David Fisher in the Herald has reported that John Key attended a private luncheon set up to raise funds for the pro flag change campaign. Given events this week the timing and optics are shall we say not ideal for the Government. And the story for me brought back memories of the Donghua Liu story and how Labour suffered political damage for supposed donations made by him when in reality it was National that had received the donations.
From the article:
Prime Minister John Key was the star guest at a private fundraising lunch for the Change the Flag lobby group in a last-ditch bid to raise cash from wealthy Chinese donors who supported a flag change.
The exclusive meeting with no more than six donors took place in a private room of an Auckland Chinese restaurant. Other guests included National Party president Peter Goodfellow, Cabinet minister Nikki Kaye and National MP Dr Jian Yang.
Funds raised at the February 18 lunch allowed the lobby group to fund a last-minute push for votes, including a pamphlet to 500,000 homes just days before voting started on March 3.
The article reports Lewis Holden, head of the change the flag campaign stating that overall $100,000 was raised for campaign purposes. He did not say how much was raised by the lunch.
The returns will be interesting. The lunch occurred on February 18, 2016. If a donation of over $30,000 was made to the National Party it should have been disclosed by now but has not. Details of all advertisements and their costs relating to the referendum have to be made within one month of the date the result is formally announced. There is a $50,000 cap on advertising expenses. If Holden raised as much money as he said how he spent it will need to be examined. It also appears that a return of donations will be required.
David Cunliffe has said this on Facebook:
Does anyone remember Donghua Liu?
He was the guy that in 2014 National and some media framed me as having “helped out” with a standard 11 year old constituent inquiry letter … of which I was not aware and from whom I had never received a cent …
This article reminds us that National Whip Jamie Lee Ross was given $25000 by Liu for John Key attending a private dinner at Liu’s home.
The hypocrisy is absolutely breathtaking and shows the lack of moral compass of this “government”.
Water under the bridge you might well say, and indeed i had virtually forgotten, until I read the article attached.
Key is at it again, pumping (Chinese) donors for cash for his pet flag referendum. The one he spent nearly $30 million of your money to hold. The one he lied that he was fairly neutral about. The same one he was hustling donations to skew.
What did he trade for those donations? Just his affable charming presence? Or weak investment rules, land sales, rampant house prices, and a little bit more of your kids’ shot at the Kiwi dream.
And in case you think I care where those donors were from – I don’t. Could have been from, say, Jersey or the Cayman Islands, or New York, or Switzerland or any of Mr Keys other favourite tax havens that he wants to emulate.
Wake up NZ. We are being played!