Rick Barker

More Hypocrisy from Palmerston North’s Nasty Stenographer Rooter

Iain Lees-Galloway is a hypocrite as well as a stenographer rooter.

This was his facebook post.

Iain Lees-Galloway MPlabour_takes_hardline_approach_to_alcohol_5
5 hrs ·
What I find most depressing about National’s response to Dirty Politics is that they think it is politics as usual. It’s not, or at least, it doesn’t need to be. NZ has a proud history of open, transparent and relatively clean politics. This venture into American-style attack campaigns is unbecoming and hopefully the recent debate will help keep a lid on it.

Yet he is as guilty as anyone of dirty politics as well as being a dirty rooting ratbag.

LEARNING HIS LESSON?
by Cameron Slater on November 3, 2009 at 8:24am
Apparently Iain Two-Fathers has learned his lesson of being involved in Labour Party shenanigins.

Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway says he has learned a political lesson after being caught up in the Labour Party’s polling controversy.

Mr Lees-Galloway recruited volunteers for the polling and was in the room when senior MP Rick Barker advised using a phony company name and false personal names if that would make the volunteers feel more confident. 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?

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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 »

Is Barker now suffering from recovered memory syndrome?

Donghua Liu's partner Juan Zhang and Rick Barker at a Labour fundraising auction in 2007.

Donghua Liu’s partner Juan Zhang and Rick Barker at a Labour fundraising auction in 2007.

On June 18 Rick Barker was having a terrible time remembering Donghua Liu:

Mr Barker, now a regional councillor in Hawkes Bay, said he was a guest of Liu at the dinner in Chongqing and visited his cement company while on holiday in China. But he had not known Liu was a Labour donor and he was not in China on official business as a minister.

“I went to China to catch up with some friends of mine, see some sights … and I made a side trip to Chongqing – I had not been to the city before.

“I was in the city a short time. Mr Liu showed me his business and that night, I attended a dinner which seemed to be a dinner he had put on for all his staff.”

Mr Barker could not remember how he came to be invited to visit Liu in Chongqing.

He said it was “probable” he also had dinner with Liu in New Zealand.

“I am trying to recall events of over seven years ago, so it’s a little challenging.

“But it can’t have been a regular event, because if it was I would recall that. In fact, my contact with Liu fell away quite quickly.”

Read more »

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

2

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 »

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:

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

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

‚ÄĘ 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.

Read more »

Face of the day

Rick Barker

Rick Barker

Rick Barker is face of the day because of his strange demands for an Affidavit before he will answer or discuss any queries to do with undeclared donations to Labour.

Responding to Herald questions yesterday, Mr Barker said he had a “growing frustration at the drip feed from Liu”.

“I have decided and advised other media that I am over fishing expeditions. Liu hurls accusations behind cover, protected by others and process,” the Hawkes Bay councillor said.

“If he has anything further to say about me, then he is to do so by way of a sworn affidavit. He can afford the legal cost,” Mr Barker said. “That way it’s open, upfront and should he say things that are untrue he can face the consequences of a legal response.”

He also said any further requests for comment should be accompanied by any affidavit signed by Liu.

This new standard that he is demanding will certainly make Journalists lives very difficult. If the new bench mark is that they must obtain an Affidavit from their source, BEFORE they can ask any questions it is going to make their jobs impossible.

Most people however can see this for what it is. A stalling tactic. I don’t think that they should let Rick Barker get away with his demands. The hypocrisy is astounding as his former colleague Trevor Mallard¬† is well known for hurling accusations behind cover, protected by parliamentary privilege.

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Two books, a bottle of wine and now a luxury cruise down the Yangtze River, what else is there?

The Donghua Liu saga rolls on for Labour with a luxury river cruise and dinner down the Yangtze river, another undeclared donation or pecuniary interest.

A former Labour Party Minister who was wined and dined by Donghua Liu on a boat cruise in China has challenged the wealthy businessman to go public about allegations of donations to the party.

The¬†Herald¬†revealed this week that Rick Barker was hosted by Liu at a lavish dinner in Chongqing in 2007 and also presented a bottle of wine to Liu’s partner as an auction prize at a Labour Party fundraiser.

Mr Barker was the Minister of Internal Affairs at the time but has said he was unaware that Liu was a donor when he visited his cement business in Chongqing and was a dinner guest.

Responding to¬†Herald¬†questions yesterday, Mr Barker said he had a “growing frustration at the drip feed from Liu”.

“I have decided and advised other media that I am over fishing expeditions. Liu hurls accusations behind cover, protected by others and process,” the Hawkes Bay councillor said.

“If he has anything further to say about me, then he is to do so by way of a sworn affidavit. He can afford the legal cost,” Mr Barker said. “That way it’s open, upfront and should he say things that are untrue he can face the consequences of a legal response.”

He also said any further requests for comment should be accompanied by any affidavit signed by Liu.

Sources say Liu paid $15,000 at an auction for a book signed by Helen Clark in 2007. But it is unclear how much Liu paid for the wine and Mr Barker said he presented auction prizes several times at Labour fundraisers.

However, Mr Barker confirmed that the dinner with Liu was on a boat cruise which travelled down the Yangtze River.

“It was a surprise to me when I arrived at the boat. There was no prior indication,” Mr Barker said. He was also surprised that staff members from the cement factory he visited earlier were also on the ship. “The front office. The management team. Production workers. Supervisors and technicians. Cleaners and security staff, it felt like everyone from the cement factory and their partners were there. I felt like an intruder on a staff function.”

Read more »

A book and now a bottle of wine, what else has Donghua Liu donated to Labour that is undeclared

The rumours of the expensive bottle of wine bought by Donghua Liu appear to be true with a photograph surfacing of a beaming Rick Barker handing over the bottle to Juan Zhang the partner of Donghua Liu.

We don’t yet know how much he donated for the wine, but it is looking increasingly like Labour has filed false donations returns…for at least two items.

A Labour Cabinet Minister presented a bottle of wine to the partner of businessman Donghua Liu at a fundraiser for the party.

The Herald has obtained a photograph of Rick Barker with Juan Zhang, who has two children with Liu, after he won an auction for the bottle at an Auckland restaurant in June 2007.

It is not known how much Liu paid for the wine – believed to be signed by then-Prime Minister Helen Clark – and Mr Barker said he presented auction prizes several times at Labour fundraisers.

He was the Minister for Internal Affairs at the time, and visited Liu in his hometown of Chongqing in China earlier that year, although he did not know Liu was a donor to Labour.

Two sources have told the Herald that Liu paid $15,000 at an auction in 2007 for a book signed by Helen Clark.

Labour general secretary Tim Barnett said a check of the party’s records showed no donation from Liu under his name.

Could Labour now face prosecution the same way John Banks was prosecuted…for filing false donations.

The amount paid for that bottle of wine is reported to be high 5 figures.

Read more »