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.”

But now, seemingly suffering from recovered memory syndrome he has quite a bit more clarity around the issue:

Mr Barker said that in 2006 he was contacted on behalf of Mr Liu, to say he was visiting Hawke’s Bay to look at investment opportunities.

“They made the arrangements and close to his arrival I was told he was interested in sport, and could I make some arrangements for him to meet sporting organisations.

“This came as a complete surprise to me. The only sporting organisation that I was close enough to, to ask at such short notice, was the rowing club.

“He met with them and at the finish Donghua Liu, without being asked or prompted to my knowledge, put his hand into his pocket and drew out an envelope and gave it to representatives of the rowing club. It wasn’t opened then.

“The rowing club met with Donghua Liu at the airport and presented him with a club T-shirt in appreciation. I was told then what the amount was – I can’t recall exactly – but it was less than $5000. A significant personal donation but not over the top.”

Duncan Barr, the president of the Hawke’s Bay Rowing Club, said Mr Liu donated $2000.

Mr Barker said the donation was accepted as a genuine personal gesture.

Barker then goes on to further insult Donghua Liu, which isn’t a wise thing for him to be doing…but that’s what Labour does.

Still Rick Barker has gone from not remembering much at all to quite detailed information about something he previously said he couldn’t remember…which Rick Barker do we believe?

The one who can;t remember and makes stuff up about trips to Chongqing or the one who now remembers everything?

I’m still struggling to see why David Cunliffe thinks Rick Barker should get an apology.

Rick Barker and Mr Liu

Rick Barker and Mr Liu