Facts about that mystery $100 000 bottle of wine and standards of Journalism in NZ



Front page of the paper screaming $100 000 bottle of wine with David Cunliffe’s face next to it.

Look, we all appreciate that it terrifies the mainstream media that the Left might actually win this election, but concocted stories about $100 000 wines with David Cunliffe’s name and face plastered all around that wine are just becoming a bit Fox News.

I’ve been to more Labour Party fundraisers than I’d ever care to admit in public. Trust me, they are a strain on my grip with reality in terms of their traditional dullness to the point of spontaneous combustion. If anyone had ever donated $100 000 for a bottle of bloody wine, it would have become legendary amongst every Labour Party fundraiser in the Southern Hemisphere. They would be going on about that bloody bottle of wine for the next 100 years. To even consider that it was a possibility and not be wide spread folklore that would be used forever as the yard stick of donation standards suggests a journalist with very little background into the culture of the Labour Party.

That to start with should have sounded journalistic warning bells.

This is supposed to be the mainstream media, not Whaleoil. Do the mainstream media appreciate how moderate they are making Cameron Slater look with all these unsubstantiated claims of donated money to the Labour Party?

Let’s go through the facts shall we?

FACT: The bloke Maurice Williamson was trying to protect from domestic violence charges and who Maurice did the citizenship ceremony immediately for in his office signs a statement NOT AN AFFIDAVIT, a statement, 2 days after Maurice is forced to stand down claiming that he also gave a $15 000 donation to Labour. But Labour have no record of this donation. So, really, Donghua Liu, the bloke in question who has made huge boasts regarding his investment in this country with very little to actually show in terms of that investment has signed a statement making another huge boast, this being the same bloke who was ever so grateful that his mate Maurice called the Police on his behalf over him bashing two women. So really, one could go as far as to suggest that Donghua Liu has one all mighty axe to grind with Labour and we are going on his word that he did in fact donate this $15000 in the first place? Because, you know, he’s kinda got a motive to damage Labour and a history of grand claims. Please note – no actual evidence has been offered up of this transaction. 

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FACT: This statement, not an affidavit, was signed 3rd May 2014. How is it that something 6 weeks old only now comes to the attention of the Herald? Who had it signed? Was anyone acting on behalf of the National Party with Liu at any stage of this signing? Has anyone being liaising between Liu and the National Party?

FACT: Donghua Liu claims he gave this money at a fundraiser on the 3rd June 2007. Problem is, Labour didn’t have a fundraiser on 3rd June 2007.

FACT: According to the PM, National have known about this letter for weeks.

FACT: Michael Woodhouse had to correct himself three times trying to hide that he was the one who passed the letter along to John Key.

CONCLUSION: This is a manufactured smear that is dirty politicking and has nothing to do with the actual issues confronting the majority of NZers at this election. The 800 000 NZers living in poverty deserve a better quality of debate than this bullshit.

All we have here are the words of someone with an agenda and a past history of grand claims that he won’t even sign as an affidavit for Christ’s sake! This is playground Chinese whispers stuff.  Appreciate the pun.

Is this kind of journalism the standard of 4th estate responsibility a democracy 3 months out from an election demands? This looks like the entire mainstream media have swallowed a manufactured National Party smear and uncritically run it as  headlines.

Please tell me that’s not the case.  Please tell me we are better than this?


    • This statement, not an affidavit, was signed 3rd May 2014… Who had it signed? Was anyone acting on behalf of the National Party with Liu at any stage of this signing? Has anyone being liaising between Liu and the National Party?

      Michael Woodhouse paid Liu a personal visit at Liu’s apartment home some time late April/early May. Just saying. He might not have been the principle liason person.

  1. Highly suspect journalism coming out of The Herald these days big Smear Campaign on Cunliffe, hopefully Labour have all their Ducks In a Row, looks like National’s Spin Doctors are working overtime on this one.

  2. National are worried they may not have a coalition partner come September.

    And they have either become SO arrogant (and possibly a little bit desperate), that with a bit of help from their good friends in the media and a not so small bit of smear, a tactic that NZ is still getting its head around, that it now thinks it is possible to win the election outright. Hence they’re still playing very coy with Colin Craig.

    If they can drag this stunt out for long enough (2 weeks so far) and have the electoral commission start an investigation at least this will taint Labour from now until the election at least and badly. And if nothing comes of an investigation, well National will be well and truly re-elected and the damage done. It’s already having this effect right now.

    I now get the feeling, listening to some of the slightly conciliatory tones from the odd Nat and usually friendly journalists that they are worried where this will end.

    But it will give even more weight to those already wondering what kind of disturbed, morally and ethically bankrupt, lying individuals do we have running our country!

    • You must be reading my mind Xray.
      I still think there is going to be a sting in the tail with all of this and National better start looking for an antedote!

    • But it will give even more weight to those already wondering what kind of disturbed, morally and ethically bankrupt, lying individuals do we have running our country! –

      Exactly waht i am asking myself.

      As if John Keys lies and mind wandering aren’t enough to worry about.

  3. Yes Sunday was a bit of an odd day for a fundraiser. Did he actually say what it was a fundraiser for? Crikey wouldn’t it be wonderful if the people being paid to ask these questions could be actually asking them (might entail actual jornalism, humpf).

  4. It was clear several months ago that the National Party would pull any dirty trick out of the bag to win this one. You know they haven’t really changed much over the years, they rely on the same old lines: personal smear campaigns, lies, a toadying press and reds under the beds comparisions (just wait, this will come soon enough). They can’t ever win an election on policy because they don’t have any, unless you count doing nothing as a policy. New Zealand deserves a lot better from its centre-right, but as these people place no value on integrity, honesty or social conscience we won’t get it.

  5. Looks like Key. Smells like Slater. Thank God I didn’t stand in it and ruin a good set of fluffy slippers.

    This is more grain-fed, right-wing, Fox-inspired gobshite.

    All it is doing, is showing left and middle voters just how desperate Key and the neoliberal monetarist cabal are, to transfer that last 9% of wealth into the hands of 1% of the Key-croney population.

    Less than a hundred days now http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20140920T190001&p0=264&msg=Get+rid+of+Key%26cronies+&csz=1&swk=1

  6. LPrent over at TS has an important point that those who fabricated this story should have considered:

    What are those munters pretending to be journalists at the Herald on? Haven’t they looked at a calendar for 2007? The 4th is Queens birthday. The third is a Sunday.
    Absolutely no-one schedules fund-raisers for the Labour party in middle of a long weekend. That is because no-one will turn up. No-one typically schedules anything for Sunday either. That is because it is the day that MP’s usually spend with their families.


  7. Agree. I am so over it, the only reason I watch the news now is to see what rubbish the people are being fed.

  8. We are officially a corrupt country and have been for some time now.
    Our press is stuffed.It’s appalling to see it’s corruption unfolding before our eyes.
    Especially since bogus Boag, cunning Key, halitosis Hooton and wanker Whale oil have reared their sleazy heads.The media and the National Party are now one of the same.
    This is now building to something with pretty big consequences and while Labour may or may not get a blood nose,National is going to end up with a massive hole in their head.They will be outed!
    This makes the ‘Reds under the Beds’ and the ‘Dancing Cossacks’ propaganda seem like a Sunday School picinic.
    Innocent times by comparison.Things have to change for the sake of NZs future!

  9. The media and National are treating us all like mushrooms keeping us in the dark and feeding us shit.

    When are we going to get some accurate, constructive, analytical political journalism FFS?

  10. I keep harping on about Michael Woodhouse claiming Liu doesn’t speak English. In what language is Liu’s statement written? Who, from the herald, translated it?

    • @ BellyWho – Good point there!

      Wouldn’t mind betting though, the statement was initiated by Key in early May and given to Liu to sign, because he was peed off with Williamson having been outed trying to interfere in Liu’s assault case!

  11. Let’s just get clear how low the quality of Journalism from The Herald. They receive this signed document purportedly from Donghua Liu, and instead of a. verifying it, and b. going to Labour for comment on the claims, and reporting the situation from a neutral standpoint, goes straight in with the Prima Facie case that Labour is guilty as charged.

    If this indeed turns out to be as contrived as it is now appearing then the following has to happen and Labour/DC take charge:

    1. Labour formally takes The Herald to the Press Council.

    2. Labour demands Tim Murphy’s resignation as Herald editor. His behaviour on Twitter is appalling and clearly his judgement is utterly biased. He has sent out a number of snarky Tweets about Cunliffe, probably trying to be cute, but which clearly unmask him. Example from from June 18th:

    “Shakes and banging being reported all over West Auckland appear to be sourced from David Cunliffe’s New Lynn electorate office.”

    3. Labour make absolutely sure that all NZ’ers understand very clearly what just happened and how the MSM media were fooled. And every interview D.C. conducts with an MSM journalist (including likes of Catherine Ryan and that dick Larrie Williams) should start off with “Before we get started, I’d like to remind you and your listeners what a poor and shoddy job you did around the recent Liu controversy. I hope that now you are ready to do your job and report on issues that affect the huge number of New Zealand children and families who are living in poverty – you POS.”

    This is almost too delicious to contemplate…

    • TIM.
      My mouth is watering at the thought!
      That is exactly what Labour should do.
      I would love to see the media sued and found guilty of corruption, and corroboration with a political party.
      Bring it on!

  12. Mr Liu cann’t speak English remember, someone must have written the letter for him and someone must have been talking to him about this whole situation because my guess is he can’t read English either….wonder who that someone is!

  13. Martyn ( As well as the general public)

    WHEN are you going to wake up to REALITY?

    FACT = the Media (all “mainstream” in NZ is OWNED by multinational corporations
    ( who own just about all the media in the world.)

    The Media = a business.
    The Media is NOT an instrument of democracy
    – as in the old fashioned notion keeping the general public informed of important truths.

    Does that clear up any false expectations of yours re journalism in NZ?

    Notice that NZ Herald give themselves an award beneath their title -something like “newspaper of the year”..this is just a pure & simple marketing ploy which means nothing actually, given that they are all owned by the same multinational group. But it’s enough to con people who think that newspapers tell the “truth”.

    Even Stuff .Co on internet is NOT independent media.
    And ANYTHING on TV !!

    Although you might get certain snippets are allowed eg on John Campbell.. But he does not know all what is really going on, and of course he is not an “independent journalist” because he’s just doing a job..and here today is forgotten tomorrow.

  14. Devastated that journalism in this country has stooped so low as to not investigate thoroughly and simply shovel this shite at us as fed to them by the machine that will have us all gripping onto the shirt tail of the sinking USA. Sad, and it seems it will take a real revolution in politics to right this wrong. There is no decency left. Even the anchor men and woman on news have opinions with raised eyebrows and snide remarks which amazes me as their role should be to report the properly analysed information of the political jounos. It seems like a real club now where they are all experts when actually they are just reading a cue machine. I thought NZ media would never plummet to this level.

  15. It’s the National strategy plan to divert debate to bullshit, so the real debate never happens. And they do it everyday. Not just at election time. With every snippet of information. It is all very carefully planned by PR teams and politicians colluding for cause and effect. Kiwi’s are slow on the uptake. It’s a given overseas. It’s immediate for many and not even discussed such is the wave of support to end the ‘bullshit’. Kiwi’s need to be more connected and active, less apathetic. Slow walking dead. Great to see some passion. Hugs from Brazil. Oh, I am actively blogging on this subject – please visit – I included this post on my blog and tweeted it to 4000 followers on Linkedin. http://goo.gl/2LFDfe

  16. The left is far too sensitive on the matter of the MSM. Labour have been involved in some quite disgusting smears under Parliamentary priviledge in recent times, and yet the first sign of a self inflicted scandal and they claim the moral high ground. It really is pathetic.

    The MSM are simply doing their job. Labour is a train wreck, and Cunliffe is showing his true colours. He is simply unfit for office.

    • The difference between the smears Labour has been involved in is that they are true. As far as I am concerned it’s the opposition’s job to bring to our attention when the government is becoming corrupt.

  17. As Donghua Liu has made the statement, signed it and released it to msm for publication, then it’s his responsibility to provide evidence of his donation(s) to Labour.

    Without supporting proof, Liu’s claims of donations mean nothing. The onus is now on him to prove his statement is true with dates, venues times etc, as well as account details of payments. An affidavit would require evidence.

    If Liu is telling the truth, then why the reluctance to back up his statements with a signed affidavit?

    This whole issue has a very rancid stench about it, with the foul odour coming straight from Key and National!

    • More important still, why is the MSM running this story BEFORE any substantiating evidence is presented? Is it standard journalism practice these days that if someone accuses someone of something that they just run with it regardless of any fact checking or collaborating evidence whatsoever? Will Liu be held to account and charged with slander if it turns out he made it up? Will the media apologise to Cunliffe and it’s viewers/listeners/readers? Haven’t they breached broadcasting standards?

  18. This looks like the entire mainstream media have swallowed a manufactured National Party smear and uncritically run it as headlines.

    To me it looks more like the MSM helped National write the smear.

    • Consider the competence level of both of those groups…. Crosby Textor wrote it of course, but it lost a surprising amount in translation. Somewhere in consultant land an elite media wonk is banging their head against the wall wondering even now how they managed to make such a complete cock of his or her brilliant strategy.

  19. and just catch your breath when you’re reading the Press and observing Al Nisbet’s cartoons, denigrating Cunliffe and supporting the Smiling Assassin. The Press has gone downhill ever since the co-called impartial Joanna Norris became editor.
    She doesn’t have a nice word for any left leaning entity, and questions almost everything Lianne Dalziel does.
    Impartial journalism?
    Please let me take a break while I tie up my Unicorn.
    What’s that, it’s not a Unicorn, but a Flying Pig…shucks.

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