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Donghua Liu Letter: More Dirty Politics

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 am, September 12th, 2014 - 55 comments
Categories: blogs, Media, same old national - Tags: , , , , ,

Frank Macskasy at The Daily Blog has a good timeline of the Donghua Liu OIA.

And the times on the 18th of June – a date set for the John Banks resignation debate in parliament, and just 2 days after Jared Savage & Brook Sabin put in revised OIAs (their initial ones producing nothing useful) – make for some interesting reading:

12.10 – Labour Leader’s office told of letters, and told OIA will be mailed in 1 hour.

12.30 – Office of Immigration Minister (Michael Woodhouse) told OIA being released, with letters.

12.49 – Jared Savage is emailed OIA.

12.53 – Brook Sabin – without a paper-trail of how he got the letters (but direct from Minister’s office?) – publishes his story on the letter.

12.57 – Whaleoil references Jared Savage’s OIA about the letter.

1.00 – John Armstrong publishes call for Cunliffe’s resignation due to letter.

1.06 – David Farrar refers to Jared Savage’s OIA.

John Banks resignation debate in parliament gets derailed by National front-benchers referencing to breaking Donghua Liu news.

2.29 – Jared Savage publishes his story about his OIA…

Now how Brook Sabin made a package on the OIA in 4 minutes after the OIA release – or John Armstrong managed to comment on the breaking news 7 minutes later – is somewhat of a mystery.  But Whaleoil and Farrar referring to an article that wasn’t published for another hour and a half?

Well, one might suspect Dirty Politics.

John Key admitted having the letter from the weekend of 10/11 May shortly after Jared Savage’s initial fruitless OIA caused it to cross Woodhouse’s desk.  The Nats obviously then needed the information to come out to undermine Cunliffe, and at a politically convenient time. The full article has more inconsistencies and details.

Macskasy leaves us with some questions:

1. Who told Visa Services to respond to Jared Savage’s May 8 request at 8.59am on Monday 16 June?

2. Who told Savage to make a fresh, more specific request, the same morning and copy it to the minister’s press secretary?

3. Who told Sabin to put in a request on June 16?

4. Who told Tova O’Brien to ask those questions on Tuesday 17 June?

5. Who made the transcript of the questions and answers and how was it circulated?

6. After deciding to withhold the Cunliffe letter for privacy reasons, why was it released so quickly and without any further discussion of the privacy aspect?

7. It took the minister less than 20 minutes to approve the release of the Cunliffe and Carter letters. Is this a record?

8. How was it possible for the letter to be published in so many places so quickly?

So I think we can see another clear example of National’s dirty tricks – reaching right up to the PM.

55 comments on “Donghua Liu Letter: More Dirty Politics”

  1. Disgusting! What do you do with this? Am sick to the core with this smear, which has damaged the opposition so much. No mention of it in MSM (obviously). Very evil forces at play in this country at the moment. Subverting debate in Parliament, taking focus off John Banks, who was found guilty (regardless of appeal).

    • owie 1.1

      I’m not sure that this storm in a teaspoon has done any lasting damage to Labour, or the left bloc more generally.

      • Sans Cle 1.1.1

        I disagree. As a person who was blind to dirty politics before reading the book, having never engaged in blogging or read blogs until 3 weeks ago, I had a very slanted view of Cunliffe. I am non partisan, (but lean toward Green). I believed what I read in the Media. I trusted that journos were calling it as they saw, so didn’t question the sound bites I received. I just took it that Cunliffe had messed up. Just accepted that they were unorganised, not politically expedient, a bit sloppy…. I am educated, interested and engaged in civic matters, but if you don’t get media coverage (other than showing your foibles, and having to explain previous actions), of course it affects your image. I think the smear has had a huge impact on Labour.
        I don’t have time to question EVERYTHING I read/hear (and I don’t watch TV), between work and family. I don’t think I am so different from many New Zealanders.

        National have been very effective with their political marketing, and it has hurt labour.

        • cogito 1.1.1.1

          Hopefully it will all come back to hit National twice as hard. Would be justice.

          Key has led a government of double-talk, lies and deceit. The signs have been there for a long time if one was prepared to look closely enough.

          • Sans Cle 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I never trusted Key. A speculator (a.k.a. Gambler of other people’s money, with only ‘wins’ for himself) being leader of a country, yes maybe….but leader of a society….never. How do skills from self interested gambling (of other’s money) transfer into skills for leading a trulydemocratic society, with our 4 well beings, and built on Te Tiriti?.
            But no, the insidious smear and perversion of parliamentary power and resources (Ede and Collins) blindsided me. On taxpayer’s money? And the opportunity cost of debating time in Parliament. Spent by Bill English et al in the attack on Cunliffe. It beggars belief.

            I certainly was taken in.

        • ianmac 1.1.1.2

          I think you are right Sans Cle.
          ” Just accepted that they were unorganised, not politically expedient, a bit sloppy….”
          And that has been repeated endlessly by MSM and if you ask people what they think of Labour, those are the words often heard.
          Rotten tricks with a complicit Media.

          • CrashCart 1.1.1.2.1

            Agree. When I talk to work mates or family members who are voting National (some are drifting away a little) the common theme that comes out is that Cunliff is just not trustworthy. I straight up ask them why they think that and they can’t give an answer. This is AFTER the whole dirty politics. People still think Cunliff is less trustworthy. Why is that? Because smears like this that in of themselves don’t seem huge when they happen over and over again can’t help but effect the image of a person.

            This is the insideous thing. The Dirty politics tactic has worked so well to undermine the credability of Cunliff that when evidence is put in front of people of what they have been up to people still choose not to believe it and it has had very little effect on NACT in the polls. I understand it is the poll of polls that matter but I am concerned that too much damage has been done in this underhanded manner already.

            • Sans Cle 1.1.1.2.1.1

              I have a feeling that the tide is turning (optimist in me)…..and that message is getting out there. I for one am sounding like a bloody ancient Greek advocate of democratic ideals on my social media sites. My brother overseas wanted to know if my FB was hacked with all links etc!. Discussions here on this blog are clearly preaching to the converted, but I for one am trying to open people’s eyes to what is going on, in my own little sphere, and where I can.

            • Bunji 1.1.1.2.1.2

              It is insidious – because there will be a gut feel that has been formed from the drip-drip-drip of stories and is very hard to get rid of for a large number of voters.

              Our meat-brains don’t switch our emotions/feelings so easily just because a fact is presented to us.

            • Lloyd 1.1.1.2.1.3

              It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”
              ― Joseph Goebbels

              Once you are sold a lie, you have to admit you are duped before you can accept an opposing story. It takes effort to admit you can be conned. It hurts. It is hard to give up the lie when it is steadily reinforced from many sources. It is far easier to accept you have accepted a lie when their is someone to blame. If we can string someone up for the crime it is far more acceptable to make the logic shift against the lie. We need heads on poles and the government will roll!

  2. dv 2

    Frank is a very good details man.

  3. Ant 3

    This was one of the more disingenuous episodes in NZ politics – zero substance, journalists knew it, but rolled with the whole thing anyway.

  4. karol 4

    Savage
    Sabin
    Armstong
    O’Brien

    Why we need a strong public service media.

    • Paul 4.1

      And now the Corin Dann running Dirty Politics tactics on the Greens.
      Shame on the media.

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        Because they are being wilfully blind to the true nature of dirty politics which is about networks, collusion betw politicians, their staff, bloggers, media, corporates, lobby groups and various individuals of questionable character.

        Or they are stupid.

        Not sure either is acrime at law but we ought to be collectively outraged.

        • Sans Cle 4.1.1.1

          I agree…..and I am outraged! But how to get a simple message across to people who don’t realise this is happening?…. People who would also be outraged. The book is out there, but are we back to business as usual?

          I am sick to the core that Ede has not been discussed in Leader’s debates.
          Key has not explained ANYTHING. (Hello Jason if you are reading this……you can run, but NZ will not let you hide).

    • Tigger 4.2

      + 1 Karol – this ‘private’ media works for those with money and power. I never had a great impression of them. Now I want justice for their actions.

  5. Peter 5

    It would be appreciated if someone could please explain the legality or otherwise of this senario …………………..

    • Tracey 5.1

      Having an Editor (tim murphy of sst) who thinks a statement and affidavit are the same thing is not illegal but it is “criminal”!

  6. North 6

    Given the importance of the media to a functioning democracy the way the media has gone is extremely disturbing. A biased media once required a committed (if hidden) ideological stance. All it requires now is a bunch of unworldly (except in terms of facile cafe society), truthfully not very bright, “self self self” operatives. Operatives who are encouraged and rewarded for seeing and conducting themselves as ‘part of the story’. The story (narrative) being that of the corporate power elite.

    What’s the obvious way to honour and advantage “self self self” ? Honour the corporate power elite in which one is yet a minion. That’s what’s happened to our media. “Democracy” has been reduced to a buzz word. It is very depressing.

    • kenny 6.1

      Agree North. In the face of overwhelming evidence that this government is CORRUPT the media do nothing! In fact they go along with it.

      They should be ashamed.

  7. Tracey 7

    In July this year I submitted an OIA relating to a statement bill english made to tge data forum about single mothers on benefits.

    When his department replied some weeks later, they told me he had relied upon a summary provided to him by ms bennett.

    At Weka’s prompting I sent another request asking for a copy of the summary referred to in his response to me. Pretty specific rquest I think. This was on 8 August. I received the summary on 8 September.

    It took a month.

    My point, and I do have one, is Slater was receiving OIA responses at an unusual fast turn around.

    My request to english couldnt have been more specific cos it referred to a document HE had alerted me to.

    Anyone who says Slaters turn around time for his OIAs is cos he was darn specific are

    Lying
    Speaking from NO experience of OIAs

    That raises the issue of HOW he could be SO specific. OIAs are, in my experience something of a fishing expedition. You suspect they have something but you arent exactly sure.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Yeah, that’s not how they work for the National Party. A National Party OIA request goes like this: they pay people with tax-payers’ money to trawl through government records looking for any more-or-less insignificant details that might be useful. They keep a database of these – the PM’s self-described “top drawer”.

      When they need a distraction from the latest evidence of their perfidy, they tell one of their deniable sources to put the request in, and help them compose it.

      The Donghua Liu letter/donation smear required considerably more than that of course, as Frank so ably demonstrates.

      It shows journalists working as a branch of the National Party, a coordinated pre-meditated attack. They may as well be on the payroll.

      In other news, I have some Press Council teeth going cheap. Found them at a garage sale in an old box marked “unwanted”.

      • Tracey 7.1.1

        Clever @teet – oops freudian slip. Meant teeth
        Remember when collins and key described something in 2011 as being years ago? But something a decade ago was a scandal!?!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.2

        * for “deniable sources” read “deniable assets”.

  8. Another legal question: are breaches to Cabinet guidelines legally binding? Is there anything in the Crimes Act that is covered by this behaviour? Is the legal profession/ombudsman involved at this point, or would that be hush-hush?
    I really cannot believe this is not illegal…..and really can’t believe it’s happening here in NZ…(but I suppose Peter Jackson did try to tell us, we live in Middle Earth, The Sleepy Shire, with evil forces surrounding us!).

    • Tracey 8.1

      My understanding is the cabinet manual are guidelines enforceable by the PM, and maybe, the Speaker?

      They govern matters that are parliamentary and i think are therefore constitutionally outside the jurisdiction of the Courts.

      Only guessing

  9. Keiv 9

    Damn right it’s Dirty Politics, how much money did Liu have to donate in order to get that reference ? Why didn’t he approach his local electorate MP ?

  10. ianmac 10

    Excellent idea Bunji to print the summary of Frank’s post. The timeline shows that there is no credible answer but that there is corruption and collusion at the highest level.
    Has anyone tried to deny the truth of the facts?

  11. Tom Jackson 11

    Well, it’s a vindication of what people were saying early on this year: that the media were colluding in hit jobs on Cunliffe.

    I seem to recall some journalists blogging that this was Labour’s fault.

    Bullshit.

  12. ghostwhowalksnz 12

    Dont forget the OIA request for” letters from MPs” about Donghua Liu turned up the fact there were letters from national and ACT Mps as well.

    From memory it was Williamson and Banks.

    Their letters were not released !

    You can see a hint of this in Brook Sabins casual OIA request where he wanted only letters from Labour Mps. He was in on the secret before he requested it. Savage asked after MPs in general

  13. Iron Sky 13

    The Götterdämmerung is coming for you:

    Now that the Iron Maiden is gone:

    “Woe to you, oh earth and sea
    For the Devil sends the beast with wrath
    Because he knows the time is short
    Let him who hath understanding
    Reckon the number of the beast
    For it is a human number
    Its number is”

    (04)894 7014

    oh silly me, we live in modern times

    Facsimile – (04)894 7031
    Email hq@national.org.nz

  14. Treetop 14

    This is the reason why an independent anti corruption tribunal needs to be established.

    Time to clean up the rot.

  15. venezia 15

    Can someone please provide a copy of this document, plus Frank Macasky’s outline to Winston? He seems to be getting a lot of media attention recently. Also, it could prove useful in his “Extended Enquiry” should he throw in his lot with Key post election.

  16. Grantoc 16

    Apart from a few of you on this blog, who else is going to be interested in this particular issue raised by MacCasky. I suggest nobody.

    You’d be much better off focusing on why the Labour party is facing a potentially disastrous election result next week and what the implications of that could be – such as the movement going into permanent decline.

    Your energy would be much better spent thinking about and working out how to prevent such an outcome.

    Even the Greens are beginning to subtly manouvre themselves away from being too closely associated with Labour for fear of being caught in its wake as it sinks.

    It might make you feel morally superior and you may enjoy some kind of moral righteousness by continuing to dredge up the ‘Dirty Politics’ issue, but if you do you’ll probably be consigned to same watery grave as the Labour party.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      Oh look, another ratfucker pretending there’s nothing to see here.

      • CrashCart 16.1.1

        Yea he suggests we look into why Labour are polling so low, ignoring the fact that this whole post goes to the core of why labour are polling so low.

        Grantoc here is a hint, when you have had a dirty tricks campeighn using public funds and governments powers to undermine the opposition for the last 6 years it is bound to have a negative effect on the polls.

        Glad I could clear that up for you.

        • Grantoc 16.1.1.1

          CrashCart

          You are wrong. Labour is polling so low because it has become increasingly irrelevant to its core constituency, and to everyone else.

          If your theory was correct then it would be reasonable to have expected a surge in Labour’s support following the release of Hager’s book. That hasn;t happened and won’t happen.

          Glad to clear that up for you.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1.1

            Oh look, the ratfucker wants another bite.

            What’s the appropriate dose of 1080 for a large primate?

    • Sans Cle 16.2

      Greens are not moving away from sinking ship. Not changing their policy either, in my understanding of a hui they had (am not a member so could be wrong on that).

      People are interested and I am happy to see that a link to macasky’s story got through comments section under Armstrong’s drivel in today’s Herald.
      Some of us are more concerned about freedom of speech and democratic principles which are being compromised……long after this partisan election.
      Hell, why do we have to hide behind veiled blogs to have these discussions?….Because we have sinister partisan people out there doing whatever it takes to clinch power. We have people like Slater, Ede, Odgers, Lusk, Armstrong (and that’s not a comprehensive list) assassinating characters willy-nilly.

      I really wouldn’t care about who is next in government EXCEPT, if it is Key, this will carry on. Will be a sham of inquiry(ies).
      But on a more positive note…..it seems the tide is turning. There is mega criticism of Key and Armstrong in today’s Herald.
      Me thinks change is afoot (which is why the MSM is trying to factionalise the Green/labour block).
      Planet Key seems to be worried……very worried, and that can only be a good thing.
      Key HAS to win this election at all costs, as if he doesn’t ALL his dirty politics will be aired. And as MSM is so complicit, they are in real danger too.

      Now, what’s that phrase I read here? Keep calm and vote Left!

  17. Tautoko Viper 17

    Grantoc, it appears that you are under the misapprehension that the corruption that you obviously condone is not an issue for NZers. Prepare to be surprised then as the full picture is revealed to the public view.

    • Grantoc 17.1

      Tautoko

      For the record I didn’t ‘obviously condone’ corruption or anything else in my comment.

      I commented on the general reaction to Hager’s revelations, which is there for all to see. Objective observation of behaviour (of the NZ voting public in this case) has nothing to do with condoning anything.

      If you read my comment carefully you’ll be aware of this.

      Apart from that what do you know about the ‘full picture’ that the rest of the country doen’t? Maybe you should share this so we can see if your theory is correct regarding the reaction of the public per se.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1

        Nah, the simplest explanation for your bad faith comments is that you’re a ratfucker, to be given no solace or quarter.

        • Grantoc 17.1.1.1

          Anonymous

          I guess it takes one to know one.

          In reality it’s prats like you that are contributing to Labour’s demise.

          For what it’s worth if you truly support Labour’s cause, you’d be out there trying to win the hearts and minds of the people. Infantile abuse; denial, and throwing tantrums is not going to cut it.

          Maybe in reality you really don’t support the left and its goals after all.

          Maybe you’re a plant from the right to undermine the left. If so you’re doing a fine job. Keep it up!

  18. Jack the Rat 18

    This National Party is the ultimate in slease and rat trappings.

    They have control of the country’s purse strings and the media, the are fooling the NZ Public with misinformation and mistruths and when you have a compliant media eating out of their hands the country is on a hiding to nothing.

    One day we will all wake up to what has happened, when we have reverted back to the feudal society with the masters and the serfs, in the fiefdom of NZ.

    Having studied economics and international trading in the 1970’s at University it make my guts turn to see what has happened in this country with the rape and pillage of State Assets, it took decades of taxpayer time and effort to build those State Assets and they were sold in an instant for handsome profits for the favoured few who now are on pedestals in NZ Economic Halls of Fame?

    • Sans Cle 18.1

      Hopefully we wake up fresh and airy for the 20th….and get all our collective asses to the booths…….change is afoot my friend…..New Zealanders are rather angry with Dirty Politiking. I think we need strong credible messages from Cunliffe this week. Reassurances. Give those disaffected and angry ex-Nat supporters (who are also justifiably peeved with Key/Collins/Ede/Lusk er al.) a credible place to vote.
      I think he did really well by stating a three party coalition preference. Just need to offer stability, remind people of how they managed economy in past, brought down debt, brought up savings, ran 9 surpluses……etc etc etc.
      Also social innovation, and credit to where credit is due to Peters who brought in so much for vulnerable people (kids and elderly)….and his damn fine role as watchdog in Parliament.

  19. Jack the Rat 19

    Hopefully we will have a change of Government and we will see some moral investigations into what has been going on in this country, i liken it to East Germany and Russia with the Stasi and KGB Networks.

  20. Jack the Rat 20

    What a f***** snowjob by a corrupt unethical media, this needs to be exposed in MSM however it will never get past the Editor or Content Manager. Yuk Vomit we are living in a very sick society under this regime.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Better access to books for blind and low vision citizens on World Braille Day
    "Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Today the Marrakesh Treaty and the associated amendments to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago