Yang Liu’s private VIP citizenship ceremony in Parliament

October 25th, 2008 at 9:36 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

A Chinese man granted citizenship against the advice of officials and wanted in his homeland for “large-scale misappropriation and embezzlement” was given a VIP citizenship ceremony at Parliament.

Yang Liu, also known as Bill Liu, was granted his citizenship in August by ministerial prerogative.

He became a New Zealander at a private citizenship ceremony in the Maori Affairs select committee room, officiated over by Labour MP and former Cabinet minister Dover Samuels.

And who is Yang Liu?. The latest TGIF from Ian Wishart reveals:

His real name, confirmed for the first time in this country by TGIF Edition, is indeed Yongming Yan

Even worse, an informant resource report to the Immigration Service last year, but apparently ignored by Associate Immigration Minister Shane Jones, provides detailed information on Yan’s involvement at the head of an Asian organised crime syndicate, which “paid large cash sums to various ministers and delegates indirectly through secret anonymous accounts

Now whether this is correct or not is one issue. But what is not in dispute (it seems) is that Shane Jones knew of these allegations, as the were part of the file officials had who fought against citizenship. So why did Jones ignore this?

Tonight, TGIF Edition can also reveal that one of Yongming’s former associates in this country – Shane Phillips – was a Labour Party campaign manager, and his brother Daniel Phillips works in the office of Associate Immigration Minister Shane Jones – the man who gave ‘Bill Liu’ citizenship against the recommendations of officials who’d investigated his background.

Shane Phillips is also known as Shane Te Pou, and in 2000 Helen Clark vetoed his appointment to a ministerial job. Also:

There are fresh allegations this week, including that ‘Liu’ (in reality, Yan Yongming) may have donated cash to the campaigns of Rick Barker and Dover Samuels.

And Wishart has unearthed some interesting aspects of donations to Dover Samuels:

A further $5,000 was given to Dover Samuels by the oddly-named ‘Tamaki ki te Paki Wu’, apparently residing at a house in Derrimore Heights in Manukau City.

So, according to the official documents, two separate Wu’s slipped a total of eight grand between them into the Dover Samuels campaign fund. But who was this mysterious Mr Tamaki Wu? A check of the Manukau address Dover had given for him provides an added twist to this story: it was registered not to Mr Wu but to Daniel Phillips – Dover’s former private secretary now working for Associate Immigration Minister Shane Jones. So $5,000 had come to Dover from the address of a man whose brother was involved with Chinese
businessman ‘Yang Liu’ (real name Yan Yongming), yet the money was not in Daniel Phillips’ name, but a person or entity named Tamaki Wu.

There is also a suggestion that an anonymous $5,000 donation to Rick Barker was from Yan.

The issues raised here can not be dealt with by a departmental inquiry. Departments can not investigate their own Ministers. A fully empowered commission of inquiry should be set up to investigate this. The key tasks should be

  1. To verify the real identity of the man granted citizenship by Labour Ministers over the protests of officials
  2. Does he have a criminal record, and what is the nature of that
  3. Determine the full extent of his donations to all parties and candidates
  4. Why Ministers both refused to revoke his residency and further granted him citizenship against the strong advice of officials
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