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.  

The very accusation Labour  hurled against John Key in actually delivering something concrete and beneficial for the country has been used by the Auditor-General to describe a shabby little back room deal to look after a Labour party donor of suspect credentials.

The report outlines all the Labour party apparatchiks involved in glad handing Yang Liu or Bill Liu or Yong Ming Yang or whatever other pseudonym this dodgy immigrant has used around the Labour party, helping fill various electorates coffers through donations and almost all of them claim not to know something.

All this leaves us with is a stench of dodginess, which for some reason David Shearer seems to want to stay close to by having Shane Jones on his front bench, laughably because Jones is said to be one of those in the Labour caucus who can ‘credibly’ hold the government to account.

All of which goes to show that Labour’s talent pool has all the depth of a carpark puddle.


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  • JeffDaRef

    “All the depth of a carpark puddle – thats classic Whale (applaudes!).
    WOBF is on bloody fire today – so many good gutsy topics to bash the hypocritical lefties on…how will i get any work done?

  • Nothing to see here; move on…

    Helen Elizabeth Clark
    Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

  • Phar Lap

    Might as well bring back Darren Hughes the alleged Lie-bour paedo.Seems he and Jones have something in common with the Lie-bour Party good liars,using Jones ‘s excuse as the sniff test, Hughes would be no more slippery than Jones and could join him on the front bench.FFS.

  • bobby

    From the A-G’s report:

    “Citizenship ceremonies. 3.25

    As a general rule, the oath or affirmation must be taken or made at a public citizenship ceremony. The timing of ceremonies is determined by local authorities…..”

    Can Labour explain their ignoring of the “public citizenship ceremony” rule as stated here? I assume any deviation from the rule must have good reason – one which should be offered if queried.

  • In Vino Veritas

    Ba ha hah!! Nice one. Hang the ministry guy out to dry. Interesting that Jones doesnt usually keep file notes, but just in this one instance, he does. And none of this was communicated to the Ministry Head ie: death penalty, harvesting organs etc.
    What makes one think that Jones may well have written his notes some good while after the fact? Say, when it appeared the situation was hurtling toward going pear shaped for him?

    • Cadwallader

      I recall Phil Goof did not keep records as to the precise time he learned of Dazza Hughes’ attempt to bugger a student at King’s home. A pattern here?

  • bobby

    “Dealing with unproven allegations 3.51

    Mr Barker sought legal and policy advice about how such cases should be approached. In summary, the advice provided by Crown Law was that:

    The onus is on the applicant to assert good character and to satisfy the Minister that he or she is a suitable candidate for citizenship.”

    Apparently this onus of asserting good character is done by making a donation to the party being dealt with.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Two questions.
      1. Does the guy still have NZ citizenship.
      2. Has the Auditor-General ever found any wrongdoing/corruption in any investigation?

      Or is the Auditor-General the person to go to for a good old fashioned white wash.

      • bobby

        1. Yes – unbelievably.

        2. Corruption, no. Wrongdoing, yes – even if there’s debate over whether it was inadvertent, an amazingly convenient (for Liu) series of happenings or plain immoral activity by the people involved.

        Yes… of course the A-G is the whitewash king.

  • williamabong

    Just another example of the thinly covered layer of corruption that seems to run through politics in this banana republic we call NZ.

    It doesn’t matter how much Rinso you use, and how many times you scrub it you cant get the pong off this bullshit story.

    More political interference in the judicial system, Shane will be able order up a movie, break out the baby oil and tissues and celebrate tonight, justice has been seen to be done – YEAH RIGHT.

  • Anonymouse Coward

    Shane Jones actions were not a conspiracy they were a cock-up.

    When Mr Jones stands in Parliament as a front bench opposition spokesman to hold a minister to account will he be meet with a Bronx cheer?

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    OK Tories. This is a defeat. So please move on. Pornsy Jonesy lives to see another day

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    This is what leadership is all about Tory Bros, leadership is all about:

    Labour Leader David Shearer instigated the Auditor General’s report
    in order to dispel the questions raised around Mr Jones’ 2008 decision
    to grant Mr Liu New Zealand citizenship.

    He wasted no time reinstating Mr Jones to Labour’s front bench this afternoon.

    “I thank the Auditor-General and her team for the very thorough
    investigation they have carried out. I accept the report in its entirety
    and support the recommendations made to improve processes in future’ he
    said in a statement.

    “I’m pleased to welcome Shane Jones back to our front bench and his
    return to full duties in the portfolios of regional development,
    forestry and associate finance. Shane is a talented MP who has a huge
    contribution to make to the Labour team and to New Zealand.”

  • Phar Lap

    Talk about buying citizenship.I see Shearer, Norman, and little fat frog Turei have been outed by someone who is alert and alive.There we have it The trio have registered their interest in buying Mighty River Power Shares, caught like possums in the headlights.

  • Anonymouse Coward

    Shane Jones was handed the file with a recommendation from the department that Mr Liu’s application be declined.

    It was handed to Mr Jones personally by the Investigator from the Department who had handled the matter. The Investigator and Mr Jones held a one hour meeting to discuss this.

    That Mr Jones failed to understand the citizenship application was a steaming pile of poo beggars belief

  • Apolonia

    Was he corrupt or incompetent?
    Either way he’s a waste of space.

  • Bunswalla

    A series of unfortunate incidents….

    So what the A-G is saying is, even though it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck it is coincidentally not a duck.

  • JonathanP

    So Shane Jones excuse he “didn’t understand” is absolutely deplorable but when John key can’t recall that he knew his knowledge into the whole Dotcom saga and his many other escapades and having to correct himself in parliament is ok. Its any wonder national got in with a lack of critical thinking and holding people to account for their actions.

    For the record, if records show that Jones knew then he should be punished accordingly but what good is it when the PM can get away with barefaced lies.

  • Grant

    Disgusting. Jones has got away with it, and he knows it. What a crock and a let down for New Zealanders. Meanwhile, Liu or whatever his name is walks free with a New Zealand passport.