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A brief word on the new Donghua Liu donation claims

By   /  June 22, 2014  /  30 Comments

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Cunliffe needs to declare an internal investigation with the promise that no matter who gets implicated, the information will be handed over to the Police for any possible prosecution. This is the chance for Cunliffe to stamp his authority on this situation.

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Money for nothing? Are the cheques really free?

Under immense pressure from his National Party handlers to justify Key claiming Liu had donated $300 000 to Labour, Donghua Liu has finally released his signed statement claiming to have donated $150 000 to Labour. NOTE: It’s not an affidavit, it’s a signed statement, which should be a warning bell to credibility, but if this is true then someone within Labour has some answering to do, if it’s a lie then National have to explain how their smear campaign has collapsed.

Let’s see the proof of this $100 000 bottle of wine. I can not imagine a $100 000 bottle of wine would be forgotten by anyone at a Labour Party fundraiser.

Rick Barker and Mike Williams  better start coming up with some better answers than “I can’t remember”.

Personally, I’ve been to too many Labour fundraisers than I care to admit & the idea a $100k donation for wine could occur without mass bragging is very unlikely. It’s interesting to note that in the year that Donghua Liu’ claims to have donated $150,000 to Labour, National received $513,000 in donations laundered anonymous via trusts. When will the media focus on that?

If there is corruption, it’s proof of why Cunliffe’s leadership is so important and suggests the member and affiliates desire to appoint a leader the Caucus did’t want  was a  genuine response to how they felt the Party had moved away from the values and beliefs they want Labour to embody.

Cunliffe needs to declare an internal investigation with the promise that no matter who gets implicated, the information will be handed over to the Police for any possible prosecution. This is the chance for Cunliffe to stamp his authority on this situation.

If however it’s all smoke and mirror bullshit that amounts to a manufactured smear by National, well – that becomes a whole different story…

Andrew Geddis has a very useful look at the legalities of this.

 

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30 Comments

  1. Patrick McGuire says:

    A display of leadership would be a change but I guess we’ll just hear about smears and how bad National is.

    • Grant says:

      Why are National Party people so obsessed with changing the leadership of the Labour Party?
      I find this very odd behaviour indeed!
      You should be worried about your own leader after watching Q@A this morning. It was toe curlingly embarrassing and barely watchable!
      He is so naive and ignorant on foreign policy (and just about everything else except grifting). I’m sure as soon as Key left the Oval Office ,Obama would have muttered under his breath to himself, ‘SUCKER’.
      So you better get your own succession plan in place buddy.
      Hmmm….Now who might that be?
      English (again)- too dumb
      Joyce -too one dimensional. Lies a lot. Hang on a minute. Then he might be a goer.
      Ryall -(Oh no.Thats right he’s leaving before all his flawed work comes to light).
      Ummm now let’s see. Who else is there.? Oh that’s right.
      Collins-Donkey deep in corruption.
      Bridges-Looks like he suffers from anger issues.Unlistenable .Needs to lose the croak in his voice.
      Bennett-Ah hahahahah It’s always good to have a laugh.
      I give up you choose.!

  2. XRAY says:

    An article big on headlines but a bereft of detail. Labour are guilty as charged (well okay they’re not charged yet but minor details)

    The Herald screaming headlines claims Cunliffe is dodging questions in these “Scandalous revelations” and have gone so far as to give it some shred of credibility to this latest turn with Bryce Edwards seemingly pronouncing judgement on this fait accompli.

    I looked for a Labour Party response to balance this article and only saw dated comments from the previous days so as far as the Herald goes at the moment its looking very partisan National.

    Edwards states an investigation is needed “to look at questions of corruption and irregularities” as well as police involvement needed and or a private prosecution. No doubts where Edwards is directing the readers perceptions now is there?

    If this is dead accurate regarding a 100K bottle of wine in 2007 signed by Helen Clark then this will torpedo her bid to head the UN because the bold inference of the article is that she’s surely implicated in this “scandal”.

    But then so should every other politician who has had donations even similar to this. What’s the chances eh?

    So the Herald better have this exactly right because there’s a lot at stake for Labour, Clark and the Herald, not to mention who is really behind this. For Liu it wont make a stitch of difference.

    • Marc says:

      Well, on Q+A this morning, Cunliffe’s comments on this were rather disappointing, I must say.

      He was talking of it being a “matter for the party”, being “historic”, and he was not ruling out that there is some truth to it.

      This was a stark difference to what he said up to yesterday, answering to media reports and comments.

      It seems he is distancing himself now from his own party, that is the leadership and administrators at least, and probably also mistrusts his fellow MPs more so than ever before, despite of the recent “reassurances” he got from the to support him as leader.

      I sense this is it for Labour, even if they can claim, that some donations flowed through some trust that did not “appear” to be linked to Liu.

      Mike Williams will need to front up again too, as he seems to have been in charge then.

      All potential left of centre voters can do now, may be to protest vote, vote for Greens anyway, and otherwise, those that cannot seem them being a preferred option, to vote other small parties, to make the prospects for Key and Nats to form a new government as difficult as possible.

  3. NZFemme says:

    It’s worth reading Andrew Geddis’ response to the alleged $150,000 donation:

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/maybe-it-was-a-bottle-of-armand-de-brignac-nebuchadnezzar-champagne

  4. Jack says:

    Something needs to be done fast to substantiate these allegations or disprove them, the General Public will believe what the Press tell them and when you have a predominantly pro Tory Press things are not looking good.

    It appears Labour knows nothing about Liu’s donations, there must be receipts or records somewhere, I am sure if Liu had paid $100k for a bottle of wine somebody would remember something, otherwise this one sure has blown up in Labours face.

  5. Peter says:

    Labours obsessive focus on personality politics has come back to haunt them. I’ve written comments previously begging the Labour Party to change strategy and focus on policy and social justice. Instead – I recently listened to Phil Goff imperiously questioning the use of a flat in London by a NZ ambassador – an incident of smaller political consequence to ordinary NZ would be hard to find.

    A full investigation into Labour party donations and handing data to the police? Is that where the Labour party has arrived? Mired in it’s own trivia to such an extent it has lost all political instincts.
    I used to get angry about it and now I just feel indifferent.

    • Grant says:

      I wouldn’t call Collins and Williamsons corruption cases ‘personality politics’.
      These are serious issues that any opposition worth its’ salt has a responsibility to air.

      Labour has announced very good policy already, which gets very little media discussion or is plaigerised by the National Party and then reported as National Party policy.
      It is for this reason that Labour,i believe, have been holding back new policy announcements till closer to the election.
      From what I hear there has been some real brainstorming going on with some fantastic policy announcements to come.
      Oh by the way…Can you please list the National Parties own policies over the last 5 years apart from selling off our most prized, high dividend returning assets and relying on insurance money from a natural disaster?
      As far as the donation distraction is concerned, any fool can see it has nothing personally to do with David Cunliffe. Its time to get Liu on the TV with an interpreter and ask the hard questions.
      Come on media.Do your job.!
      Don’t let fact get in the way of a good bit of innuendo.

    • richarquis says:

      Labour’s focus on personality politics? Did you pay any attention to the campaign billboards over the 2008 election? (I have been overseas since 2009 and didn’t see the 2011 billboards) – Every National MP’s electorate billboard had John Key’s face plastered beside the MP. John Key wasn’t the electorate candidate, but there he was anyway. National has been all about the personality John Key since they took office in 2008. Look at the polls – They’re all about JK as most popular PM ever, or most popular choice for PM, and absolutely bloody nothing to do with policy. I say if you want to pin personality politics down at its most concentrated point, then look elsewhere than Labour.

  6. Marc says:

    I have been following developments around the recent revelations about a formal letter of low level support to Liu, being offered by David Cunliffe 11 years ago (as an MP), and about the allegations of more donations by the now controversial business migrant (himself before the courts) to the Labour Party, with great caution and some doubts.

    It is clear that this is all part of a smartly orchestrated smear campaign, done by people linked to the National Party, possibly even some high ranking MPs of National themselves.

    I was until today giving David Cunliffe and Labour the benefit of the doubt, as Cunliffe came across reasonable and honest enough in his responses to the media.

    What has been revealed today lifts all to a higher level, a critical level, which I fear will decide this election. Yes, that is in my eyes, how serious it has now become, these speculations or rather now open, signed claims about high donations from controversial, rich Chinese business migrants, who think they can “buy” themselves into this country, and with that also “buy” or influence parties, governments and their policies.

    It really infuriates me, what is happening, and indeed, if there is no actual evidence to be found in Labour’s donation files, about probably provable donations by Liu, and possibly others, an investigation is needed. An investigation of sorts should already have been conducted by Labour, going further than just checking past file records, but it seems they are somewhat “negligent” or flimsy in administering their internal affairs.

    The whole election campaign has sadly been blemished with errors, short falls, with poor communication and unfortunate to hopeless dealings with media, who must have been recognised as biased from the start.

    Investigation or not, this is bad news for all prospective voters of progressive and left of centre parties or movements. While David Cunliffe may be able to claim it is “historic”, as he said in the Q+A interview this morning, but it still offers a “bad look”.

    Cunliffe did today seem to not rule out that donations from Liu were made after all, after until yesterday ruling such out. The top drawer of PM John Key is being emptied bit by bit now, and the fact that it is happening is disturbing, but it is also disturbing that the drawer actually could be filled with documents and information, that now proves to be damaging to Labour.

    It shows how deep the rot sits in Labour, due to their “centrist” course and flirting with big business, and neo-liberalism.

    All poor, beneficiaries or working, sick, disabled, sole parents, and others, all those at the bottom of the pile in this increasingly unjust, divided society must be filled with anger about all this. The policies so far offered delivered too little for many of them to vote Labour, or vote at all, they will due to all this not feel encouraged to vote after all, and that will likely give Key and Nats a third term. Shame on you in Labour, who betrayed us for years, and still have not cleaned out your stable full of muck!

    So was all this hidden by a “blind trust”, so it does not show as coming from Liu, I ask? How deep are Labour’s Leader(s), the MPs, the ABCers and others, into this, I want to know, are you any better than the rotten govenrment we have? It seems you have a lot to answer now, so come and give us honest answers, I am sick to death with what I hear now, I am furious!!!

    You have enabled Key to go as far as defend drone strikes now, same as mass surveillance style data gathering, and the “US Americanisation” of NZ Inc, more than the US may have achieved itself. What a disaster!

  7. Ben says:

    What we need is proof and Mr Liu’s statement is not proof. Where is the paper trail?

    • Grant says:

      Quite right Ben.

    • SHG says:

      The danger is that the statement being simply “a statement” is itself bait in a trap.

      Liu: here’s a signed statement in which I confirm that I gave Labout $150K.

      Labour: (looking for loophole) that’s just a statement! It has no legal basis. There is no evidence whatsoever that this is true. In fact it’s a lie constructed by the National Party and fed to Liu.

      Liu: oh and here’s the receipt for the payment. And my bank records with a big $150K payment in the middle. And a photo of me handing a cheque to Mike Williams.

      Labour: (silence)

      National: (laughter) every time. You fall for it every time.

    • Intrinsicvalue says:

      Oh there’s proof alright. And this goes to more than hypocrisy, it goes to whether or not Labour have actually broken electoral law. There is a lot more to this.

  8. Jack says:

    Labour needs the paperwork to disprove or accept Key’s and Liu’s allegations otherwise its +1 to Key and Liu.

    Labour should then concentrate on what they are going to do for New Zealand and New Zealanders rather than getting tangled up in all this Gotcha Politics nonsense especially if they have not got the facts or there are some skeletons in the closet.

    Labour needs to be aware the NZ Press are not going to do them any favours and they need to have their facts right.

  9. Intrinsicvalue says:

    You were told, Martyn, of the risks of running defence for Cunliffe. He’s donkey deep in it now, and there’s no escape.

    • Grant says:

      In your Dreams.
      This ,long term,will effect National a lot more when they are fully outed about their donation sources.I saw Boag physically squirm today on Q@A when secret trusts were mentioned.
      Then the narrative will turn to ‘public funding only’ of political parties ,and if that becomes a reality, then the Right are stuffed!

      • Intrinsicvalue says:

        Secret trusts? You mean like the one Cunliffe used to fund his leadership campaign? You see therein lies the problem. Cunliffe’s ‘holier than thou’ campaign has backfired spectacularly, and the more he tries to lie his way out of this, the more the funding revelations to come are going to embarrass him.

        • Grant says:

          Oh dear ,either you are ignorant ,or you are being wilfully ignorant.Either way its not a good look.
          There is a vast difference between funding an internal party leadership campaign ,(something National wouldn’t have a clue how to organise),which is no business of anybodys outside of the Labour Party,and the laws surrounding the financing of a ‘political party’ and a General Election campaign.
          The ‘secret’ narrative that is tossed around by the ignorant, suggests illegal.
          Just to educate you, the funding that David Cunliffe used for his bid to be come leader was perfectly legitimate and followed the party rules to the letter.
          But of course the dummies and the ignorant choose to ignore fact.
          It’s easier.It means you don’t have to face reality and that’s a lot harder.It requires effort and critical thinking.
          ps.With your powers of reasoning you should become a journalist for msm.You might just find your calling!

  10. adam says:

    It seem to me innocent till proven guilty, is something the herald and the media in general have forgotten.

    It’s a Kangaroo court held by the herald at the moment.

  11. Cagey says:

    It’s pretty light on detail, this statement. Almost $100,000 on a bottle of wine at a Labour function in 2007 – WHAT Labour function – Electorate? General party? Special funchion? Dirty funding party?? When in 2007 was it? Where was it? Who was there (obviously Rick Barker was but who else?). There are a lot of acusations being thrown around but really Mr Doughua – who obviously knows all about it as it’s about him – should be able to pass on a few more fact to pin this down (and give maybe others who could have been at this event to say “Yeh, I remember that bottle selling for heaps!or I can’t remember that going for that much, wasn’t it about $10,000”). And there’s not much point in having record keepers in the party on if these things aren’t actually there. Williamson and Collins are a completely different kettle of fish as they what they did – by anyones standards – was dodgy but also there was reliable evident which proved their dodginess. We had a family crisis last night so haven’t yet see Q & A but actually what happened in the last Labour govt IS historic – or do we need to drag up all the things that happened in the previous Nation party that Mtrs English, Key, Brownlee etc were key members of -Hollow Men anyone??

  12. Marc says:

    This here, a post by Andrew Geddis, shines some light on all this, and offers a likely explanation what the Herald story and the claims by Liu are all about:

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/maybe-it-was-a-bottle-of-armand-de-brignac-nebuchadnezzar-champagne

    It would in that case be all LEGAL, but of course there remains to be a serious image problem that Labour have, and David Cunliffe will have a herculean task to turn the now negative tide around.

    This is highly damaging, no matter how we look at this report about fund raising by and donations to Labour.

    It does not go down with many voters, having a party accuse the government of things, which in similar ways they have been doing themselves.

    • Grant says:

      Only trouble with your last statement Marc ,is that it is not similar.
      That’s exactly what the media and National want you to think!
      This is a distraction because National have no policies.Absoluta de nada.!

  13. Marc says:

    A link to party donations returns on the Elections website, also offered by Andrew Geddis in his post:

    http://www.elections.org.nz/parties-candidates/registered-political-parties-0/party-donations/party-donations-year/1996-2007

    I see that NZFEMME already presented the link to the Pundit post further above, so sorry to repeat this.

    The Herald on Sunday is whipping up stories, and the Nats are apparently drip feeding media, so it is all more smear and otherwise simply not a good look for Labour, to have been up to similar things as the Nats have.

    When does the fricking crap mainstream media start reporting on and discussing policies, I ask????

  14. BobW says:

    David Cunliffe just needs to get on with leading the left to a victorious election… If the media want to wallow in swill, then let them do it. No point in feeding the media any more.. they are not listening to reason. The right will do anything to undermine democracy… David is best to move forward and let the right spend their time muck racking.

  15. Delia Morris says:

    Given as they cannot even show the Labour Party President the letter let alone any proof, just tell them to stuff off David and the Labour MPs and just settle down to work tomorrow.

  16. Mistery Mistery says:

    I thought Donghua Liu was a Nat man.

    Why would anyone believe anything he says or does.

    So did John Key tell another lie when he said it was $300k?

    John Key is a very dodgy character indeed, and I believe his wife-bashing mate the Chinaman is too!

    Opinion.

  17. Mike the Lefty says:

    An interesting question to put to the dirty greedy right is: if the election is a done deal (as you lot keep claiming), then why do you have the need to keep dishing out dirt? Is it because you can’t help yourselves and have a pathological need to pamper your egos? or is it that you don’t believe your own publicity and deep down you are worried?

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