At the weekend it was revealed Mr Key and Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross had dined at the home of controversial Chinese businessman Donghua Liu in August 2013, which led to a $25,000 donation to Mr Ross’ election campaign.
Mr Key’s office last year said there was “no record” of who attended fundraising dinners with the Prime Minister, and that he “recalls seeing Mr Liu at various functions, including a dinner as part of a National Party fundraiser” – but the fact it was at Liu’s home wasn’t disclosed.
Liu later became an embarrassment for the Government, the property developer’s dealings with minister Maurice Williamson leading to his resignation, and has since been in court facing domestic violence charges.
The dinner was one of the National Party’s controversial ‘Cabinet Club’ fundraising events, in which donors get access to high-ranking MPs and ministers. Mr Key says the party is “under no obligation” to make the details of those meetings public.
“We’re not going to get into a situation where we say where we went to dinner, and whether I had the chicken or the fish. We’re just not going to be doing that – no other political party does, no one’s required to do that,” he says. Read more »