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.

The Labour party passed the Electoral Finance Act in 2007 which forbade donations from overseas residents…while they were taking donations from Dong Hua Liu.

The revelation that he later made a $15,000 donation to Labour comes after MPs attacked National for “cash for access” deals with donors.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said he was unaware that Liu was a donor to his party, but that would not change the criticism levelled at the National Government, “which was that a minister of the Crown involved himself in a police operational matter and it’s also the case that both the Prime Minister and Minister of Immigration have been considering policy changes at the request of Mr Liu”.

Mr Cunliffe doubted there was any connection between Liu’s residency bid and his donation two years later.

Which isn’t what he said about a donation to the National party two years after Dong Hua Liu gained citizenship.

Labour are in trouble here, they will be thinking they can weather the storm, but if I know Jared Savage he is sitting on more revelations. Watching them dance on the head of a pin will be fun to watch.

As it stands here we have an undeclared donation of $15,000 an undeclared pecuniary interest in the favour of Rick Barker from his time as a minister.

Keeping Stock notes:

Trevor Mallard?got ejected from Parliament?on 8th May for suggesting that Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse was offered cash by Liu at a meeting on immigration policy. Labour’s deputy leader Grant Robertson?has accused the Government of cronyism?over Donghua Liu. And David Cunliffe himself?has accused the Government of a conflict of interest?over Liu.

Was Trevor Mallard asking that question because of his knowledge of how Donghua Liu handles cash donations? Were all of their attacks on?the?government based on their own knowledge of how Donghua Liu does things?

Labour will be hoping there isn’t more to come on this….because their sanctimony and statements previously on Dong Hua Liu will be force fed back to them.

 

– NZ Herald

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