Maurice Williamson

#Teamkey diaspora hits Auckland

qweq

After the conference/launch, it appears Maurice and Jami-Lee were allowed to take the #TeamKey yoof for a milkshake ride in the Big Blue Bus.  They duly unpacked outside of Pakuranga shopping centre.

Nice of JLR to help the elderly.

asdas

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Has Scott Simpson been advising Colin Craig?

Looks like it.

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Stories making headlines around the regions today include vandals targeting Colin Craig’s election signs in Tauranga and a Wanganui teenager sentenced to write an essay for drink driving.

Conservative leader Colin Craig’s election signs have become the first casualty of vandalism in the lead up to the election in Tauranga.

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ACT still on National life support – Whyte to take on safe National seat

ACT Party leader Jamie Whyte is going to stand in Pakuranga for the September general election.

He says he’s going to campaign for the party vote only and use his candidate status to get ACT’s policies across to voters.

“Those policies will go a long way to making Pakuranga more prosperous and its streets and homes safer,” he said.

“A low flat tax, getting tough on crime, and one country, one law.”

Pakuranga is one of the safest National seats in the country.

Maurice Williamson retained it with a 13,846 majority in 2011.

You could theorise this two ways   Read more »

Did the opposition forget all their attacks on Maurice Williamson?

I see we have various politicians now arguing that Murray McCully should have intervened in this case both with the police and with MFaT.

Former Labour Party Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff told Radio New Zealand Mr McCully had to explain why there was such an “extraordinary indifference or incompetence” by him and the Ministry in dealing with the matter.

“Speaking as a former foreign minister I know for a fact in an extraordinary situation like this, the minister would be right on top of the issue.

“He would be having daily negotiations and discussions through his chief executive officer in the ministry – the matter would never have been able to drift as this has been allowed to drift.”

It seemed Mr McCully was more interested in sweeping the issue under the carpet than taking the matter up and seeing justice done for the alleged offence, Mr Goff said.

The Malaysian Government would be embarrassed that one of their nationals had allegedly behaved illegally, he said.   Read more »

Herald Editorial on attacks against them for bias

The Labour party is demanding an apology from the NZ Herald, their paid staffers who blog anonymously at The Standard are running a campaign of letter writing and bullying against the Herald and this morning they responded…by saying diddums.

It is common in election years for political parties under pressure to attempt to shoot the messenger. In 2005, the Herald was stridently criticised and accused of bias by National supporters for our reportage of Dr Don Brash and the Exclusive Brethren. In 2008 it was the turn of Winston Peters and his New Zealand First people to call for resignations of the editor and political editor for the inconvenient revelation of funding from millionaire Owen Glenn, despite his “No” sign. Last election it was National partisans again, livid at the Herald on Sunday and Heraldfor John Key and John Banks talking openly before a microphone accidentally left on their “cup of tea” table in a cafe.

This year it is the turn of Labour and its leader, David Cunliffe, incensed at reporting on the donations to the party and its MPs by the controversial Chinese migrant Donghua Liu — and that party’s connections to him.

Mr Cunliffe is considering unspecified legal options against the Herald. Party supporters have weighed in with accusations of political bias and complicated right-wing conspiracies.

The noise obscures the validity of the Herald‘s reporting.

I don’t think the Herald is inherently biased. The Donghua Liu story shows that. Some staff may well be biased, but the Herald as a whole is not…though it has taken a more left wing slant in recent years. There is nothing wrong with that…the audience will leave and something new will come along, that is the way of media.  Read more »

Southland Times editorial on Cunliffe

The Southland Times says that David Cunliffe has only himself to blame:

There’s a Watergate-era poster of Richard Nixon as a wee boy, looking back over his own shoulder and complaining: Somebody poohed my pants.

David Cunliffe is scarcely more plausible as he tries to represent himself as the victim of a Government smear campaign.

He is conspicuously besmirched, all right, but however much the Government may have benefited from the process, enjoyed it, and perhaps even at prime ministerial level taken Bonaparte’s advice not to interrupt an opponent when he’s making a mistake, none of this changes the fact the Government’s role was, at very worst, peripheral to the self-inflicted damage.

Cunliffe was guilty of the same offences he had loftily criticised. His accusations against Maurice Williamson for meddling with a police investigation into Donghua Liu, a party donor, turned rancid when it emerged that he had himself written in support of Liu on a residency matter, which he initially denied. And Liu had donated to Labour as well as National.   Read more »

Cunliffe’s secret diary is gold, one of the best from Braunias

Steve Braunias produces what is probably one of his best ‘secret diaries’:

MONDAY

I want to make it perfectly clear that I have never had any dealings with Donghua Liu.

I wouldn’t know him if I fell over him. If I did fall over him, I’d help him to his feet, and say to him, “How do you do? I’m David Cunliffe, the leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. You look familiar. Are you Chinese?”

I wouldn’t hold it against him. I’m passionate about encouraging Chinese people to come to New Zealand and contribute to the economy and do things like serve bowls of hot noodles at night markets.

But if you’ve had one bowl of hot noodles, you’ve had them all, and that’s when you’re bound to wonder whether we actually need any more noodle stalls.

Of course I’ve heard of Mr Liu. Everyone’s heard of Mr Liu. Maurice Williamson wrote a letter to the police on Mr Liu’s behalf, and he was forced to resign. He did the right thing. It was the only option available to him. As a senior politician, he simply should not have tried to use his influence – especially for a man who has donated a great deal of money to the National Party.

After the election, when Labour takes the helm, we’ll sit down with Mr Liu and explain to him that if he thinks he can buy favours, then he’s got a lot to learn about life in New Zealand. The other thing I want to say about Mr Liu is that I don’t much like the look on his face. It’s always the same look. Perhaps that’s something to do with the fact it’s always the same photograph. In any case, it’s an unpleasant face, and not one I’d forget in a hurry.  Read more »

Labour’s donations credibility flushed down the Liu

The Herald on Sunday has managed to get their hands on a signed statement from Donghua Liu and met the challenge issued by David Cunliffe earlier in the week to put up or shut up.

Donghua Liu has put numbers, large numbers, to his claims of donations to the Labour party.

Millionaire businessman Donghua Liu spent more than $150,000 on the previous Labour government, including $100,000 on a bottle of wine signed by former prime minister Helen Clark at a party fundraiser.

The embarrassing revelations are contained in a signed statement from Liu, which the Herald on Sunday has obtained.

They come at the end of a horror week for Labour, already under pressure after the New Zealand Herald revealed that Liu paid $15,000 for a book at the same fundraiser in 2007. Labour has said it had no record of any donations from Liu. And leader David Cunliffe had to fight to keep his job after revelations he wrote a letter for Liu’s residency, despite previous denials.

This is getting serious. Labour still claims to have no knowledge of the donations and it is almost certain now that they have filed false declarations of donations in 2007.

Liu’s signed statement was dated May 3, two days after Williamson’s resignation. It said:

• Liu paid “close to $100,000″ for wine at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser;

• That he spent $50-60,000 hosting then-labour minister Rick Barker on a cruise on the Yangtze River in China in 2007; and

• That Liu visited Barker in Hawke’s Bay in 2006, having dinner with him at an exclusive lodge and then meeting for breakfast the next morning. Liu said he made a donation to Hawke’s Bay Rowing, which Barker was associated with.

Barker previously told the Herald that he could barely remember having dinner.

Last night Barker, now a regional councillor, said the revelations came “as a surprise and a complete reversal” of Liu’s previous comments.

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Peter Dunne on Cunliffe’s hypocrisy

Peter Dunne gives some insight into how MPs should handle both immigration matters and donations.

I have always followed two firm rules for immigration – and actually all constituency – cases, aside from the obvious point of keeping clear and full records. Any letters of advocacy I write on behalf of a constituent have been drafted personally by me, rather than a member of my staff, as I am more likely to remember something I have written myself, rather than just affixed a signature to. Second and more important, I have never accepted a donation or gift in return for pursuing an immigration case. Where there have been occasions – usually after the event – where someone offered to make a donation, I have always referred them directly to the Party Treasurer. So I actually never know whether any of these offers have ever been followed up, which is as it should be.

I say this not to be sanctimonious, but because it strikes me that David Cunliffe has done neither. I do not think he had full oversight of Mr Liu’s approach to him regarding his immigration status, but I do think he – and his colleagues it would appear – had way too much involvement, more than they are letting on now, in respect of Mr Liu’s financial support. It is that ambiguity and shadiness that is doing the damage now.  Read more »

Comments of the Day

From Matthew Hooton to the whingers of the left:

What the left calls “the neoliberal experiment” the right believes is the most progressive set of policies ever to have been implemented in the history of the world, that has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in China, South East Asia and (more slowly) India, as opposed to the alternative approach that has caused misery in much of South America and Europe.
We believe that everyone in New Zealand has gained from the post-1984 consensus and that a shift to what Cunliffe proposes would harm everyone in New Zealand.
We may of course be wrong.
But we believe this quite passionately.
So why would anyone surprised that people on the right are prepared to fight hard to stay in power?
Just like Helen Clark sent Mike Williams to Australia to find dirt on John Key (for the same motives).
To quote Michael Cullen, this is about power in NZ.
To quote Tana Umaga, it’s not tiddlywinks.
Is National meant to find evidence that Cunliffe is at best a hypocrite or at worst a liar and say “oh well, jolly good, let’s more on”?
Get into the real world.
Even if the most sinister explanations for this letter becoming public are true, its all fair enough in war, love and politics.
And it will get worse for Labour when the rumoured $300k issue emerges.

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