Bill Liu

Problem solved, cancel his permanent residency

I’m not sure that either the NZ Herald or Laila Harre are being particularly helpful with David Fisher’s latest shock, horror, Dotcom piece today.

Note the Herald got an oh so convenient privacy waiver from Kim Dotcom. I’ll bet he wouldn’t give a privacy waiver to any other media organisation other than John Campbell.

Apparently there was ‘pressure’ to let him in.

The SIS tried to block Kim Dotcom’s residency application but dropped their objection 90 minutes after being told there was “political pressure” to let the tycoon into New Zealand, secret documents from the spy agency reveal.

Last night the leader of the Dotcom-funded Internet Party, Laila Harre, said she “wouldn’t have been comfortable” granting the tycoon residency if she had been the Minister of Immigration.

Documents declassified and released through the Official Information Act show the Security Intelligence Service describing Dotcom as a “bad but wealthy man” who was under criminal investigation by the FBI.

I’m not sure the game they are playing here…are they saying he should never have been let in?

I agree, but this problem can be easily fixed. Review and then cancel his permanent residency…then we don’t need to worry about extraditing him, he will have to leave anyway.

Problem solved.  Read more »

Winston Peters, Maori TV and the stitch up

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One thing certain about Winston Raymond Peters is that he never lets facts stand in the way of a good story.

Let’s take the recent case of the allegedly dodgy Maori trust Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust.

Winston Peters raced out with a story in May, which by sheer coincidence happened to coincide with a so-called investigative report on Maori TV’s Native Affairs. All of this came about because a couple of fellas recently fired from the trust have decided to “get back” at the trust.

What better way to “get back” at the trust than to claim dodgy dealings and paint themselves as honest, caring whistle-blowers, and say that the only reason they were sacked was because when they tried to tell the CEO Malcolm Robson about misspending, Robson wasn’t interested.

As with all employment relations disputes where ex-employees think they’re in for a cash win-fall, the company has to play a straight bat. Robson, told Native Affairs in a statement that the employees were dismissed as a result of a pre-existing employment investigation involving “suspected breaches of employment conditions…” and that “there will be no comment on specific allegations or the individuals involved while the investigation is active.”

Sounds fair enough when you know someone’s keen on trying to extort seek a pay-out.   Read more »

Is Labour politicising citizenship ceremonies?

via the tipline

A reader drew my attention to this comment on the Trademe message boards.

tm Read more »

Right man in the wrong party

Jonathan Milne has taken a drive down the motorway away from the cloisters offices of the Herald on Sunday to interview Shane Jones.

What he comes away with is an admission that for all these years Shane Jones was a man living inside the wrong party.

The seeds of Jones’ decision to quit were sown two years ago. In mid-2012, then-Labour leader David Shearer stood him down while the Auditor-General investigated why Jones, as associate immigration minister five years before, had granted citizenship to Labour Party donor Bill Liu.

“I was highly pissed off about that,” Jones says. “That had a bloody visceral effect on me, actually, more than the credit card episode. I’ve never really fully admitted how much that jolted me.”

Jones was isolated from his Labour colleagues and felt he had few friends. “And Winston [Peters] came and found me and said, ‘you come with me’. If there was ever a point at a deeply personal level that I really respected Winston’s toughness, it was then.

“He was basically taking me under his wing to go through that ordeal. That counted for a lot. I’m quite a deep person in my own way, although I’ve got a big mouth. So I never forgot that.”

Ahhh the wily old fox Winston Peters, saw an opportunity. I wonder if anything will come of this?

Jones returned to Labour’s front bench in March last year, and a month later got the call that Parekura Horomia, the kaumatua of the Labour caucus, was on his deathbed.

He headed down to the East Coast, where Horomia was waiting in the front room of his small farmhouse in Mangatuna, Tolaga Bay. It was an intimate moment, as Horomia handed over leadership of Labour’s Maori caucus to Jones.

They spoke in Maori. Horomia said it was time for him to okioki – to rest. Jones replied: “Kia kaha chief, mo te iwi.”

It was, in part, out of a sense of duty to Horomia that Jones put his hand up for leader three months later. There were those who believed he could pull it off.

Indeed, still buried on the Labour Party website is a page prepared for the eventuality of a Jones victory. “Shane Jones is the 15th leader of the Labour Party, and the next Prime Minister of New Zealand,” it proclaims, boldly and prematurely.

Read more »

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 »