Moira Coatsworth, Labour party president, has just put out a statement saying that one of the alleged fundraisers was:
The Herald on Sunday have, however, disclosed to us that Donghua Liu’s statement claims the fundraiser was held on 3 June 2007. We have found no record of any fundraiser held on that date.
Ok, so some part of the Labour party had a fund-raiser on the Sunday in the middle of Queens Birthday weekend?
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.
This is surely obvious even to some dumbarse journos?
But at least anyone who was at this mythic fundraiser will certainly remember it
Updated: The latest explanation from the NZ Herald reads
The statement from Liu said the $100,000 bottle was purchased at a fundraiser on “3-6-2007″. A Labour press statement said no fundraiser was held on June 3, 2007, but the date could be read as March 6, 2007.
This seems unlikely. That date would be in American notation. However China commonly uses the military format of yyyy-mm-dd.
As irascible says in comments. March 6th 2007 was a Tuesday which is also unlikely for a fund raiser. Fundraisers inside Labour are invariably held on Friday evenings or Saturdays because those are the best days to get large numbers of people attending.
On the subject of what is increasingly appearing to be the mythic “close to $100,000″ wine purchase.
Liu said he paid “close to $100,000″ for the prize, according to a signed statement dated May 3, a price tag Mr Barker called “an extraordinary and eye-watering amount, one that I would recall if it happened and I don’t”.
Mr Barker, who was Minister of Internal Affairs at the time, added: “Had $100,000 been paid for a bottle of wine at a fundraiser that I was not at, I am certain I would have been told about it and I haven’t. That figure for one item is considerably more than most fundraisers got in total.”
Mr Barker said he handed over a bottle of wine at a number of Labour fundraisers.
“I can say [the one handed to Ms Zhang] wasn’t a $100,000 bottle.”
Which is what people from Labour have been saying ever since the NZ Herald released this story. It is barely possible that $15,000 could have been paid at an auction without it being widely known amongst Labour activists and MPs. More information about the date and location would be required to pin it down amongst the large numbers of fund-raisers that happen inside of Labour.
But like Rick Barker, I’m incredulous that anyone can think that a $100,000 wasn’t the talk inside Labour in 2007. It is unheard of for such amounts to be made. We were gossiping when auction sales got over a thousand dollars.
Sure this might have happened in National – like John Key’s $50,000 tie. But like that, it would have been widely known and discussed in 2007 including in public.
Mr Liu has said
Liu said he would not make any further comments about political donations or swear an affidavit outlining dollar amounts.
“It’s important to remember that over the years I’ve given equally to governments of both colours.”
Which then leads to the question – why hasn’t the NZ Herald brought out information about the Liu donations to National? Perhaps they are as mythic as the ones to Labour? Or the NZ Heralds sources are inside National?
At this point I’d have to say that the NZ Herald investigations team looks about as credible as Mr Liu.
Updated: Just been listening to Tim Murphy on Morning Report.
There are three things that stand out for me in this.
- Tim Murphy seems to not understand the difference between a signed statement and a affidavit and appears to wave off the differences between the two. Perhaps he should get a lawyer to explain the difference in the Evidence Act to find out how crucial it is. I find it difficult to believe that an editor of a major news medium is unaware of the difference.
- He said that they received the statement only in the last couple of days and that the source was not Mr Liu (and presumably not his legal representatives). So did this letter appear from the National party dirty tricks team or John Key’s top drawer? I suspect so. They, through their mouthpieces in their mouthpiece blogs at Whaleoil and Kiwiblog, have been the people pushing this mysterious affidavit from Liu line since last week.
- Tim Murphy also said that they were trying to check out the statement and that was why they weren’t releasing it to Labour or into the public. Yet the Herald on Sunday released some of the content of this statement yesterday? Is that responsible journalism?
This whole exercise looks increasingly like a National party smear exercise that the NZ Herald has been going along with – without doing the type of checking that we expect from a responsible “news medium”. Thye look like they are trying to descend to the depths of a smear blog like Whaleoil.
Tim Barnett, Labours current General Secretary, sounds like he is getting the same impression on a later segment on Morning Report.
Statement from Moira Coatsworth, Labour Party President, Donghua Liu reported allegations – summary of facts