Rick Barker

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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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Extremely Dodgy Council has some good Councillors

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

Regular readers will know that I have?a very, very strong aversion to socialism.

I also have a dislike for bullying behaviour by councils promoting socialism.

The worst offender at the moment is the Hawkes Bay Regional Council who want to build a dodgy socialist dam that will turn the Tukituki River Toxic.

Fortunately for the people of Hawkes Bay the socialists on the council are opposed by people who don?t want to give a huge hand out to 150 farmers and turn the Tukituki River Toxic. These councillors were sidelined by Chairman Fenton ?Jong-Un? Wilson who refused to let them see the submission the council made to the Board of Inquiry.? Read more »

Dodgy socialist council keeps councillors in the dark, and last corporate investor bails out of dam plan

The completely dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council has sunk to a new low.

The council got the bum’s rush from the Board of Inquiry when they tried to get three scientists to change their story about turning the Tukituki River toxic by not managing Nitrogen. Fortunately the Board was wise to this and pointed out it couldn?t understand why three scientists had changed their mind with no real science behind it.

Now the council staff have pissed off a group of councillors by not letting them see the submission to the Board of Inquiry. The council staff seem to think that they have councillors just to rubber stamp things, not to actually have any input.

Councillor Rex Graham, on behalf of fellow councillors Rick Barker, Tom Belford and Peter Beaven, has written to Conservation Minister Nick Smith and Environment Minister Amy Adams to tell them the four councillors have not had any input into the councils submission to the board of inquiry.

The councillors are upset council staff sent the submission, commenting on the boards draft proposal, without it being signed off at a council meeting.

They have asked the ministers for the opportunity to lodge their own submission on the boards proposal. “I would have thought that, as an elected representative, I would have seen [the submission] and been able to debate it,” Mr Graham told Hawkes Bay Today.

“We have to sign off documents this important. This is a fundamental, in-principle thing. We have had a board of inquiry present us with their thoughts and their proposal and we are essentially challenging that. I would have thought its huge. I would have thought its a major, fundamental thing, he said. If the executives [council staff] make the decisions, then why do we have an election?” Read more »

Dodgy Socialist Council Gives Staffer $84,500 Pay Rise

Regular readers will know we think the Hawkes Bay Regional Council is exceptionally dodgy.

They are the regulator and promoter of the dodgy socialist dam in Central Hawkes Bay, and have bullied opponents to the dam in a totally shameless way that will become a media story.

They are also the ratbags that allowed the CHB District Council to pour brown ?treated? sewage into the Waipawa River.

Effluent pouring into the Waipawa river

Effluent pouring into the Waipawa river

Now they have paid their CE who has left to push the dodgy socialist dam through the dodgy consents process another $84,500. The non socialist members of the council have said this is a disgrace. ? Read more »

Dodgy socialist council has two sensible members

Looks like two councillors have told their ratbag chairman to go jump over his insistence to wear ties at the Hawkes Bay Regional Council.

Two Hawke’s Bay regional councillors have defied their chairman’s request to wear ties to meetings, turning up in open-necked shirts despite a request they dress up to deal with the “formal process” of council business.

Last month, council chairman Fenton Wilson made a “request, not a demand” of the seven male councillors that they all wear ties to meetings after three turned up without them.

One of the three men who was called out last month, Rick Barker, said at the time he was happy to comply with the request and arrived for yesterday’s meeting wearing a tie.? Read more »

Dodgy Socialist Ratbag wants Politicians to Look Dodgy

Dodgy socialist ratbag Fenton Wilson, chair of the dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council, reckons that he wants other councillors to look as dodgy as he does.

He is telling them all to wear ties, even though everyone knows that ties are a badge of dodginess. The only people who wear ties these days are real estate salesmen, lawyers and politicians, the whole lot of the dodgy.

Hawke’s Bay regional councillors have been given a dressing down … about how they’re dressing down.

At the first ordinary meeting of the newly-elected council, held in Napier yesterday, three of seven male councillors arrived wearing jackets and open-neck shirts. ? Read more »

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