Cunliffe can’t remember an 11 year old letter and has to resign but Woodhouse can’t remember a 6 week old letter he told Prime Minister about and isn’t resigning?



Whoever tipped Woodhouse off to look where he did, and then started the whispering campaign inside Labour to coincide with the release of the letter just before the 3 month loophole  isn’t known. Yet. But the lies National have needed to engage in once they started fumbling this smear  campaign is already falling to pieces.

The timeline shows Woodhouse lying about when he knew about the letter and when he told Key, it’s a clear cut case of smearing…

Minister’s account

May 8: Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse is questioned in the House and by media about his meetings and any National Party association with Donghua Liu. Mr Woodhouse requests information on the file to see if there is anything relevant that he needs to know about. The Herald requests Liu’s residency file under the Official Information Act (OIA)

May 9: In response to file review, Mr Woodhouse is verbally advised – among other things – of the existence of two Parliamentary advocacy letters regarding Donghua Liu, one from Mr Cunliffe and another from the office of Chris Carter.

Weekend of 10-11 May: Mr Woodhouse informs Prime Minister John Key’s Office of the existence of the letters.

Week 12-16 May: Mr Woodhouse’s office receives hard copy of letters.

May 16: The Herald’s OIA request is declined on privacy grounds

Mid-late May: Mr Woodhouse’s office provides copy of letters to the Prime Minister’s office.

16 June: The Herald run story on Labour donations and connections. TheHerald puts in an OIA request for MP representations for Donghua Liu to Immigration NZ.

18 June: Immigration NZ release Mr Cunliffe’s Donghua Liu letter to the Herald

June 19:

• 2pm Mr Woodhouse denies telling Mr Key about the letters

• 3pm Mr Woodhouse says officials from his office briefed Mr Key’s office on the letters.

• 7pm Mr Woodhouse’s office says the minister himself told Mr Key’s office about the letters and his office also gave copies of the letters to Mr Key’s office.

…NZers do not care for this type of dirty politics and they don’t like the bullying. None of what has been revealed to date discredits any of the legitimate criticism that Labour have levelled at National for their access to influence for cash dealings. Cunliffe didn’t advocate for Donghua Liu, he simply started asked when he could expect a response and it was 11 years ago. To make an 11 year old letter memory fade the level of political debate suggests an editorial class who are virtual members of the National Party caucus rather than the voice of free media.

Donghua Liu is now in direct contact with National Party handlers and he has made these claims of donating up to $300 000 and it’s a line that Key has been more than happy to insinuate as true when speaking to journalists in Washington. Beyond the shock of this though is the Labour Party piecing together what has happened and they are certain that no such donations of that magnitude were ever paid. Compounding this is that some years ago the disk containing this data was stolen. Take from that what you will.

It seems highly unlikely that Donghua Liu could have donated $300 000 to Labour without it showing up on the books. It could be that Donghua Liu has given his handlers sensationalist exaggerations which the Prime Minister has excitedly leapt upon or it could be some internal corruption inside Labour which took the donation and kept it. Either way, that’s not Cunliffe’s fault  and the issue that now emerges is how active National have been in manufacturing this smear.

Do we really want personal political vendettas  being resourced directly via Cabinet Ministers?  I think National’s arrogance has expanded to such a level that they think this kind of political manipulation is perfectly acceptable. What  happens if voters suddenly get a raft of these dirty ops being exposed just before the election? What would NZers think when they see the kind of tactics the National Party are prepared to indulge in when they don’t think anyone is looking?

Let’s see how NZers vote then.

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  1. Thanks for the timeline. But you missed this:

    Mr Woodhouse said Mr Liu – who was involved in National MP Maurice Williamson’s resignation – lobbied him in April or May at the businessman’s Newmarket hotel.

    Lui could have used that meeting to mention an 11-year past letter request to the then government MPs in whose electorate he owned a property.

    Three-chord song in mind as I type this:

    “Lui Lui O oh – you gotta go now
    O Oh O Oh O Oh…”

      • Well yes – but if Labour haven’t already figured out that; everything that Jones knew is now known to his new paymasters (and past backers of his leadership bid), then there really is no hope for them. Surely the’ve got around to changing the (metaphorical) locks by now!

  2. And John Key can’t remember anything about a rich german immigrant whose home was about to be raided by dozens of machine gun wielding stormtroopers and CIA agents!!!!!

  3. “18 June: Immigration NZ release Mr Cunliffe’s Donghua Liu letter to the Herald ”

    So what happened to Immigration NZ’s “privacy concerns” then??

    Whichever way you look at it, it’s pretty unsavoury. If this is how the government is going to conduct the election campaign, they won’t do them,selves any favours.

  4. Oh Martyn you are really digging yourself a deep hole on this one. Labour ran a smear campaign which has just taken a very large chunk out their own bums. Cunliffe is finished. Labour are finished. Get over it.

    • “Mr Cunliffe has been running his own dirty tricks campaign and it seems to be working. He hasn’t been telling himself what he’s been doing.”

    • Just another nashernil party twonk who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing, I suspect.

    • # Intrinsicvalue – if you are referring to Labour questioning government about Maurice Williamson’s involvement in the Liu police case and I think you might be, then you need to realize something. Labour was doing its job, as opposition!

      The Judith Collins/Oravida issue is another one Labour and NZ First rightfully questioned. Seems John Key doesn’t like being held to account!

      Questioning the government of the day over relevant issues, is what a good opposition does. It’s called democracy. In other words, working for the Kiwis they represent. Nothing whatsoever to do with a smear campaign. That is something which more often than not, comes from outside Parliament.

      Would you prefer opposition parties to not hold government accountable for its policies and MPs’ actions? Key and his cronies would love that!

      • I think Mary thinks Labour is clean. When you going to realize that they are not!

        The government have to keep check on the opposition as well. With David Cunliffe at the helm, they don’t have to do much, because that guy keeps shooting himself in the foot! Lucky he wears clown shoes, he would have no feet left otherwise hahahahahaha

        • MMMMM @FATONE – same number of letters as Slater. At least you’re coming out of the closet and from under your rock into the TDB headlights.

          Nice try though…..shame about the smell…gives you away every time.

      • “Would you prefer opposition parties to not hold government accountable for its policies and MPs’ actions? ”

        No, but that isn’t what Labour have done. They have conducted a smear campaign against a number of National MP’s going back to Mike Williams trip to Australia to try to discredit John Key in 2008. It’s pathetic, and therefore matches their poll ratings.

  5. No doubt it’s a smear campaign. It definitely has had an impact Cunnliffe and Labour. Without expressing doom and gloom only a miracle can get Labour back above 30% in the polls. It’s a party that is now light years away from its roots, base and philosophy. It was the party that opened the door to more market and almost overnight wealth started to accumulate at the top few and stay there, corporations led by fast Eddies moved in and wasted the post war economy and infrastructure. Change was needed but not at the speed we took in NZ.Australia by comparison changed gradually. Labour must state policies that at least redistribute wealth, provide more jobs and reduce considerably the numbers of whanau living in poverty.

  6. Its the national party who take the money and do special favors for dodgy wife beating china-men ……

    Or use tax payer funded trips to do back handed deals for their spouses company which in turn donates large sums of cash to the John Key national party ‘charity’.

    John Key before parliament was part of the financial parasite industry and he was a true ticket clipper ( he made and contributed nothing but clipped a lot of tickets).

    A lot of his money was made when he participated in attacking/speculating against the NZ dollar.

    I wonder how many new zealand jobs were lost in order for Key to make his money.

    The global financial crisis was caused by people just like John Key exploiting our contrived artificial financial markets to suck out or steal large sums of money while contributing nothing.

    And he’s been a two faced serial liar ever since he’s been PM ….

  7. Defensive tactic to smear campaigns 101.

    As soon as there are these patsy questions that DC got, especially the ones floated by the media (with whom National are well connected), assume the worst and unless unequivocally sure defer the answer until you know what you are committing to. Being quite sure doesn’t cut it.

    This one was too easy for John Key and Nationals pathetic smear campaign team.

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