Jared Savage

Labour Minister Damien O’Connor to go the way of Williamson: “it is not my normal practice to intervene”

via NZ Herald

via NZ Herald

Jared Savage is like a dog with a bone

A former Labour Minister intervened three times in the immigration bid of Donghua Liu including waiving the English language requirement for the millionaire businessman.

Damien O’Connor, in his role as the associate Immigration Minister, wrote three letters to Liu’s advisor Warren Kyd – the former National Party MP – before deciding to grant residency against the advice of officials the day before the 2005 election.

The West Coast MP has said he cannot remember why he granted residency to the businessman whose links to both National and Labour have created political waves this year.

He can’t remember. ¬† Today he can’t remember. ¬†Let’s see how his memory improves. ¬† Read more »

Liu and Labour lawyers’ letters

Labour going on the front foot demanding apologies from Liu may not have been the best strategy. ¬†Never ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer is the Golden Rule, and now it seems that Labour are going to find out everything they really don’t want to know.

Millionaire businessman Donghua Liu has hired a high-profile Queen’s Counsel to deal with any legal action from the Labour Party.

Aucklander Paul Davison, QC, is heading a team of advisers for Liu reviewing the property developer’s records following the comments of David Cunliffe this week.

The Weekend Herald understands this includes more than 30 photographs taken over 18 months linking Liu to Labour, including a fundraiser at an Auckland restaurant and a trip to China, where he hosted a Cabinet minister in 2007.

Oh my… photos? ¬†Photos of Labour people? ¬†Photos of Labour people accepting money?

Remind me again:  they could find NO RECORDS of Liu having donated to the Labour party.  Am I rite?

Read more »

They don’t like it up ‘em

“If the Herald‚Äôs protestations of fairness were genuine Mr Liu would have been required to swear a formal and legally binding affidavit attesting to every one of his funding allegations. This is what Mr Cameron Slater of the Whaleoil Blog did when he exposed the Len Brown Scandal. What‚Äôs more, Mr Slater was willing to post the sworn affidavit of Mr Brown‚Äôs paramour on his blog for everyone to read. It is highly significant that, to date, the Herald, by steadfastly refusing to release Mr Liu‚Äôs ‚Äúsigned statement‚ÄĚ, has treated it readers with less consideration than the Whaleoil blog. A professional discourtesy which Mr Cunliffe has quite understandably construed as a breach of ‚Äúnatural justice‚ÄĚ.”

- Chris Trotter

Two things.

1.  It appears that, at least to Chris Trotter, Whaleoil has higher journalistic standards than the NZ Herald.  My, how things change.

2. My sources in Labour tell me this isn’t over by a long shot, and they know it. ¬†I’m not sure how the war room is seeing it, but some Labour people are singing like canaries. ¬† Soon there will be no need for affidavits.

Of course,¬†the thing Trotter isn’t considering is that if Whaleoil had done the same thing and not posted the affidavit, people would have written it off. ¬† Read more »

Sounds suspiciously like Labour has “cash for access” schemes running as well

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Items for auction at Labour fundraiser

Once again Labour has been caught out by their own hypocrisy.

In the series of rolling stories about Labour’s own donations scams the Herald’s Jared Savage covers the murky world of Steven Ching..and his very own “cash for access” system of fundraising.

The man who hoped to be the first Chinese MP for the Labour Party has emerged as a central figure in the donation claims of Donghua Liu.

Steven Ching was a successful fundraiser for Labour and was No42 on the party list ahead of the 2005 election, but withdrew.

The Herald can now reveal that the Auckland businessman, who organised dinners where guests donated $1000 to sit beside former Prime Minister Helen Clark, approached the office of David Cunliffe about Liu’s residency bid.

Mr Ching was not home and did not return messages, but Labour sources confirmed he was the “conduit” between Liu and the party.

When the Herald broke the news that Mr Cunliffe wrote a 2003 letter on behalf of Liu’s residency bid, the Labour leader said he did not recall having ever met the businessman.

“To the best of my knowledge that letter came through my office and an immigration agent on his behalf.”

Mr Cunliffe this week said “to the best of my knowledge” Mr Ching was not that agent. “However he appears to have had some contact at staff level with the New Lynn Electorate Office over the matter.”

Labour sources said Mr Ching had links to Liu and became the “conduit” between the party and the millionaire businessman. “Ching was the ‘money man’ responsible for organising the fundraising dinners and established a good relationship with Liu,” said one.

Read more »

One donation confirmed from Donghua Liu’s statement, what next Mr Cunliffe?

David Cunliffe made the rather stupid mistake of calling a multi-millionaire Chinese born citizen a liar and implored that he put up or shut up about his donations.

Mr Liu has started that process, by confirming one of the donations….if one is correct perhaps the rest are too.

Jared Savage continues his death by a 1000 cuts on Labour.

A donation from Donghua Liu to a rowing club linked to a former Labour Cabinet minister has been confirmed.

Duncan Barr, the president of the Hawke’s Bay Rowing Club, said today the millionaire businessman gave $2000 in 2007, which backs up a signed statement from Liu.

He was unaware of the donation when the NZ Herald called last week, but checked with long-serving members who confirmed the gift.

Mr Barr said the club purchased new rowing blades and said Liu was introduced to the club by Rick Barker, the then Minister for Internal Affairs, whose daughter was a club member.

Is this the same Rick Barker who claims he can’t remember Donghua Liu?¬† Read more »

The Hand of the King acts

Hand_of_the_King

According to some more looney pockets of the interwebs and New Zealand blogosphere the whole Cunliffe “smear” is all my doing and I am described as the Voldemort of NZ politics.

Personally I prefer Game of Thrones to Harry Potter…or perhaps House of Cards…except it isn’t Zoe going under the train, it is David Cunliffe.

More seasoned commentators like Vernon Small simply comment that who so ever did this hit should take a bow.

Whoever set David Cunliffe up for a Left jab over his contact with Donghua Liu this week should take a bow.

And Cunliffe should be asking himself how he was ever so naive.

If his staff could not find any evidence of him advocating for the wealthy businessman, it was perhaps understandable that he was willing to say unequivocally that he had not. After all, no politician wants to sound slippery and equivocal when they don’t need to be.

But a more cautious man would have heard the hidden menace behind questions being asked by the media about any advocacy by him – and instinctively given himself some wriggle room – rather than a definitive “nope”.

It is that denial, and the contrast with the criticism Labour has made of Liu’s links with National, that are the problem for Cunliffe, rather than the existence of the letter itself.

Read more »

Mike Williams vs Honesty

fat-tony-3

I note a number of people are trying to talk up ‘honest’ Mike Williams.

two things smell on this scoop….1) Jared Savage is not known for for honesty, or sobriety. Known for making things up and not actually investigating facts.
2) Mike “fat bastard” Williams says he didnt know about it – this strikes me as odd. Mike has a nose for money, and was great at raising money for labour. One of his greatest skills was extracting every last dime from a potential whale (no pun intended). Having heard Mike brag about his network for raising cash, he never mentioned this guy once. For those who know Mike, this would be out of character if indeed Liu gave cash to Labour. SO, very uncomfortable situation here……labour being hypocrites and savage telling truth or mike williams not telling the truth – on reflection, I believe mike williams over anything savage would print.

Perhaps they’ve forgotten about this:¬† Read more »

Labour’s credibility “down the Liu”

Our credibility gap on donations is this big and getting wider

Our credibility gap on donations is this big and getting wider

Oh dear me, after all the sanctimony over so-called “cash for access” what do we find out this morning from Jared Savage…that Donghua Liu gave money to the Labour party as well.

Plus added into that kicker is the fact that he hosted a government minister at the time, Rick Barker, to a lavish dinner plus a visit to his company.

This is starting to make Labour’s beat up over Judith Collins glass of milk and a 20 minute dinner in Beijing look like a Big Mac, chips and coke in comparison to Labour.

And this donation wasn’t declared either…perhaps there will be a Police investigation into this activity. It was illegal even back then to not disclose donations.

A wealthy Auckland businessman, whose links to the National Party led to a minister’s resignation, also made a secret $15,000 donation to the Labour Party – and hosted a Cabinet minister at a lavish dinner in China.

The Labour Party has previously accused the Government of “cash for access” deals with Donghua Liu, who received citizenship after lobbying from National minister Maurice Williamson and whose hotel was later opened by Prime Minister John Key.

But the Herald can reveal Liu, 53, also paid $15,000 at a Labour Party auction in 2007 for a book signed by Helen Clark, the Prime Minister at the time, according to a party source.

The source said Liu also hosted Rick Barker, the then Internal Affairs Minister, at a dinner in his hometown of Chongqing.

Mr Barker, who is now a regional councillor in Hawkes Bay, confirmed he was a guest at the dinner and also visited Liu’s cement company while on holiday in China.

Read more »

Life of Riley, but no money for the little people

Jared Savage shows why he led the losers in our recent “Who do you trust?” poll on media personalities *)

The Herald revealed the internet tycoon’s company Megastuff, set up to run his mansion, owed 80 creditors between $69 and $133,916 since his arrest in January 2012.

Ah that Herald. ¬†Always revealing things. ¬†Or doing “investigations” where they take other people’s work and slap their own label on it. ¬† It is so childish.

But I digress.

The Herald, via Savage, are reporting today that Kim Dotcom hasn’t been paying his bills because he had no money since the raid.

And yet, Dotcom’s had enough money to sponsor Rhythm n Vines, do a huge push on his Good Times vanity project and now is reported to be spending several millions on launching his Internet Party.

Dotcom is still pushing the line that he simply didn’t have enough money because of the raids.

This is in spite of all signs to the contrary. ¬† ¬†¬† Read more »

Herald busted manufacturing immigration story

This morning the NZ Herald ran a story by Jared Savage.

Investigations by WOBH can reveal that the Herald has sat on this story since October 2013.

A wealthy Auckland businessman was given New Zealand citizenship against official advice after a Government minister lobbied the colleague who made the decision.

Maurice Williamson, the Minister of Building and Construction, and Prime Minister John Key then opened the first stage of a $70 million construction project launched by the Chinese-born developer after he became a citizen.

The following year, one of his companies made a $22,000 donation to the National Party.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) recommended that the citizenship application of Donghua Liu be declined on the grounds that he did not spend enough time in New Zealand or meet English language criteria.

At first blush this looks bad, but is it?

Well not really. Some pertinent facts have been left out from the story.

For a start there is nothing wrong with the Minister of Immigration or Internal Affairs exercising discretion – it is their right to do so is and it is written into the legislation.¬†Members of Parliament advocate for that discretion to be used constantly, and in some famous cases like Taito Phillip Field used as a matter of course by Labour’s immigration ministers.

But in order to obtain citizenship you must first have permanent residency, which is a much harder barrier to overcome. Read more »