Bill Liu

Was the note fake?

The Shane Jones/Bill Liu saga just will not die. Now there are suggestions that the file note written by Shane Jones may well have been fabricated.

National MPs have attempted to cast doubt on the validity of a key note used in Shane Jones’ decision to grant citizenship to Yang Liu when Jones was a Associate Immigration Minister.

This morning Deputy Auditor General Phillippa Smith appeared before the finance and expenditure select committee, taking questions over her report into Jones’ controversial 2008 decision.

His decision to grant citizenship to Liu, a Chinese national who was under the scrutiny of Interpol, was made despite an active police investigation being underway and the Department of Internal Affairs telling him not to.

It was Jones’ first and only decision to grant an individual citizenship, and was made in less than a month because he wanted to complete the matter before a trip to Australia.  Read more »

Trotter on the Shame Jones affair

Chris Trotter echoes my thoughts on the Shane Jones affair:

Here’s a question for Labour. When confronted with evidence raising serious questions about the judgment of a senior caucus member, what should the leader do?

Should he measure the member’s actions against his own beliefs about what constitutes right and proper conduct in someone holding a ministerial warrant? Examining the facts of the case, should he ask himself how he would have acted differently? Should he take moral stock of the environment in which the member’s actions occurred? Paying special attention to the actions of the member’s staff, should he ask himself whether he would have felt comfortable working alongside them? Would he have trusted their advice?

Or, should he simply outsource the whole job to the auditor-general?

As we know Shearer sent requested the A-G look at this issue. Perhaps because he lacked the courage to deal with it internally.  Read more »

How to buy/sell citizenship and get away with it

Otherwise known formerly as the “Inquiry into decision by Hon Shane Jones to grant citizenship to Mr Yang Liu“. (PDF 539KB)

The Office of the Auditor-General has delivered their report and the 86 pages outline chapter and verse how a wanted Chinese national blew smoke up the collective bottoms of MPs and ministers and at the same time pulled the wool over their eyes.

Shane Jones escapes serious censure, mainly because he used the “dog ate my homework” excuse and also the “I didn’t understand” excuse. These weasel-ly excuses aren’t accepted by parents and school teachers yet a man who held a ministerial warrant and someone whom David Shearer has been holding a space open on his front bench did. He was taking the big bucks, and his excuses are pathetic.

What is more pathetic is Labour’s spin that this report exonerated Mr Jones.  It does not. Instead it questions the process that existed that various Labour MPs and ministers used to get a substantial donor into the country.   Read more »

Shane Jones cleared? Not likely, that’s Labour’s spin

Labour has spent countless hours attacking National for commenting on an Auditor-General’s report ahead of release then do the same thing? This is the second time they have spun that Shane Jones is cleared:

List MP Shane Jones is expected to return to Labour’s front bench tomorrow, after the release of an auditor-general’s report into the Bill Liu immigration saga.

Labour leader David Shearer has held open the seventh slot in his line-up and the regional development, forestry and associate finance roles for Jones pending the outcome of the review.

Insiders familiar with an earlier draft of Auditor-General Lyn Provost’s report said it cleared Jones of any unlawful behaviour in approving citizenship for Bill Liu, also known as Yong Ming Yan and William Yan.  Read more »

Random Impertinent Questions

Do you reckon Labour wanted Kelvin Davis or Carol Beaumont to come back to Parliament ?

Did Carol tell the leadership to ‘shove it’?

Has Labour hung Shane Jones out to dry?  The strident criticism of the Sky City report must mean Labour’s confident their dealings with Bill Liu are squeaky clean (either confident or shortsighted and stupid) – because there have already been reports that it’s not ‘black and white’.

If Shearer is against the Sky City deal and Chris Hipkins is for it, then what is Labour’s actual position?

The last time Labour spun an A-G report it didn’t go so well for them

Neither the reports into David Benson-Pope nor Philip Field went the way of the spin and eventually both men were axed from Labour.

Philip Field was of course axed for daring to suggest he stand as an independent rather than for his corruption. To this day Labour has never said anything officially about Philip Field other than they respect the judgement of the court.

Meanwhile Labour are spinning and leaking the draft A-G report into Jones and Cunliffe like a top…not a good sign that he is cleared.

In fact the media have been back-pedalling quickly ever since the first reports were shopped to them:   Read more »

David Fisher’s Fat Fetish continues to fester

Kim Dotcon’s staff reporter, David Fisher, has crawled right up Dotcom’s massive rectal crevice this week in the Herald.

He really does seem to have a man-crush on the fat German. He reckons Dotcom is coming out fighting:

Dotcom comes out fighting - Fortune stripped, company crushed and freedom denied – Kim Dotcom admits to being angry and says he is just getting started on getting even.

Coming out fighting…getting even…sounds like Kimmy the fat German is making a play for The Earthquake’s replacement in WWE.  Read more »

Evidence mounting

Jared Savage in the NZ Herald reveals more information about the dodgy decision to fast track Bill Liu’s citizenship by ministers and MPs in the Labour party.

I can’t hardly wait for the report of the Auditor-General:

Emails obtained under the Official Information Act reveal a senior Immigration NZ investigator wrote to Mr Ross after learning of the decision.

Russell Ogilvy asked whether Mr Ross recommended that citizenship be declined and whether he had told Mr Jones “to speak with his own department regarding the decision”.

Mr Jones was the Acting Internal Affairs Minister in this case but also the Associate Immigration Minister.

“The minister was advised of both the pending police and INZ investigations,” responded Mr Ross.

Despite his recommendation, Mr Jones granted citizenship subject to Mr Liu taking the oath of allegiance.

Mr Ogilvy then asked Mr Ross to tell him when the citizenship ceremony would be held.

The emails also reveal that Mr Jones granted Mr Liu an urgent private ceremony at the request of Labour MP Dover Samuels, despite the advice of another DIA official that he did not meet the criteria.

Mr Samuels also wrote three earlier letters lobbying for Mr Liu’s citizenship application.

The VIP ceremony was held in a room at Parliament days after Mr Jones’ decision in his favour.

The next day he applied for an urgent passport, then changed his name to William Yan.

 

Pommy visa scandal echoes our own Labour immigration scandals

It looks like the UK is about to have their very own immigration scandals like those of former Labour minister Taito Phillip Field and the ministers associated with Bill Liu like Shane Jones.

A former Labour minister is under investigation for half a million quids worth of funds.

Mr Vaz was investigated by the parliamentary commissioner for standards between 2000 and 2001 after it was alleged that he may have benefited from money paid by a solicitor and the billionaire Hinduja brothers in their attempts to secure British passports.

The minister was forced to resign and was suspended from Parliament for seeking to frustrate the investigation by refusing to provide financial information. Mr Vaz was cleared of the central allegation of receiving illicit funds.

Liberal Amnesia

Scott Yorke calls out the liberal types on the John Banks affair:

When police concluded that the “teapot tapes” cameraman Bradley Ambrose probably committed an offence, but decided not to prosecute because they were not satisfied that they could make out all the elements of the offence to the required criminal standard, there was an outcry among liberal-minded folk because the police appeared to be saying that someone was guilty even though police just couldn’t prove it. We were reminded by liberal types that the police don’t determine someone’s guilt because, in a free and democratic society subject to the rule of law, determining guilt is the domain of the courts.

But now we have what appears to be a collective amnesia, because we happen to dislike the person at the end of the police’s attentions. I don’t like John Banks, and I think it’s reasonable to conclude from his public statements that he is a liar and lacks any sort of moral compass. It is also reasonable to conclude that a person like John Banks is utterly unfit to be a minister, or even an MP. But he has not committed any offence, has not been charged with any offence, and has not “got off on a technicality”.

Of course Labour has just opened themselves up for skewering on a number of recent cases, with their behaviour. A re-visit of the Darren Hughes affair is the most salient, but so to the ongoing investigations into their cash for citizenship scandal involving Shane Jones and Bill Liu.

The Bill Liu affair is the one though most close in substance to the allegations that Labour are making and in their case the clear cash for citizenship favours are much, much more smelly than cash for nothing which is what Kim Dot-con got for his donation.

All this is just petty revenge for not getting a soft mattress in the pokie when he demanded one. Kim Dot-con thought, like Bill Liu that he had bought favours from a politician. Unfortunately for him John Banks is not a member of the Labour party.

Now with him turning up at parliament he is just like Michelle Boag and just as irrelevant and without the Versace suits.