fact a pathetic punishment.

But let us look at our friend Taito Philip Field. Did Labour sack him without even waiting for an inquiry? No, they did not. Here is what they did.

  1. Refuse to sack him when allegations arose before election
  2. Refuse to have an inquiry before the election
  3. Defend Field as being only guilty of helping his constituents
  4. After election announce an inquiry with no powers
  5. When inquiry finally reports (six months later – and Goff is complaining about a two week wait) it details dozens of abuses, lies and the like from Field.
  6. Amazingly Labour still defends Field, with Cullen saying he is only guilty of working harder for his constituents than National MPs
  7. Also Clark holds out the possibility that Field could return to the Ministry, despite the abuses listed in the report.
  8. And Labour at no stage move to evict Field from caucus for his criminal behaviour and multiple abuses. They only kicked him out when he publicly mused that he could stand for another party, if not re-selected.

So Goff’s hypocrisy is simply staggering. In Government they defended a corrupt MP, even after a damning report highlighted his abuses. In Opposition, they are demanding Pansy be sacked from Parliament without even waiting for any sort of report.

Let me be clear – if the report by the Parliamentary Service concludes criminal behaviour has been involved, then the Police should prosecute. Even if no criminal behaviour is involved, what emerges from the report may be serious enough that Pansy is not re-selected as a candidate, or even is expelled from Caucus. But those decisions can not be made without knowing the facts.

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Wong’s future

November 14th, 2010 at 8:20 am by David Farrar

The Herald on Sunday reports:

The political future of Pansy Wong was looking dire last night as it emerged that her husband Sammy may have got taxpayer discounts for business travel after booking his trips through her office.

To be blunt, there is no political future. The only issue is a matter of timing. I can’t imagine Pansy will want to continue on as an MP after this, as her chances of returning to the Ministry are pretty non existent.

So really it is just a matter of whether she will retire at the next election as MP for Botany, or if she will resign before 27 May (triggering a by-election). Botany has an almost 11,000 vote majority, so there is likely to be considerable interest in the National nomination.

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Pansy resigns, but will she be prosecuted?

November 12th, 2010 at 3:05 pm by David Farrar

Pansy Wong has resigned as a Cabinet Minister:

“It is beyond my wildest dreams that a baby girl born in Shanghai, China, grew up in a Hong Kong apartment where eight families shared a single kitchen and bathroom to be New Zealand’s first List M.P., first constituent M.P. of Botany and first Cabinet Minister of Chinese and Asian ethnicity,” says Pansy Wong.

“That dream is not mine alone and it comes with expectation, responsibility and hope. I have tried every single day to keep that dream alive and nothing should happen to dash that dream.

“That dream can only be kept alive by living up to the high standard set by the Prime Minister and myself.  Therefore I have given my resignation as a Cabinet Minister to the Prime Minister.

Those of us who live in the country were were born in, probably can’t appreciate what an incredible feeling it must be to not just move to another country to live, but to be able to be elected to that country’s Parliament, let alone become a Minister of the Crown.

It is a sad ending to a career which give inspiration and aspiration to many “new” New Zealanders.

But resignation and paying it back may not be the end of the matter. In 1999 former Labour MP David Butcher was convicted of fraud for claiming trips off the ex MPs travel perk, when the travel was for work purposes.

Now the situations may not be identical. Until the facts are known, one can’t conclude whether or not there may be issues of criminality involved. The Parliamentary Service is doing a full investigation of all previous uses of the travel subsidy by Pansy, and once that investigation is done, they will presumably make a decision as to whether to refer it to the Police or not.

Labour’s initial focus on what title Pansy used while witnessing a document was misguided, but sometimes you get lucky and raising the issue got the media asking about who paid for the travel. Labour will be pleased with the outcome – a scalp is a scalp.

Most Nats will be pleased that, as usual, John Key has acted quickly and shown he is holding Ministers to far higher levels than ever before. Hell previously one wouldn’t even know what a Minister’s expenses were.

The focus will also go on who will replace Pansy as a Minister.  This assumes that the PM won’t use the opportunity to reduce the size of the Executive.

Either Nathan Guy will be promoted from outside Cabinet to inside Cabinet or a new Minister will be appointed direct to Cabinet.

Chris Tremain and Craig Foss must remain the front runners to become the new Minister. However if the PM wanted to shake up the Mana by-election, he could appoint Hekia Parata. That would not go down too well with the class of 2005, but would allow National to say to the voters of Mana they have a chance to get a Cabinet Minister advocating for them. It would be a gamble..

The other issue is what happens to Pansy’s portfolios of Ethnic Affairs and Women’s Affairs. If Hekia was the new Minister they could go to her, but not sure either Craig or Chris would be wanting those portfolios. Georgina te Heuheu could well pick up Ethnic Affairs. Women’s Affairs could go to Judith Collins, Georgina or Kate Wilkinson. I doubt they’ll want to distract Anne Tolley or Paula Bennett from their major portfolios.

The Associate portfolios of ACC, Disability Issues and Energy could well go to the new Minister. They would also need a primary portfolio, so one of the Ministers outside Cabinet could end up handing over Stats or Senior Citizens perhaps.

I await the iPredict stocks on the issue!

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Is it still a holiday if you do a deal on it?

November 12th, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

A National minister used her taxpayer-funded travel perk for a trip to China with her husband where he did a business deal that later turned sour.

Ethnic Affairs Minister Pansy Wong has been under fire since it was revealed she signed herself “Minister of NZ Govt”, and her address as “Parliament Buildings, Wellington NZ”, when she witnessed a contract between Pacific Hovercraft NZ and China-based Lianyungang Supreme Hovercraft during her trip to China in January last year.

A spokesman for Prime Minister John Key confirmed last night that his office was looking into the use of Mrs Wong’s travel subsidy.

Parliament’s rules expressly forbid MPs from using their private travel perk to pursue their own or their spouse’s private business interests.

But Mrs Wong’s office insisted last night that the purpose of the trip to China was a holiday. …

There was no issue with either of them using the perk as they were on holiday, she said. While business documents were signed during the trip, “that wasn’t the aim of their holiday”.

I think the Minister may be on shaky ground here. The aim of a trip is subjective. Whether or not business was done on a trip is objective, and it seems clear there was.

Now one can argue about whether or not one business deal as part of a trip that is mainly holiday, turns it into a business trip. What if the business only took up 5% of the holiday? Or 10%?

But in reality I think that doing any business on a trip (unless utterly trivial such as signing some documents faxed to your hotel) will render the trip ineligible for use of the travel perk.

I don’t know the precise details on this issue, but my gut reaction is that the cost of the travel should be repaid if business was done on the trip. The intent is not what counts – it is what happened on the trip.

UPDATE: The above was written at 9 am and set to appear at 1 pm. The media are now reporting she has been stood down.

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NZPA on Hodgson

November 10th, 2010 at 5:45 pm by David Farrar

NZPA report:

A spokeswoman for Mrs Wong told NZPA yesterday the minister had sought Cabinet Office advice and had not done anything wrong.

“That advice is that there’s nothing wrong with witnessing a document as she did,” the spokeswoman said.

“The Cabinet Manual wasn’t breached, nor was anything else. It’s Pete Hodgson once again trying to muckrake and smear and it shows Labour isn’t focused on the issues that matter.”

That’s the official response. And the unofficial response:

Prime Minister John Key’s chief press secretary, Kevin Taylor, put it more bluntly when he reportedly told Radio New Zealand Mr Hodgson was a “f…wit” — a comment Mr Hodgson later said was not helpful or accurate.

Well I agree with Pete Hodgson, that the comment wasn’t helpful.

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Labour’s smoking gun

November 10th, 2010 at 11:38 am by David Farrar

Go read the article by Derek Cheng at the Herald, and then tell me if I have it wrong in concluding that Labour’s big issue is that Pansy Wong stated her occupation as “Minister of NZ Govt” rather than “Member of Parliament”.

Wow that will bring the Government down for sure. The quality of Pete Hodgson’s scandals seem to be declining rapidly and they were never that great to start with.

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Slam and Dunk

March 10th, 2009 at 9:18 pm by David Farrar

Two hilarious moments in Parliament. First we had Anderton wasting his one question a month, trying to be pious as usual:

Hon JIM ANDERTON (Leader—Progressive) to the Prime Minister: How many jobs will be created for unemployed New Zealanders as a result of the reinstatement of the titles of Knight and Dame Grand Companion in the New Zealand honours system?

Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister) : None will be created and none will be lost. The member misunderstands the purpose of reinstating the titles.

A nice swat away. But Anderton persists and persist and finally we get:

Hon Jim Anderton: What items on the list of things the Government has made its higher priorities in Government will do the most to reduce the impact of global recession: bringing back knighthoods, a national cycleway, or privatising prisons?

Hon JOHN KEY: All three can play a part in helping our economy to grow. I am surprised, I have to say, that Mr Anderton has come down to the House today with this primary question. Funnily enough, I took a moment out of my busy schedule to have a look through the archives, and I noticed that in 1997 the Hon Jim Anderton introduced the Exceptional Service Honour (Posthumous Recognition) Bill. He sought to have that bill passed, and, lo and behold, the bill—which he waxed lyrical about, but I will not bore members with it—would have conferred an honour with the status of a knighthood. That was what the bill was trying to do. Jim Anderton not only tried to create his own new honour, with the status of a knighthood, in 1997; he actually had tried it once before, in 1991.

Hilarious. Anderton twice introduced a bill to give the equivalent of a knighthood to someone who died in WWI 90 years ago, and he is stupid enough to them try and ask a question complaining about the Government “wasting” time on knighthoods. To say people were laughing is putting it mildly.

Whichever staffer dug that piece of info up, deserves a jellybean.

Then we had Sue Moroney going on about pay equity to Pansy Wong. And I loved this exchange:

Sue Moroney: Why did the Minister ignore a protest on this issue by school support workers in Hamilton on Friday, and then, just minutes later, tell the Hamilton International Women’s Day Symposium that the gender pay gap was too large in New Zealand and she wanted to do more, when her Government is actually guilty of doing less?

Hon PANSY WONG: I hardly ignored the handful of protesters in Hamilton. I actually told them to please take care and not get too wet.

Wonderful answer. She told them not to get too wet.

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The Auckland Seats

November 12th, 2008 at 1:34 pm by David Farrar

Starting at the top, the three northern seats of East Coast Bays, North Shore and Northcote were solid blue. Their party votes went up 9%, 4% and 11% respectively.  In East Coast Bays almost three times as many people voted National as Labour. These seats now are counters to the South Auckland seats.

The personal majorities were 12,800, 13,200 and 8,500 respectively. Northcote was held by Labour up until 2005 and Jonathan Coleman this tme incraesed his majority by around 6,000.

Out west we saw the near impossible – National won the party vote in all three West Auckland seats. Tim Groser worked hard on New Lynn to lift the party vote by 10% to 41%, with Labour dropping 12%. Te Atatu went from 32% to 42% and Waitakere from 33% to 42%. Listing the vote 10% in Westieville was great work.

Paula Bennett’s win in Waitakere is all the more remarkable because of the new boundaries. They had her 6,000 votes behind in 2005 and she won by 900. Groser reduced Cunliffe to 3,500 from a paper majority of 12,000 – also one of the biggest swings! Finally Chris Carter dropped to 4,500 from 7,500.

In central Auckland we have Auckland Central. National lost the party vote by 12% in 2005 and won it by 5% this time. This seat has been held by Labour since 1919 (apart from once going further left to the Alliance), making Nikki Kaye’s 1,100 vote victory all the more remarkable.

Mt Roskill also just went to National on the party vote, and Goff’s majority went from 9,400 to 5,500 – still very safe. His leadership predecessor in Mt Albert won the party vote by 6%, and had a slight dent in the electorate majority from 11,400 to 8,700.

Epsom went from 58% to 63% for National on the party vote, with Labour falling to under 20%. Rodney Hide drives his majority from 2,000 to a staggering near 12,000. They liked his dancing. Tamaki also remains solid blue with another 60:20 split on the party vote. Allan Peachey saw his majority go from 10,300 to over 15,000.

Maungakiekie was another big mover. The party vote went from a 13% deficit to 45 lead. And Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga scored an 1,800 majority from an close to 7,000 majority to Labour previously. Sam is one of the most well liked guys in the National Party, and had one of the biggest teams in recent memory on the hustings. He had between 10 and 25 people door knocking both days every weekend.

Out East we have Pakuranga which was no surprise. It is another close to 60:20 seat. Maurice is very popular locally and scored a 13,000 majority.

Botany. This brand new seat got the second highest party vote in Auckland for National – 62%. Pansy Wong also got a 10,000 majority. ACT’s Kenneth Wang was in third place but got a respectable 4,500 votes.

Papakura. The party vote went 52% to 28% for National, and Judith Collins took a 6,800 paper majority and turned it into a 9,700 real one.

Finally we have the three M seats in South Auckland. Mangere, Manurewa and Manukau East. Mangere saw Labour’s party vote go from 73% to 61%. In Manurewa it was from 61% to 50% and Manukau East from 65% to 57%. But turnout was down also and in absolute terms, Labour went from 55,000 votes to 38,000 over the three seats.

Thankfully Labour’s Sio beat Taito Phillip Field by 11,300 to 4,700

Note the above comparisons are all to 2005 results adjusted to new boundaries. Also a more formal analysis will be done when we have final results.

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More on Yang Liu

October 19th, 2008 at 10:25 am by David Farrar

The HoS has more details on Yang Liu:

  • donated $5,000 to Cabinet minister Chris Carter’s Te Atatu electorate
  • donated $5,000 to National
  • Had letters of support from Dover Samuels and Pansy Wong. Wong says she never knew of the issues around his past, while Samuels does (but not sure when) and says they are politically motivated from China
  • His citizenship application took three years to approve as officials were against it, but SHane Jones granted it, over-riding his officials
  • Liu was wanted in China for alleged embezzlement
  • Charged in Australia with operating bank accounts under a false name and in November 2006, the Supreme Court of New South Wales ordered Liu to forfeit more than $3.3 million

Liu’s restaurant has hosted fundraisers for Asian candidates from Labour, National and ACT. It seems clear that he built up connections across the political spectrum. The two key issues are:

  1. Did any MP write a letter of support knowing about the false passports, the court orders in Australia?
  2. Why did Shane Jones grant him citizenship?
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