web analytics

Key and Herald embarrassed as Liu statement changes

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, June 25th, 2014 - 113 comments
Categories: election 2014, john key, Media, national, newspapers, same old national - Tags:

After a sustained week of media attacks on the Labour Party it now transpires that the NZ Herald and John Key claims about Donghua Liu’s donations to the party are, shall we say, inaccurate.

This has just been published on the Herald website:

Controversial businessman Donghua Liu has issued a new statement to the Herald confirming “close to” $100,000 in total payments to Labour and its MPs – including anonymous donations – but clarifying that the money was not for one bottle of wine.

Liu, to whom Labour gave permanent residency against official advice, says his earlier signed statement on the wine auction was “capable of two meanings” and after repeated inquiries from the Herald he says he wants to clarify what he spent the $100,000 on.

The signed statement obtained by the Herald on Sunday said that at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser, he “successfully bid on bottles of wine including one bottle signed by the then Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon Helen Clark, with a contribution of close to $100,000”.

The previous sentence in the signed statement said dinner and a boat trip on the Yangtze River in 2007 with a group including Rick Barker, the Minister for Internal Affairs at the time, which Liu estimated to cost between $50,000 to $60,000.

Today, Liu said: “I did say I made a contribution of close to $100,000 and that is my closing comment in my statement…that is how much I believe I have donated in total to Labour and some of their MPs during their last term in Government.”

He said the figure was the total payments to Labour and its politicians which included the wine auctions, a $2000 donation to the Hawkes Bay Rowing Club, the Yangtze River trip and anonymous donations to MPs.

I must say that I have never heard of the Hawkes Bay Rowing Club branch of the Labour Party nor of the Yangtze Concrete Factory Branch of the Labour Party.  The payments to these entities account for about $60,000 which is most of the money.  The boat trip was clearly not a political donation to the Labour Party.  The degree of change in Mr Liu’s story is significant as is his lack of understanding of what the Labour Party actually is.

And the question must be who prepared Liu’s original statement and did they know it was, shall we say, inaccurate?  And why did the Herald accept the first statement at face value and did it seek any verification of the claims before bursting into print?

I trust that a few commentators including John Armstrong and Bryce Edwards will now reflect on their comments.  As Danyl McLaughlan has said this is a fucking joke.

Finally I must say how impressed I was by the recent Standarnista crowd sourcing effort to work out the details of the photographs and the possible location of the auction.


lprent: Rob Salmond has some commentary on this complete screwup by The NZ Herald journalists and editors in “Completely unravelling”  and “New Zealand Herald tries to cover its butt; gets shit on its hands“. Be warned. He starts to swear (although less than I did when reading the self-justifying waffle from the Herald story).


113 comments on “Key and Herald embarrassed as Liu statement changes”

  1. karol 1

    Yep. It’s a fucking joke. The NZ Herald, John Key, et al, should withdraw and apologise.

    A series of small anonymous donations, that it seems, Labour Party MPs and others had no idea they came from Liu, are totally legal and do not suggest anything like cash for favours.

    Our donations regulations/laws do need improving – like removing the influence of big money on politics, and making things way more transparent.

    And this has diverted from the real evidence of Liu’s donations to and favours from national.

    • The Al1en 1.1

      “this has diverted from the real evidence of Liu’s donations to and favours from national.”

      Or to try and legitimise the cabinet club’s cash for access.

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      In order to salvage the credibility of the Herald it is necessary for Tim Murphy to resign. Will they hold themselves accountable? Will they be held to the same standard they hold other to?

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    Ive met Mr Liu, we were doing some work for a development project of his.

    Normally we dealt with his staff, as of course he doesnt speak English, and he was out of the country a lot. The meeting only came about because when it was time to get paid for the work, he wouldnt release the funds until he had been introduced to us.

    A canny move I thought , when you have to rely totally on intermedaries, some of which were associates rather than employees, you a least want to see the faces that go with the invoices.

    I cant imagine he would give a check for a very large amount ( our invoice was for a lot less than amounts talked about for labour) without seeing the principals behind it, a cabinet minister or higher.

    The funny thing about History repeating itself, it was the Oily Orcas father John Slater, who was accuse of ‘trousering donations’ to the National party when he was party president.

    His successor Michelle Boag found that the amounts claimed by donors ( that was the time John Key was buying his way into office) didnt match the money in party accounts.
    There was a big ruckus and Slater had to cough up the money he claimed as ‘expenses’

  3. Blue 3

    The desperation from the Herald is palpable. Their record so far:

    • David Cunliffe signed a form letter 11 years ago asking for a timeframe to be given to Mr Liu.
    • Donghua Liu made a donation of $2,000 to the Hawkes Bay Rowing Club.
    • Rick Barker attended a function held by Mr Liu while he was on holiday in China.
    • Rick Barker and Mr Liu both say they had dinner in NZ at some point.

    Scandal of the century, clearly. How can Labour possibly criticise a corrupt Minister for interfering in a police investigation after these heinous crimes?

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Time for a front-page apology by the Herald?

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      Time for Mr Liu to “open the kimono” and show perhaps relevant transfers of funds with dates, or does he carry a bag with tens of thousands in readies with him and not seek receipts?

      He might well be only somewhat aware of what he has got himself into but the NZ Herald and the slippery Prime Minister should have been fully aware.

      • Ant 4.1.1

        I’m thinking Liu never expected his statement to be leaked from National to the Herald. He probably wanted to fly under the radar as much as anyone in this story. I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought the statement he supplied was to internally help Williamson, not to be used in an attack against Labour.

        It seems like he has been sorely used by the Nats as well.

    • Vicky32 4.2

      As if that will ever happen…

  5. dimebag russell 5

    dont hold your breath.

  6. J Mex 7

    This is a shocker for The Herald.

    Not sure how a company trip down the Yangtze with special guest star Rick Barker counts as a Labour party donation.


    P.S – ‘Up the Yangtze’ is a good documentary

    • seeker 7.1

      Well the Herald certainly seems to be “up the Yangtze” this time and in full view of its readership too.

  7. Sanctuary 8

    It is telling that the Herald hasn’t enabled comments on the story. I guess you don’t need to be psychic to predict the reaction if they did…

  8. Fi 9

    From the Sunday Star-Times, Oct 19, 2008, pA4

    John Key on dealings with Yang “Bill” Liu (not Donghau Liu)

    (Pansy) Wong confirmed she had written a letter of support for Liu this year, who was concerned about a delay in the processing of his citizenship bid.
    Key said he had no concerns about Wong’s actions.
    “She acted as is quite normal as a member of parliament.
    “There’s always a degree of trust there that you rely on the person’s word.”

    • Tiger Mountain 9.1

      Key misspeaks worse/better than Dubya used to, a form of arms length ‘manglish’. His voters I suppose join the dots and feel they ‘get’ what he is saying. However his generalisations are extremely frustrating for those that operate on research, facts and law.

      • ianmac 9.1.1

        Have you noticed that these days Mr Key is not using his mangled English nor his aw/shucks/loopy grin nearly as much as he used to. My guess is that that persona will not be used this Election and his steely unscrupulous self will be used. He didn’t get to control the mavericks in his party by being Mr Awshucks nice guy. Never smile at a crocodile.

  9. amirite 10

    Sadly, the damage to Labour’s image has been done yet again, and does anyone seriously think that Herald will ever apologise? They may or may not print a tiny correction somewhere down the page no.15 and no one will notice. General public probably don’t usually read past the big headlines screaming “Liu donated $100,000 to Labour” and their perception has been formed accordingly.

  10. jaymam 11

    I see the Herald’s new picture does not have any metadata. I think they must be reading The Standard!
    I have emailed lprent about image tracking. Maybe it went to the spam folder.

  11. blue leopard 12

    ….”And TVNZ News, And TV3 News”

    Needs to be added to the title IMO

    • Vicky32 12.1

      TV 3 News are IMO the worst…

      • blue leopard 12.1.1

        Yes I agree…well, I have been of that opinion to date, however with the little number that TVNZ played over this one – I am questioning that opinion.

        I have to ask myself what is worse: A news programme you know is strongly biased, or one that you view as reasonably balanced and yet are capable of airing an item of unadulterated National Party spin like they did over this one?

        The trouble with TVNZ doing this is that more people are likely to believe it because they aired it because in general they don’t seem to go that ‘rabid’ on it.

        Mind you, I guess a lot of people are watching either program trusting what they are being told is reasonably related to reality – therefore on balance I guess TV3 still wins the most spin-infested-fact-free-news-program of the year award.

  12. finbar 13

    Sounds like Liu,has got his chop sticks crossed when attending party fundraising Auctions.$100,000,sounds like the winning bid for a National Party auction, for one of the PMs labled private bin.

    What is getting to be of concern is Cunliffe,having to back track on statements.Yesterday again, back tracking on the Maui dolphin!s issue.Those responsible for his daily updates on present media issues, and statements by the opposition, should be one the ball researching our past involvement and our decisions if any, so Cunliffe,is on task and up to date.

  13. Saarbo 14

    I guess this shows how loose NZ Herald is when reporting on the NZ Labour Party, its shocking that any reporter would publish on such dodgy evidence in a n(N)ational news paper.

  14. Wyndham, George 15

    Cancel your subscription yo the NZ Herald.

    Subscribe to the Labour Party

    • Tracey 15.1

      cancelled mine ten years ago. I take their freebees and am sure to tell them by phone when they ring exactly why i wont pay for their rag

      • Anne 15.1.1

        Cancelled mine after the disgraceful DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK campaign. If I want to read the print version, I go to cafes I know have copies available for customers to read.

        • Tracey

          a few quiet from the right today… Grumpy etc… I doubt they feel embarrassment cos they would have to accept they jumped where slater led them… Without thinking….

      • halfcrown 15.1.2

        ” I take their freebees”

        I would not even do that Tracey.

        As I have said on many occasion, have no need for the herald as we use good quality shit house paper that comes in rolls

    • Huginn 15.2

      The Herald lost me in 2007 when they printed the appalling

      ‘Keep fatties and smokers out . . . ‘

      headline as a response to the death of Samoan mother Folole Muliaga, who died after her power was cut off and she could not use her breathing machine.

  15. Repateet 16

    The Herald and Key are not embarrassed as Liu statement changes.

    The Herald will be going “Oh yeah, big deal move on,” and Key will be smiling smugly knowing he’s got away with another one.

    • ffloyd 16.1

      You say that like you think it’s a good thing. Sad

      • Tracey 16.1.1

        i thought it was sarcasm

        • ffloyd

          You’re probably right Tracey. I don’t pick up nuances very well. Apologies Repartee.

          • ffloyd

            Repateet !! Stupid Tablet. Does what it wants.

          • Repateet


            This week in the news was the story about some new programmes and strategies to deal with bullying in schools.
            It’s bizarre how news media can get all excited and try to pretend they have some social conscience about bullying when in reality they perpetrate, continue or allow it to happen.

            Not the bullying in schools, what has become the institutionalised political bullying by John Key. The bullying is being perpetrated on us all not just opposition political figures. We all suffer it. So often at night Key is on tv with sneering put downs of the other lot. Some interviewer saying “I didn’t ask you that, please just …”? No, never. The interminable relentless soundbites. Key may have been humping Obama’s leg, but many in the media like the Herald, Mike Hosking and John Armstrong are in turn humping Key’s.
            The Herald and their part in this latest Liu business would make good material for journalism courses. If there are journalism courses any more. When it comes to the Herald it would seem that accuracy and ethics are merely words in the dictionary.

    • Huginn 16.2


      You’re absolutely right there. Key and the Herald are not embarrassed.

      The Herald can’t be embarrassed because it had no self respect to start off with.

  16. feijoa 18

    It amazes me how we have ended up with the media having such power
    They are judge , jury and executioner

    • Wyndham, George 18.1

      The MSM are rats cornered by high legacy cost structures and nimble low cost media entrants.

      This example of very low quality is what happens when journàlists have to effectively re-apply for their jobs every six months.

      It will get worse. And Key&Co know how to exploit it.

    • North 18.2

      As if that composite ain’t wicked enough, most of them aren’t really the sharpest knives in the draw, frankly.

  17. Enough is Enough 19

    Unfortunately Key will not be embarrassed at all.

    This was a deliberate hit and run exercise. Throw some shit then smile and walk away.

    Even today this false allegation against the great Labour Party is stealing headlines on a day when all the talk should be about Labour’s alternative budget (notwithstanding it being quite underwhelming).

    Key has managed to run the news cycle for a week, and even though his claims have now proven to be false in all respects, he has achieved his goal.

    • yeshe 19.1

      Classic Crosby Textor. Key is not this smart, but they are. They own him 100% and at this rate, their masters will own all of what is left in NZ. 🙁

  18. Seti 20

    So we have Cunliffe and Chris Carter writing letters on behalf of Donghua Liu; Rick Barker going to the trouble of visiting his cement factory in China; Damian O’Connor giving him residency against advice – and Labour get nothing from it.

    Seems like a raw deal. Or perhaps they generously do this for all immigrants.

  19. Charlieboy 21

    We all smelled a big stinky rat and the MSM and anybody who played along with this story have been outed as Natz sympathisers or surrender monkeys at the very least.
    Think ot the fury in the Natz propaganda floor in the beehive.
    The beast won’t die easy, be prepared for more nasty tricks.
    Take back our country.

  20. ianmac 22

    I have emailed Jared Savage saying that I was disappointed with his column. In particular was printing as fact that Mr Barker was given a $60,000 cruise. Mr Barker while on private holiday, was in fact invited to join a staff do. It may have cost 60thousand but it was not for Mr Barker.
    Jared could argue that he was just reporting what Mr Liu said. Poor reporting to just accept what cannot be true.
    And they leave the Labour Party to disprove it all. Bloody awful!

    • NZ Femme 22.1

      An odd anomaly – Jared’s original story on wine-gate when the Barker Pic was revealed:

      “Businessman’s partner snapped receiving bottle of wine from minister after win in fundraising auction”


      Today’s story immediately under the picture:

      “Rick Barker receiving a bottle of wine from Donghua Liu’s (top right) partner Juan Zhang.


      Is Jared preparing to spin this differently again? Or is he unravelling and getting even sloppier?

      • karol 22.1.1

        Good catch. And no mention of a fundraiser in the second caption.

      • ianmac 22.1.2

        Missed your very observant comment NZ Femme. Just noticed the caption tonight of Mr Barker receiving a very large bottle of wine. Could that have been a gift? Very puzzling.

    • greywarbler 22.2

      The chap who threw mud at the Royal Family got charged with an offence didn’t he?
      What can you charge media muck spreaders with? Purveyors of plain slander, childish naivety, sloppy and lazy reporting, lack of commitment to doing a good job, celebrity gossips, irresponsibility, free market journalism (cheap and not-very-cheerful with no depth, like the shoes I buy, and they have no soul either). What about the old-fashioned yellow press!

      Google – yellow press
      Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism.
      Yellow journalism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      About.com –
      Yellow Journalism was a term used to describe a particular style of reckless and provocative newspaper that became prominent in the 1890s. A famous circulation war between two New York City newspapers prompted each paper to print increasingly sensationalistic headlines. And ultimately the newspapers may have influenced the United States government to enter the Spanish-American War.

    • the pigman 22.3

      Good on you ianmac.

      But bad news: Jared Savage doesn’t give a fuck. He will run the “perimeter guard” defense if or when his reporting comes under scrutiny.

      Much better that you, and indeed all Standardistas, express your disappointment here: http://www.presscouncil.org.nz/complain.php

      • ianmac 22.3.1

        Took a while to find and complain to the Herald particularly over the $50-60,000 river dinner; This being an invitation to Mr Barker while he was on holiday to join a staff do, was central to the major part of the amended claim by Mr Liu, and the write up was unfair, unreasonable and largely untrue.
        I also filled in the form for the Press Council but can’t send this until I get a response from The Herald.
        I hope others take the time to do so.

        • the pigman

          On it! See that Zet has a post up about this. Someone has to hold these pricks to account.

  21. bad12 23

    Yes, ”this is a fucking joke”, i commented in Open Mike the other day that as this little sordid saga of Lies unfolded the Herald would start printing retractions/stories which alluded to the ”meaning” of things in the original statement from Liu being ”lost” in translation,

    And here we have it, the Utter Bullshit of Liu’s first statement, IF it were a real statement in the first place, is now being exposed,

    The Herald nor Slippery the Prime Minister will be embarrassed by such backsliding, they ALL knew the contents of the original (supposed) statement from Liu right from the get go, they all, including the Prime minister, for want of a better word, knew that the contents of this (supposed) statement were SHIT,

    The Damage, as the Herald and the Prime Minister, must have known, has been done to Labour and that was the sole intention of the Herald in printing such abhorrent bullshit as a ”factual political scandal” along with the Prime Minister’s equally abhorrent allusion to ”knowing” of six figure donations from Liu to Labour that obviously have not occurred,

    The story will continue to unwind, look for the 50,000 dollar boat trip to have cost Liu all up 5 grand at the most, the book a cheapskates 50 bucks and the bottle of wine a miserable hundy,(and i aint talking grand there)…

  22. Jack 24

    The PM will be laughing about this ruckus he has helped stir up it takes peoples minds off the real deal the upcoming election, snake in the grass type politics.

    • karol 24.1

      Gotta love how righties celebrate their lack of ethics, and disregard for democracy.

    • marty mars 24.2

      He didn’t sound like he was laughing on the radio – slurring his words so quick was he to get them out. King key don’t want this to carry on – nothing to see here, move along – labour’s problem da dah da dah.

  23. Graham 25

    The damage was done on Sunday
    You gotta love john key
    If he was the leader of labour you guys would admire his polictal skill

    • One Anonymous Bloke 25.1

      Nah, but we love how right wingers abandon all pretence of ethics and reveal that personal responsibility means behaving like low-life trash, eh Graham.

  24. Kiwiri 26

    I feel like puking in continuing the scrutiny but here it goes, out of necessity …

    Has the media questioned the claim involving Barker about the $50,000-$60,000 boat trip and dinner?

    What did the cost include or comprise, and how many nights and days was this trip along the world’s third-longest river?

    A quick internet check shows one of the most expensive booking for 5 days/4 nights is only about (?US)$1,500:

    • Anne 26.1

      Last week, – Thursday or Friday – Rick Barker was interviewed on RNZ. I think it was Checkpoint but can’t be certain.

      This is my ‘paraphrase’ of what I recall him saying:

      He met up with Liu while in China and Liu invited him to dinner. When he arrived at the venue he discovered it was on a boat. He than talked about the realisation it was actually “some sort of staff function and he felt very out of place”. The impression I got was that it was an off the cuff invitation… “I’m having a dinner party tonight, would you like to come” type of thing. Barker mentioned nothing about a cruise, so my suspicion is the boat had docked overnight and Barker was invited along for dinner – while in port.

      I might add his tone of voice came across as genuine and truthful. At the time he was clearly angry and confused at the claims that were being made – unlike Judith Collins who – when confronted with another Chinese dinner she attended – was measured and emotionless as though she was concentrating on a predetermined script.

      • Kiwiri 26.1.1

        Cheers. Barker has indicated there were about 200 people that included staff & partners. He was straight up in the clip at the url pasted at 31.1.1 below.

        So, ball park figure, let’s say: Liu spent a total of NZD 60,000 on 200 people (his staff and their partners) for the cruise, and that would make it $300 per person for the cruise.

        Still a fair bit of money by their standards there, I should say from my memory of what I spent when I visited a few cities in China a few years ago.

        However, I still doubt it would even be that much per person for an evening cruise which sounded like what was arranged for Barker.

        I believe Barker when he said it was not quite what he expected when he turned up. That event Liu arranged did sound like it blindsided Barker and was not a “cash for access” kind of National/Cabinet Club(s) deal.

  25. chris73 27

    I haven’t seen this much spinning since I was last at Les Mills, Comical Ali must have lost a massive amount of weight

    • marty mars 27.1

      lol I know, key be very dizzy now.

    • framu 27.2

      yes so much spinning that the MSM are quickly changing their tune and the PMs furiously back peddling and trying to extract himself from the lies and rumors he spread in league with whaleoil

      were all used to you being a bit of a knob chris – but really?

  26. Jrobin 28

    Right whingers you mean OAB. Whether this has damaged Cunliffe time will tell. If explaining is losing then Key and the Herald are having to do quite a bit. Think of how much worse this would be if they weren’t a pack of liars and some of this had stuck. Will the gullible swinging voter be as trusting next time Key makes a slur, maybe not.

  27. ianmac 29

    National Radio on Checkpoint did try and engage Key as he had been talking it all up last week. But Mr Key was evasive and dismissive. Funny that.

  28. Jack 30

    Politics in NZ has unfortunately become a sick joke our forebears came to NZ from the likes of Scotland & Ireland to make new lives for themselves and their families, to get away from the oppression forced upon them from British domination and control.

    We have a similar situation occurring here in NZ with the takeover of the country by the merchant bankers and the 1-10% ers, the rest of us are just SH** and are being treated as such by the current Government and the MSM.

    Our once proud country is being undermined by the MSM and is rotten to the core. ie the fish rots from the head.

  29. Best bit of TV labour have had for a while on one news in the Parkin piece.
    And JK doesn’t know the details, so I’m not too far away from having him say he forgets who told him about the $100,000 ‘donations’.

    No link, but suspect it will be on the tvnz website.

  30. bad12 32

    i would have to assume that TV3’s Tova O’Brien has the scripts for Her pieces on 3 News written for Her by a team of editorial staff in a fit of collective dishonesty,i doubt one so young has the maturity to make up such bullshit on Her own,

    Tonight’s slimy Lies from that television channel, ”it has yet to be seen who is right” in relation to the supposed donations made to Labour by the self admitted corrupt Donghua Liu,

    Well NO Tova, it’s called JUSTICE natural or otherwise and where right or wrong is alleged it is for those who have made the Accusation of wrongdoing to provide when called upon PROOF of such wrongdoing,

    The Scum at the editorial desk of the TV3 Kangaroo Court are just that for their continual inferences, SCUM…

  31. dimebag russell 33

    he said he has known abut it for months and now he has forgotten the details.
    does he have dementia?
    (yes he does).
    and congratulations to the Standard for pressing this issue till the media were forced to take notice.

  32. Vicky32 34

    She and Brooke Sabin are Dumb and Dumber. She infuriates me.

  33. Vicky32 35

    Oh, is Sabin someone’s relative? I didn’t know…
    For nearly a year, my TV didn’t work and the only channel I could get was TV3! Thankfully that’s changed, so I must get out of the habit…

  34. felix 36


    1. How many hours/people/resources/dollars/opportunities has Labour expended this week looking for records of and responding to questions about $100k bottles of wine that never existed?
    2. Is there anything more pressing that might have made better use of those resources? Any elections coming up?
    3. Would “fuck off that’s bullshit” be a better response to such accusations in the future?
    4. Will Labour figure this out by September?
    • mickysavage 36.1

      My guess:

      1. Heaps.
      2. Pretty well everything the party does.
      3. A few expletives have been said today.
      4. Easier said than done.

      Interesting that views of this post are really high but comments are low. The RWNJs are obviously not interested in defending the indefensible.

      • BM 36.1.1

        Not that I consider myself a nut job, but what’s there to defend?

        The issue seems to be with Mr Liu and his lack of accurate recall.

        Out of interest are there any donations Mr Liu made that Labour can account for?

        • Kaplan

          “The issue seems to be with Mr Liu and his lack of accurate recall.”
          Yeah , the Herald reporting those lies inaccuracies without fact checking them is totally not an issue.

          • felix

            And John Key spreading the lies in parliament, lies that he knew about long before the Herald did, is totally ok.

        • felix

          “The issue seems to be with Mr Liu”

          I’d say the issue is with everyone who peddled the lie that Liu gave Labour -what was it, $150,000?

          That includes you, buddy.

      • BM 36.1.2

        I’ll take that as a no then.

        • felix

          Donations from Mr Liu to Labour?

          No BM, that was a bullshit story made up by Key and Slater. Mr Liu donated $2000 to a boat club.

          Or something. Keep up.

  35. greywarbler 37

    You are succinct. Labour sucks in this Liu case.. They need some terse verse. To be robust and not be so bloody defensive. They might even swear occasionally. If they sound less milk and water and more like Jones boy enjoying a beer, people who appreciate their Party having strength and even a bit of mongrel to defend themselves would sit up and take notice.

    • Colonial Viper 37.1

      Won’t a few more heartfelt mea culpas and other assorted apologetic looks win the voters over /sarc

      The thing about connecting with frontline working NZ is not “swearing” and “sexism” as so many in the, ahem, Thorndon Bubble, seem to think. Its simply about saying it how you see it, straight out and totally unvarnished. And when Cunliffe does that instead of having his pressors cowardly wordsmithed by his PR types (see No Right Turn) he fucking wins the internets AND the TV channels.

      EDIT e.g. “As far as Liu’s claims of a $150K bottle of wine are concerned, that’s being thoroughly checked out by the Party but my first impression is that its a load of bullshit. And if it turns out to be true, I hope he got a $150K hangover out of it.”


      • BM 37.1.1

        You’d connect a lot better if you drop the working class bullshit and talked to people as people instead of as a category.

  36. Mike the Savage One 38

    I am glad that this has occurred, that Donghua Liu was forced to concede that his initial story, based on a statement from early May, was not true and correct. He has backed off earlier claims, qualified the whole donations, and has seen a need to try and get himself out of the mess.

    What is left as a major question, and deserves an answer, is how and why John Key knew of this letter signed by Liu, over a month old, and from whom he knew about it, and why made comments, as if there was some truth to it all. John Key has knowledge about stuff, that smells suspicious, like a back-room strategists’ smear campaign agenda, but he now wants nothing to do with it all, and says it is a matter between the Labour Party and Mr Liu.

    Also the Herald on Sunday journalists that published the rumours and false claims, without any evidence, have much egg on their faces. I am pleased that David Parker did make a mention on the poor journalism, that has been evident, in a media announcement with David Cunliffe, which was also shown on the TV One news tonight.

    Yes, the media, at least some in it, have a lot to answer to in this also, and perhaps this new development will finally get some of the biased, “gung-ho” media hacks motivated to give all this, and their past behaviour, some good and serious consideration, and lets them reflect on how they do their job, and realise the duties they have as the 4th estate.

    • Kiwiri 38.1

      Next time that John Key and the Natz attempt a smear, Labour can say:

      “please do not be too quick to jump to concLiusions” ….

      or “I hope you, media, are not in colLiusion with smearers”

      p.s. Rodel: want some more puns?

    • Ed 38.2

      Key has accepted that Liu gave equally to each government, and said that made it hundreds of thousands Labour had to explain. So he still has to explain where Liu’s “hundreds of thousands” donations to National show in electoral returns.

      • veutoviper 38.2.1

        Exactly, Ed. Liu is still claiming that his overall donations to Labour are of the order of $100K.

        And Liu has not retracted his statement that he donated about equivalent amounts to LAbour and to National. Yet the only donation we know about to National/ declared by National is $22,000 in 2012. So where is the other $78,000 or thereabouts?

        And remember that the electoral finance act amendments in late 2008 mean that the rules for declaring donations etc are much tighter than they were prior to National coming into office.

  37. Rodel 39

    Loved David Cunliffe’s remark on TV tonight ,that John Keys’ allegations are ….”liudicrius”.
    Bit of humour wins votes I’m sure.
    Any other puns?

  38. Rodel 40

    I have a bottle of wine in my possession. Sav Blanc…and signed by Helen Clark. (This is true).
    Any Tory can buy it and proceeds will go to David Cunliffe’s campaign.. reserve price $100,000.
    An offers?
    Will even provide an affadavit.

    • Kiwiri 40.1

      Would it be possible to leave out the affidavit and instead provide a statement, with a copy that I will drop off at NZ Herald, for an additional $50,000? This could be a Liucrative deal for you.

    • North 40.2

      Brilliant Rodel ! Careful those Tory burglars re the wine. Hang on………it’s two affidavits going rate i’nit ?

    • dimebag russell 40.3

      I’ll take a dozen.

  39. ianmac 41

    That could become a new saying for all sorts of situations. “That is liudicrous Mr Key!”
    Must practice thanks. So could Guyon. “”No No. Your answer is luidicrous Mr Key.”

  40. yeshe 42

    has liu been sentenced yet in his domestic violence cases ? thx …

  41. Roy 43

    I’m not sure about the headline of this piece. I don’t think Key does embarrassment.

  42. NZJester 44

    National have successful put it in a lot of peoples minds that Labour is the one that has been selling Cash for Access and hiding their donations with all these Donghua Liu stories when all the evidence has proved the claims wrong. National are like the sneaky guy at the back of a crowded lift who has farted. To avoid embarrassment and suspicion that they are the guilty party when any of the people in front have turn around to see who did it they have looked at the person next to them, sniffed and given a facial expression to give them the impression it was that other person. No mater how much that person now denies it as far as some of the people in the lift are concerned it was they who farted and not the real culprit next to them.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    3 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    4 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    4 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    4 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    5 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    5 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    5 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    6 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    6 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    6 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    7 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    7 days ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago