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Open mike 18/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:35 am, June 18th, 2014 - 335 comments
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335 comments on “Open mike 18/06/2014 ”

  1. that incubus on the body politic..bob jones..has done a column attacking dotcom/minto/harre..

    ..and as always with his columns..

    ..the fun is to be had reading the comments-thread beneath them..

    ..and this one is no different..

    ..and of course..jones..after wimping-out/running-scared on the throwdown/challenge to a public debate from minto..

    ..has set a new benchmark for gutless-wonder/empty-clattering-container…

    ..what a wuss..!..eh..?

  2. (one for the smiley-face-fans..)

    “..The new emoji that will allow you to express yourself fully at last..”

    “..From ‘wind blowing face’ to ‘man in business suit levitating’ –

    • a new batch of emojis shows we’ve moved way way beyond just smileys and sad faces..”



  3. Saarbo 3

    Even many people supporting the National Party that I know are commenting on the amount of media coverage attacking Labour… this is Nationals biggest achievement in the last 6 years.


    • like their wholesale support for key to be elected..(promised tax-cuts..)

      ..these craven trout are thinking of their own wallets/interests – and operating out of a fear they may have to pay a bit more in income tax..

      ..(and a capital gains tax on those ‘rentals’ so many of them have…)

      • blokeinauckland 3.1.1

        The capital gains tax proposed will be a reduction in tax. Currently taxable capital gains are taxed at the highest marginal tax rate,say 30%. The CGT is proposed to be at 15%

        Contrary to memes here capital gains tax is paid by tax payers trading in assets.

    • mickysavage 3.2

      Agreed Saarbo. It is interesting the number of “independent” commentators who pop up and then run right wing lines. Littlewood’s claim is bizarre. A compulsory near universal savings scheme will not increase savings?

      Littlewood is someone in the past who has advocated getting rid of the Cullen Fund and for ACC to not collect reserves to cover future liabilities.

  4. bad12 4

    i don’t think tho Phillip that a Capital Gains Tax will effect the ‘rentals’ until some time in the future should such be sold,

    The proposed Capital Gains Tax will tho capture those who are in the market speculating, how many of these speculators there are seems to also be one of the ‘unknowns’ of the property market, with deliberation i would suggest,

    The ability to write off losses on the ‘rental’ against all other taxable income if David Parker is to be believed will also be addressed and it is this ability to get a hidden subsidy on the ‘rental’ from the Government that i believe is one of the major driving forces for those entering the ‘rental’ property market,

    There is apparently a piece in today’s Herald highlighting/touting the move by the Auckland middle class into Hamilton property where the ‘owners’ live and rent in Auckland and have a ‘rental’ in Hamilton being subsidized by the Accommodation Supplement and the ability to write off losses on the Hamilton rental against their income,(although i doubt the latter subsidy gets a mention from the Herald it being ‘a secret’)…

    • BM 4.1

      You’ve been able to write off expenses on rental properties for as along as I can remember.

      Owning a rental is no different than running a business, there’s expenses and like any business they’re tax deductible.

      • bad12 4.1.1

        ”Expenses” BM, deliberately buying into a ‘rental’ with knowledge that the mortgage, rates, and insurance can never be recouped by the amount of rent able to be gathered from the property and only doing so because of the ability to write off the difference between the outgoings and the income against other taxable income, including, with a little ”legal shuffle”, wages from employment i would describe as something else than ‘business’,

        In such a situation the ‘business’ is in fact insolvent from day one and is then being propped up by the tax base in a manner that i would contend the tax base was never intended to be used,

        This is in fact the ‘loop-hole’ which has encouraged a vast swathe of the middle class into buying ‘rentals’, the Treasury having previously produced data that shows that in the past 20 years since the exploitation of this ‘loop-hole’ became popular, 200,000 former ‘homes’ have been transferred into ‘rentals’,

        In effect the Government on each of these properties is paying a double subsidy, the accommodation subsidy and the tax write off accounting for more in dollar terms than the subsidy paid by the Government to HousingNZ for each tenant housed,

        It could then be argued that instead of being housed by the State in an asset the State owns the tenants renting such property are now involved in a money go round where their taxes are directly subsidizing the ownership ambitions of the private landlords ‘rental portfolios’…

        • Lanthanide

          All that needs to be done is to ring-fence the losses so they can’t get offset against other personal income, eg salary and wages, only from future income derived directly from the rental activity, and the problem is solved.

          Incidentally this is Labour’s policy, as moaned about here: http://www.nzpif.org.nz/news/view/56503

          They don’t appear to see the irony in this statement: “Labour’s proposal would see rental property treated differently from other businesses, which means they would use tax policy to influence peoples’ investment decisions. It is commonly considered bad policy to use tax as a means for influencing people’s investment decisions.”

        • Draco T Bastard


          The sooner ring fencing of businesses happens the better.

    • mikesh 4.2

      I would make interest non-deductible on the grounds that it is a capital expense rather than a normal business expense. Expenses should only be deducted from income, for tax purposes, if that income is taxable, and at the present time this does not include capital gain. Muldoon made interest non-deductible if the property was sold within 10 years but I think this rule has since been discontinued. I would reintroduce it, but without the 10 year limit.

  5. karol 5

    Full text of the TPP IP chapter up (prreviously secret) now made available online by Wikileaks. It includes the position of each of the participating country, on each provision.

    The article by Wikileaks introducing it:

    The 95-page, 30,000-word IP Chapter lays out provisions for instituting a far-reaching, transnational legal and enforcement regime, modifying or replacing existing laws in TPP member states. The Chapter’s subsections include agreements relating to patents (who may produce goods or drugs), copyright (who may transmit information), trademarks (who may describe information or goods as authentic) and industrial design.
    The consolidated text obtained by WikiLeaks after the 26-30 August 2013 TPP meeting in Brunei – unlike any other TPP-related documents previously released to the public – contains annotations detailing each country’s positions on the issues under negotiation. Julian Assange emphasises that a “cringingly obsequious” Australia is the nation most likely to support the hardline position of US negotiators against other countries, while states including Vietnam, Chile and Malaysia are more likely to be in opposition.

    Full text of the chapter here

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Pretty easy to see why people say it will never be signed, and begs the question: when people say they oppose “the” TPPA, which one are they talking about?

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    China to build and operate for UK: nuclear power station, high speed rail

    PM Cameron is all for it. It seems like white English speaking peoples are incapable of doing anything for themselves these days without contracting the job out to China for bottom dollar


    • Once was Tim 6.1

      …. so it’s going to be high speed rail with asbestos in the insulation and suspect brakes and bearings then. And I’ll bet there are one or two struggling firms still around in the UK capable of the work.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Why wouldn’t they give the job to the German’s? Sure it might cost more, but I bet they’d get a better product with better long-term support for the price premium.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        I’m pretty sure Areva and Siemens will not be happy, no. I wonder if this is the UK sending a message to both France and Germany.

  7. bad12 7

    ”Gimmie a head with hair”,so sung the song, time appears to have stood still as far as hair in schools go with the highlighting in the past week or so the ‘exclusion’ from the classroom of a couple of kids because of the length of their hair or the way such hair has been ‘styled’,

    i fail to see how the length or otherwise of a persons hair has the slightest effect upon their ability to learn and think central Government need step into this area and make it plain through Legislation that the state of a persons hair cannot be a legitimate reason to exclude them from the classroom…

    • Once was Tim 7.1

      ….. or maybe it’s just male WASPs whose ‘learnings’ are affected by long hair. (I just witnessed a highly intelligent and knowledgable Sikh who has never cut his hair tie it up in his turban).
      ….. or maybe it’s just about control freaks trying to impose their conservative, ‘good, wholesome’ values on yoof (Show ’em some discipline – if I had my way I’d put ’em in the army). Homogenise and rinse. /sarc

      • Tiger Mountain 7.1.1

        As a lifelong male longhair I thought the authoritarian kink demonstrated by certain school masters and RSA types against the hirsute had vanished like corporal punishment with the 70s, but not so it seems. “6 of the best for you boy”.

        • Te Reo Putake

          At my high school, the rule was the same for both sexes; if it was long enough to be tied back, it had to be tied back. Not quite sure what the rules on mascara were, but it doesn’t seem to have negatively affected my fellow student Michael Laws in his adult years 😉

      • bad12 7.1.2

        i am shocked,awed, and, highly amused at the primitive reactions of some Boards of Trustee’s that have been publicly exhibited in the past couple of weeks,

        i well remember the ‘fuss’ when my brother got the kick from Tawa College here in Wellington for His flat refusal to cut His hair, this incident occurred back in the mists of the past, New Zealand circa late 1960’s,

        Hypocrisy abounds surrounding the issue, one young fella, featured on Campbell Live last week, excluded from the classroom for what i consider an intelligent ‘neat’ rendition of His hair into a tribal carving was allowed, obviously because His prowess on the field showed the school in a good light, to partake in school sports but excluded from the classroom,

        The DomPost, accessed through Stuff.co, this morning points to another piece of what’s best described as Uglyness emanating from another youngster with long hair being excluded from the school and refused re-entry despite offering to tie the offending hairs back at all times while at the edifice of education,

        The parents of this particular kid are apparently approaching the Courts to seek remedy and the daughter of ”the chair” of the Board of Trustees has been outed for posting open abuse of the kid on social networks,

        My view is that none of this need be occurring, there seems no logical reason/evidence that ”Hair”, its style, or lack of such, has any effect on anyone in the classroom’s ability to learn and the Government need write the law to stop such discrimination occurring…

    • The Al1en 7.2

      Most ridiculous news story of the week, and what a message to send to the youth of NZ – Fuck the rules, just get mummy and daddy to buy a court hearing.
      My advice is just cut your hair wee man.

      I remember back in ’79 when I had my ear pierced for the first time. It wasn’t allowed in school, so every morning I’d take it out and every afternoon I’d put it back in. How simple is that?
      Like the third year that grew a beard over the summer holidays and was made to shave it before being allowed to return to school, and facial hair wasn’t even in the rule book. He had his day of ‘fame’ and then everything went back to normal.

      Rules are made to be broken, and in the big scheme of things, long hair isn’t a crime, but what a joke those parents are, and what a bad precedent they are are setting.

      • Tiger Mountain 7.2.1

        You really stuck it to the man eh Al1en.

        Schools are where you get offered your first official shit sandwiches. Eat too many and you might get to like the taste.

        The kids parents have every right to take on some jumped up BOT chair.

        • The Al1en

          It’s not about me and ‘the man’, but I’ve never taken a shit sarnie in my life bruv. Fact is, getting a hair cut isn’t going to harm the lad or push him into a life of servitude, however, the signal being sent that he can challenge rules that everyone else has to obey is crass.

          The school have every right to insist that he conforms like the other students.

          • bad12

            Praise ‘Conformists’ everywhere, what a joke, without non-conformists we all would still be parked up in our caves looking across the seas at the ‘edge of the world’ fearful that should we ever sail there we would drop off,

            The Alien came close, drop-kick not quite being off…

            • The Al1en

              It’s a school boy at school disobeying school rules that all have to follow.
              Kin ‘el, he’s not Che Guevara.

              I know establishment = sh!t for most extremists, but context is a wonderful thing. 😆

              My earring experience didn’t stop me getting another five done, or indeed stop me from having shoulder length hair or go a week without shaving.
              Viva revolution.

              • Draco T Bastard

                You seem to have missed the point that it’s a rule that shouldn’t be there.

                • The Al1en

                  But the rule is there and going to court because all of a sudden you don’t want to follow it is just stupidity.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Sometimes that’s the only way to get an unjust rule changed.

                    Just think, if we just quietly went along with legal wrongs we’d still have slavery, child labour, poor houses and countless other injustices

                    • Rob

                      Wow Draco, so having to comply with some hair length requirements at a secondary school now ranks up there with Slavery. I am starting to get the idea that you were put on this earth to be happy about nothing.

                      Aliens point is about choosing your battles.

                    • The Al1en

                      “Just think, if we just quietly went along with legal wrongs we’d still have slavery, child labour, poor houses and countless other injustices”

                      And collar length hair – Oh the humanity.

            • Bill

              Or parked up in suburbia looking across ‘lego land’ to the workplace, the supermarket and the farm lands with the staunch belief that the view encompassed all the possibilities the world has to offer. (Two possibilities for the price of one every second Tuesday between the hours of 12a.m. and 3p.m.)

          • The Lone Haranguer

            No. As a fellow long haired git, I object. Thats thinking thats at least 40 years in the past.

            When length of hair can affect learning then its fair and reasonable for a school to have a say on things as they want the best outcomes for the student.

            When its not going to affect the students learning then its not a school issue.

            • Kevin Welsh

              It’s nothing to do with ‘learning’ and everything to do with complying with the rules that that school sets. When that boy’s parents enroled him in that school they did so on the condition of conforming with the rules set down. If they do not like the rules, then send him, to a different school. Very simple.

              Conforming with all sorts of rules is part of daily life. I cannot turn up to my place of employment dressed how ever I want, unshaven, not had a shower etc. If I want to turn up unshaven, smelly or dressed like a bum, then I can expect consequences. Very simple.

              • McFlock

                Assuming you work with clients/customers, if you turned up looking like crap then you’d cost the business money.

                How does long hair affect school performance? Doesn’t seem to inhibit girls’ performance at school too much…

                • Kevin Welsh

                  How does having your socks pulled up affect learning? It doesn’t. Because that is not the point. The point is if you want to enrol your child at that school, they have rules that are to be complied with, you don’t like it? Enrol your child elsewehere.

                  • vto

                    Other institutions used to have rules like that – you know, no blacks, no women, no children, no long hair, no muslims, no poms, just white bread thanks, that’s the way we like it. Go somewhere else.

                    It is very clear what this school is about ….

                  • McFlock

                    and what if it’s the best place for your kid, except for one bullshit rule?

          • Bill

            Hey Al1en, where or what is the justification for a school to impose rules like that one? Did they ever consult with the students? Have they ever tried to justify their rules? Or are they simply in the business of making rules for rule making’s sake, and in doing so, encouraging a hopeless culture of unquestioning compliance?

            • The Al1en

              I don’t care if the boy has long hair or not, the issue is breaking a rule then going to court.
              I’m sure there are other ways to change things than starting legal action which in my unconsidered opinion, because the rules have been in place for a while, is probably likely to fail.

              But just think, I use to drive safely down the road my daughter’s school is on at 50 kph until the speed limit was recently reduced to 40 kph. Rather than get pissy because I can’t do that any more and take the local authority to court, I now drive down that road at 40.
              No biggie, right?

              Btw, I remember yops and the yts. Not good times to be young and fresh out of school.

              • McFlock

                Actually, the court will determine whether it is the school that is breaking the rules by imposing such requirements on students.

                Like a case years back where a parking ticket got overturned because there were no records that proved that the yellow lines were there with lawful authority, as opposed to just some random dude painting yellow lines…

                • In Vino

                  Interesting hairy sub-thread… I left school just before the Beatles revolutionised hairstyle for males, and caused the whole bloody problem. But I started secondary-teaching in 1970. Being of the ‘Question everything’ persuasion, I sympathised with students who rebelled against the unjustifiable conformity of uniforms and hair-length.
                  “If we don’t fight them on the trivial things, we will find them fighting us on the serious things” was the boss’s justification, based, I think, on the idea that youth will always look for and find something to rebel against. (James Dean in ‘The Rebel’ is asked, “What are you rebelling against?” He gives the timeless answer: “What have you got?”)
                  Being a languages teacher I went and lived in France and Germany, where there were no school uniforms, and I came back confirmed in the belief that all our justifications for uniforms were rubbish.
                  Same boss took me back on at same school.. kids were starting to tell me, “You used to teach my Mum/Dad.” Still uniform fights, so boss decided to poll the parents and ask them : “Do you want school uniforms or not?”
                  Remembering how the previous generation had complained, I expected a majority to vote uniforms out. Over 80% voted to impose uniforms on their kids just as they had had uniforms imposed on them.

                  Schools do as their parents ask by and large, and you hair-liberationists are up against one of the sadder aspects of human nature: youngsters rebel against their parents, then turn into replicants of them.

                • The Al1en

                  “Actually, the court will determine whether it is the school that is breaking the rules by imposing such requirements on students.”

                  Expensive way of sorting it out. I agree it’s 2014 and not 1984 (metaphoric and literal), it isn’t such a big deal, and to be fair, he has the right to stand his ground. If anything has taught me, presently dealing with lawyers as I am, it is all about choosing your battles. Some things are must dos, I’m not sure getting a bit of the back is worth the effort. I don’t think it’s a human rights issue, as in based on religious/cultural grounds, it’s just a school rule.
                  I might well back my kid to make her point, but not to court. Coming from being 3 of 5, I’d say point made, have a week of on me, get the snip, go back to school as a hero rebel for the last year, get up a school wide petition to change the rule, and then put it on his cv when he comes out of school/uni/polytech.

                  • The Al1en

                    On re-reading I meant have a week off on me and put on her cv to show she’s principled, motivated, focussed, organised and so on.

                    • The Al1en

                      On re re-reading I concede in advance that taking on ‘the man’ as mentioned above and winning would also make for a good cv read.

    • Bill 7.3

      heh – reminds me of my first ever work placement at the beginnings of Thatcherism. Prospective big boss sat me down and said I’d have to cut my hair to get the ‘job’ (Youth Opportunity Programme scheme days).

      Then on the first day I discovered I was to be working beside an old hippy with hair half way down his back.

      And I think that was the first and last time I allowed a boss to successfully make arbitrary demands of me. Just crossing my mind that maybe I should have gone back in later years and thanked the silly auld bugger. 😉

  8. Chooky 8

    While Europe is banning cosmetics using animal testing! ….the Chinese insist on animal testing for cosmetics!….China is not animal rights or eco -friendly


    The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill is currently before the Primary Production Committee, which is due to report back to parliament at the end of the month. The committee is considering an amendment from Green MP Mojo Mathers, which seeks to add a ban to cosmetic testing on animals.

    Many major cosmetic companies which have previously declared themselves “cruelty free”, such as Avon, Estee Lauder and MAC – have started animal testing again because it is now a requirement to enter the lucrative Chinese market. Mandy Carter is the head of campaigns for Save Animals from Exploitation – SAFE.

  9. Chooky 9

    Religion is the source of much of the worlds problems! … according to retiring QC and humanitarian prisoner advocate Peter Williams

    ( i would have to add patriarchal monotheistic religions are the problem)

    ….the rest of this interview by Kathryn Ryan is also worth listening to, as a historical take and slice of New Zealand’s criminal court case histories and some of the colourful characters from NZ’s past.

    Williams himself is an admirable character with a great love of the law and justice …He gives some warnings about putting the onus of proof onto the accused that they did NOT do it!

    …(Have to agree with this!,,,it would make a mockery of justice…the onus of proof must be put on the prosecution).


  10. philj 10

    Williams/Ryan interview on RNZ was uplifting, in spite of Kathryn trying to inject her opinion. Peter is a fine New Zealander with a fierce sense of humanity and justice.

  11. bad12 11

    Is it just me, or is the Winter in Wellington this year particularly mild in comparison with previous events,

    Seems to have been a singular lack of screaming ice laden Southerlies so far here in Welly, and i am still on the roam around the mansion in tee-shirt mode, admittedly with my layered approach to bodily heating this has me kitted out with four of them on, but, i have as yet not had to resort to the multi-layered maximum heating arrangement of four hoodies and knitted woolen cap which is my normal attire at this time,

    i have had the sneaking suspicion that ”climate change” has also accomplished a subtle changing of the seasons on the calendar and suspect like last year that the ”howlers” will likely occur again at the end of winter, start of spring,(not fun for the keen gardener impatient to get the annual crop into the soil)…

    • Rosie 11.1

      Yeah, bad, the weather here is weirdly warm. I saw the headline in the Dom Post at the beginning of June which declared we were to have a warmer than usual winter and something about El Nino. Last week I think someone (was it Draco?) put up a link from the Guardian talking about the effect that El Nino will have on the planet’s weather systems now and in coming years.

      Helpful to get that El Nino perspective after I had been shaking my fist at climate change, which I will continue to shake my fist at anyway.

      Observations of weirdness for June:

      There is still a good amount of firewood in the garage and there have been nights where I have not lit the fire. The underlay on the bed remains on the “summer side”

      Sitting here in trackies and a long sleeved t shirt (I know, I’m a style icon) with a window open.

      The garden is BLOOMING! Plants that struggled through the windy summer have now grown and flowered……….that is freaking weird. There is lush new growth on the pittosporums and pohutakawa.

      I also reckon we’ll get those howlers back at the equinox which will create damage and stunted growth.

    • swordfish 11.2

      I’ve noticed a clear change dating from about 2009. Winter in Wellington is = Warmer, Sunnier, less Windy than before, Summer though = is definitely Wetter and more Windy. It’s becoming our Monsoon Season.

      It was very rare to get more than two or three consecutive Blue Sky days in Winter when I was a kid growing up in Welling-on-Sea in the 70s. Now, it seems to be the norm.

      Three years ago, my cousin (a Kiwi who’s lived in London for 30 years), made a trip home to Wellington. She was here from Late November to Late January and there wasn’t one fine day during that whole (supposedly Summer) period.

      • Rosie 11.2.1

        Interesting observations swordfish (trombone?). 2011 was a particularly balmy and still winter I recall, similar to what we have been experiencing so far.

        And speaking of growing up in the 70’s, my memory of the Kapiti Coast, where I grew up was that we had very cold winters with several good hard crunchy frosts underfoot in the morning and the summers were dazzlers.

        I miss clearly defined and regular seasons.

        • James Thrace

          You obviously don’t recall the snow during the winter we got on THREE occasions in 2011 Rosie.

          Seasons are coming later and later. all part of our progression around the axis. One day, Winter will be in December.

          Quelle Horrer

          • Rosie

            Oh, I remember the snow alright James, at the end of that HOT winter of 2011. That was a very exciting weather event. I was living in the least snowy part of Wellington at that time which was very disappointing.

            I have heard of this pole shift theory and I know of people who absolutely believe in it. Is it a plausible theory?

            • Draco T Bastard

              I have heard of this pole shift theory and I know of people who absolutely believe in it. Is it a plausible theory?

              Axial precession

              First discovered about 150 BCE.

              • Rosie

                Fascinating stuff thanks Drax. Will need to reread when I have the time, it looks well worth investigating.

        • swordfish

          Yep to everything you’ve just said – including swordfishtrombones</I.>.

          One of my favourite Albums of all time. As I explain here

          Grew up just down the coast from you in The Bay of Titahi. Something just a little disquieting about this relatively rapid change in weather.

          • swordfish

            Jesus, those italics didn’t work too well did they ? (swordfishtrombones and The Bay of Titahi were supposed to be in italics – nothing else !). I’ve not only let the good burghers of The Standard down, much more importantly I’ve let myself down, haven’t I ?

            • Rosie

              Yes, Swordfish Trombones is an excellent album. Tom Waits continues to be a reliable source of great writing and melodies too 🙂

              Don’t berate yourself for the italics situation. I don’t even know how to do italics in a blog setting, so you are well ahead of me.

            • bad12

              Grew up in the same place, great to be a kid there in the 60’s…

        • Draco T Bastard

          my memory of the Kapiti Coast, where I grew up was that we had very cold winters with several good hard crunchy frosts underfoot in the morning

          I remember that in Auckland in 1970s. Going out in the mornings and playing in the frozen grass, feeling it crunch under bare feet. Just don’t seem to get that anymore.

    • Bill 11.3

      Dunedin’s weather has been causing comment too. Many unseasonably sunny and warm days. Buds coming out on trees. Summer was windy as shit and not so flash. Quite a few noticeably odd rain events too – immense volumes of water in very short periods (over a few minutes) causing flooding.

      • swordfish 11.3.1

        Sounds very similar to Wellington, Bill. Warmer, sunnier Winters and some really intense rainfalls in Summer over the last 5 years. And, you know, it’s actually just a little bit disquieting. Does nae seem natural.

        But, then, I’m increasingly thinking of Wellington and Dunedin as twins these days in any case. For a start, Dunedin’s a dead-ringer for Wellers c1950 – harbour, hillside suburbs, low-rise city centre. But, more importantly, both are politically and ideologically well to the Left of the rest of New Zealand (which is no doubt why both cities are coming in for a particularly hard time from this government). And now it seems on the old meteorology front as well.

  12. The Lone Haranguer 12

    So would John Banks have got off scot free if he had held a charity auction to raise $$ for his mayoralty bid and had KDC bid, say for example, $50,000 for a bottle of wine?

    If Labour have no records of Donghua Liu’s alleged “donation” of $15,000 possibly because its come via an auction, then is this yet another way that political parties can hide donations?

    Sometimes I think that the two main political parties set up rules while having back door escape plans so said rules do not apply to them.

    • karol 12.1

      Are you saying the auction was rigged? Any evidence that Labour MPs at the time knew anything about the Liu’s winning the auction?

      Seriously – Nats drawing a long bow there.

      • The Lone Haranguer 12.1.1

        I do not see how you think Im drawing any bow here.

        What Im saying is that it would appear that the two major parties have ways of circumventing the rules that they themselves agree to.

        Your suggestion that maybe a MP didnt know about the wine so by implication must be innocent (Barker is in the photo after all) is dangerously close to the failed Banks defence line.

        • McFlock

          given that labour apparently genuinely didn’t know that L won the auction, I’d say that it was a truly anonymous donation (if it counts as a donation).

          As opposed to pretend-anonymous, also known as electoral fraud. as banks found out.

          My issue isn’t so much that there are ways to maybe circumvent the law with tact and discretion. Trusts, auctions, raffles, all good, in moderation.

          The trouble is where the circumvention becomes blatant and therefore illegal, IMO: getting donors to split donations to remain anonymous, paying a thousand times the sticker price for an “auction” item, that sort of thing.

          In the case of fundraising, I’d maybe say that where cumulative purchases from one individual are over the donation limit, they should be published in the donations register. But even then the party can own a going concern that does exceedingly well out of a few customers, e.g. tech advice at $1000/hr.

          But really, despite being imperfect, the system completely falls down only when a massive cock thinks he has an equally massive brain, so well and truly crosses the bounds into “illegal”.

          • The Lone Haranguer

            Well Barker knew. Hes in the photo after all.

            And its dishonest to think that nobody in Labour (or the Nats for you can be sure they will be no better) knew who the kind man who wanted the wine was. And theres no chance that the Labour hierarchy thought it was a generous buyer of wine, for the sake of a nice drink.

            Its a rort when the Nats do it, its a rort when Labour does it, and its a rort when any of the other parties does it too.

            My objection is that any parties do it, as its not excusable. And you cant say its okay coz the other team is doing it too.

            But I do note that both of the major parties have difficulty dealing with generous Chinese business people.

            • Colonial Viper

              You are so full of shit.

              Cunliffe did not try and influence any decisions affecting Liu. He didn’t write the letter because of any donations by Liu.

              Cunliffe was doing his job as an electorate MP.

            • McFlock

              I’m fucking fed up with the argument that there’s some sort of moral equivalence between doing favours outside your job description for a donor, and doing your damned job for someone who might make a donation years later.

              If you can’t see the difference, that’s not my problem.

      • Bob 12.1.2

        I don’t think it is a long bow, especially after the latest revelations http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10172715/David-Cunliffe-advocated-for-Donghua-Liu

        • Colonial Viper

          What advocating? Trying to find out the timeline on an official process is something electorate MPs do as part of their job.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Can you demonstrate where the request for information about procedure crossed the line into the “advocacy” claimed in the headline?

          Yes, I know that a perception of wrongdoing is all that counts in the “game” you’re “playing”, and I also know that the grounds for this perception are missing.

          Can you help me find them? Didn’t think so.

  13. Olwyn 13

    From this morning’s Herald:

    Professor Jonathan Boston, co-author of Child Poverty in New Zealand, said at the book’s launch in Auckland last night that he saw worse poverty in some Kiwi families than he saw when he spent a month late last year in Delhi slums where his wife, Dr Mary Hutchinson, worked as a volunteer doctor for a Christian charity.


    I am glad that Professor Boston mentions families, and not just children, as if their existence occurred independently of families. I also think that people do not always appreciate that when inequality is introduced into a previously egalitarian, developed society it brings with it a particular kind of hardship: the high costs of living in the developed society remain, but for many the means for meeting those costs are no longer available.

  14. Rosie 14

    From Jackals blog:

    “Instead, the best thing people can do is make MP’s like Simon Bridges politically extinct at the next election.”

    Exactly what I was thinking last night watching the news that oil exploration permits have been granted in the marine reserve where our darling highly endangered Maui dolphins live.

    What kind of a fucker would be ok with that? Simon Bridges of course. And people of Tauranga, what do you plan on doing with this one man tornado of environmental destruction? Vote him out or keep him on?

    Tauranga is as blue as they come, but surely even they can’t support someone as incompetent and vacuous as Bridges for a third term.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      No! Simon Bridges is touted as a future leader of National!

      We have to ensure he does become a future leader of National.

      • Rosie 14.1.1

        ol’ duck lips is a worry and must be contained before he reaches that brighter future

  15. We did it: Seabed mining rejected! Next? Fucking Simon Bridges and his oil adventures in our bit of the ocean!

  16. Ant 16

    How the f*ck can National’s research unit know about what Labour has done in the past before Labour does…..

    Jesus the incompetence.

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      Maybe they just know exactly what it is that Labour doesn’t know, and so are free to make up stories with impunity?

  17. Herald headline: David Cunliffe wrote letter supporting Liu’s residency bid.

    Except, that the letter is not lobbying in support of Liu’s residency.
    It’s an entirely appropriate request from an MP on behalf of one of his constituents requesting an ETA for a decision.

    And an immediate call for his resignation by John Armstrong

    We are poorly served by our press in New Zealand.

    • Ant 17.1

      And Liu’s donation was supposedly”secret” now. We are poorly served by the press, but, Labour are poorly served by themselves, before going full throttle about Liu shouldn’t they have checked about stuff like this?

      Cunliffe needs to come out swinging on this and fight it tooth or nail or he probably should resign for being too much of a sap.

      • grumpy 17.1.1

        Agree, not all that much to this, it seems they all do it, but surely he has met the Richard Worth standard of being too stupid to stay?

        • Tracey

          or perhaps he has plunged to judith collins level so can stay. But whydo you compare him to worth. Totally different situations. Perhaps compare him to key or williamson or collins. No wait, williamson interfered in a domestic violence case… So lets compare with key and collins

      • Macro 17.1.2

        “Labour are poorly served by themselves, before going full throttle about Liu shouldn’t they have checked about stuff like this?”

        Totally agree – it’s obvious that Labour do not want to win this election! Muppets!

        Labour – if you can’t pull yourselves together NOW get out of the way and let others who have the best interests of the country at heart take over. The people of New Zealand can no longer afford this incompetency.

        • mickysavage

          What you mean check every single letter written over the past 15 years? Honest DC is talented but I do not know anyone whose memory is that phenomenal.

          • Tracey

            well someone checked

          • grumpy

            So why didn’t Barker, Carter, O’Connor or any number who knew Labour had dealings with Liu, just get in touch with Cunliffe and warn him, or were they just content to let him keep up the attack on National, knowing that the silver bullet was waiting?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              So not only does this point scored prove that Cunliffe is tricky, it shows ABC are out to get him too?

              Two narratives for the price of one looks a bit greedy to me.

          • Mozz

            Except he is not nearly talented as you claim.

            For someone who has been in parliament a long time (15 years), he such makes a fuckload of mistakes and he sure can’t stop lying about it. Dare I say it, his level of deceit is reaching pathological levels

            Today on the radio “I was a backbencher at the time of the letter”…despite being Assoc Minister of Finance…

            The guy is National’s best asset.

            [lprent: I hate to break this to you, but an associate minister is a backbencher if they don’t have other ministerial portfolios. They are often a trainee. A apprentice. Learning the ropes of how to become a minister.

            Tell me, are the right who wander in here as really as gormless and ignorant of how your government operates as the morons I have had to read tonight seem to be?

            I guess they can’t be. There are a few bright ones I have run across. ]

    • Barnsley Bill 17.2

      Williamson? Keep dancing on the head of that pin. But you might want to wait until they have revealed all about the 100k wine bottle.

    • Crashcart 17.3

      Ther is something very smelly going on here.

      Right wing blogs start going on about Cunliff being rolled close to the election so that the party doesn’t get to vote.

      Information about Something that happened with Cunliff 7 years ago comes out just now (admitidly this could be down to the other Liu stuff going on and the timing has been very poor).

      I know they are some very far apart dots but is it at all posible that this has been set in motion by some of those who want to replace Cunliff? Have they really stooped that far that they would bring in DPF and Slater to help them take the top job and deliberately go around what the party membership set up? It would work in to the narrative that DPF has been putting out that there are memebers of Labor who would rather spend the next 3 years in oposition but in charge rather than working for Cunliff.

      Either way this isn’t going to simply dissapear. Cunliff is going to get hammered with it. Over and over again. If this was something started from within the party it is a disgusting undermining of the party from within adn actually shows that they are not worthy of Government benches.

      Hopefullly this leads to labor supporters at worst switchign to other parties on the left. I doubt that though.

    • Bill 17.4

      So….asking how long a decision is likely to take is the same as advocating positively for somebody’s residency?! Oh dear. It seems that many Nat Party cheerleaders need to get their heads out of their arses.

  18. Barnsley Bill 18

    The truth will out..
    I knew something stunk when Mike Williams was asked at the weekend and used the word honestly.
    At least the caucus can boot him now and not have to consult the lumpen masses for a replacement.

  19. freedom 19

    12:59 AM story breaks about the 2003 letter
    1:00 PM John Armstrong column calling for Cunliffe’s head

    how they have fallen, The NZ Herald used to be more subtle

    “But that does not wash. Either deliberately or through a lapse of memory, Cunliffe has been economical with the truth.” does Armstrong really want to be playing this card?

    • Tracey 19.1

      agree. if he has been dishonest or misleading then in my opinion he is right up there with john key. and anyone calling for his head must, logically, call for john key and judith collins heads. not illegal but not telling the truth or misleading.

      I await his statement at 245

    • Colonial Viper 19.2

      John Fucking Armstrong

      Let me ask you John, how many of John Key’s malfeasant Ministers have you called on to resign this year over matters far greater involving the mis-use and abuse of Ministerial positions?

      Fucking none that’s how many, because they’re the team you are with you fucking bitter Tory loser.

      Looking forward to you losing your access to the PM’s office after September you sorry excuse for a journalist.

  20. Oh the comment i was replying too has gone and I’m on the bottom.

    “David Cunliffe to reporters on Tuesday:

    Q: Do you recall ever meeting Liu?
    A: I don’t recall ever meeting him, no.
    Q: Did you have anything to do with the granting of his permanent residency?
    A: No, I did not.
    Q: Did you advocate on his behalf at all?
    A: Nope.
    Q:Were you aware of any advice against granting him permanent residency?
    A: Not to my recollection.”


    Yep this looks bad and the you know whos will be all over it. More time spent on explaining, backtracking and less for the election, spun right back to personalities away from policy. Seems a really simple thing but apparently not.

    • karol 20.1

      Q:Were you aware of any advice against granting him permanent residency?
      A: Not to my recollection.”

      Cunliffe’s OIAed leter to immigration NZ does not show any awareness of such advice.

      • grumpy 20.1.1

        hairs, split, much?????
        Looks desperate to me.

      • marty mars 20.1.2

        “Q: Did you advocate on his behalf at all?
        A: Nope.”

        That one seems pivotal to me – I suppose it comes down to interpretation – could the letter be seen as advocacy.

        • Liam Hehir

          I guess we have to look at the substance of the thing. After all, Maurice William explicitly stated he was not advocating on behalf of the man when he called the Police. That was rightly seen as an ineffective disclaimer and the mention of the the investments at stake was taken as being damning.

          I suppose the question has to be, would the recipient of the letter reasonably infer that the letter was advocacy.

          • Colonial Viper

            Nah, see this for what it is, a co-ordinated Tory attack over nothing more than an electorate MP doing his job.

            • Bob

              Only if you see the Williamson case for what it was, a co-ordinated left wing/left wing media attack over nothing more than an electorate MP doing his job.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                That explains why he resigned: it was his job to get donors off charges. No, wait…

                • Bob

                  He never attempted to get Mr Liu off charges, he simply rang to ask the progress on the case, no different to what David Cunliffe has been shown to have done for the same person!

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    No, Cunliffe did not even ask that, little Bobby. He asked that Mr. “Lui” be provided with a timetable.

                    • But nor did Williamson ask for any particular outcome. He just said he was making enquiries and pointed out that Liu was investing a lot of money in New Zealand.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If you can’t tell the difference between a residency application and a police investigation I suggest you lobby hard for Williamson’s reinstatement.

                    • I’m not saying there’s no difference. What I am saying if there is a difference it is a matter of gravity having regard to the distinction you have made, rather than a distinction as to the nature of communication.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So, Williamson’s phone call wasn’t an attempt to get “Lui” off, and this says what about Cunliffe’s letter?

                    • You misunderstand. I think it was. That’s why I said it was rightly criticised.

                      It’s not the kind of thing I think you can disclaim. If the recipient of the information would perceive it to be.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If the recipient of the request perceives it as an attempt to influence the outcome, they have several choices.

                      Ignore it.

                      Let it influence the decision.

                      Authoritarian followers would let it influence the decision. Therefore we need policy to identify authoritarian followers and ensure they never rise to positions of influence, and good luck getting that one past the National Party.

                  • Okay, so do you think that what Maurice Williamson had effectively removed the risk of their being undue influence, on the basis that he said he didn’t want to influence the police?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I think the risk of corruption is always present, and that officials need to be suspicious of any request they get until they’ve thoroughly investigated links to overseas and/or vested interests, and when it’s a police investigation they have to feel confident enough to show Oravida the door no matter what the minister says, or their personal fear of acid attacks.

                    • mickysavage

                      For feck’s sake read the cabinet manual on interfering in police investigations and then argue the point.

        • The Lone Haranguer

          Yes it is advocacy.

          But for goodness sake, – helping constituents who have issues with Government Departments – thats what politicians do for a job

          I cant see that Cunliffe did anything that any other MP wouldnt have done in that situation. Leave the poor man alone.

        • Draco T Bastard

          No, it couldn’t. It’s just asking for a timeline of Liu’s immigration process.

          • Liam Hehir

            And reportedly Maurice Williamson “started by saying that in no way was he looking to interfere with the process.” So his communication also was not advocacy – at least on its face.

            That statement was seen, rightly IMO, as not subtracting from how such a phone call would have been interpreted by the recipient.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              …and if you can’t distinguish between a police matter and a residency application I’d like you to consider this punch in the face a gesture of respect and appreciation.

              • I don’t your meaning. The question was whether it was advocacy or not. On balance, I think you could probably say it would have appeared it to have been.

                Whether it was improper or not is a different matter, I agree.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  If the problem is the possibility of compliant corrupt officials who take MPs doing their job with a nod and a wink then the solution is rid officialdom of authoritarian followers.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Williamson started by saying that because, IMO, he knew he was breaking the rules. His subsequent language implicated actual advocacy and bordered upon threatening the police.

              What Cunliffe wrote amounted to Hey guys, can you provide a timetable to Mr Lui?, thanks. And that was it, done.

              There is, quite simply, no comparison between the cases.

      • Macro 20.1.3

        Fact is Karol – this incompetency is all that is needed for Labour to ensure the Labour vote stays home on 20th Sept. Every policy that attacks the “strugglers” (delaying pension, cgt, etc) – every fumble of the ball – every apparent inconsistency is all it takes. It seems to me that Labour are trying their very best to loose (has Cairns been in their ear?). It makes me fume!! The country cannot afford another term of National – but it looks like it the “alternative” is not much cop either!

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s bloody irritating

          A 2003 letter asking for clarification on a date is meh, in of itself

          But I understand what you are saying in terms of the bloody MSM playing this kind of thing up for broad suppressive effect on the Left.

    • Naturesong 20.2

      So, just to be clear …
      – he may or may not have met him as a constituent
      – did not have anything to do with his granting of permanent residency
      – advocated for Liu to receive a timeframe for his application
      – was unaware of any advice against granting residency

      I imagine it’d be easy for David to forget having one of his staff jot off a letter to Immigration Service requesting that a constituent be given a timeline.

      The “bad look”, is in the Herald who are making a hell of a mountain out of a molehill.

      • grumpy 20.2.1

        This is the guy he said he had never heard of????

        • Naturesong

          Given it’s a pretty ubiquitous sort of request for an MP’s office, the request from Lui may well have been a phone call or letter, and the staff dealt with it.
          Mr Cunliffe may have seen it for the first time when it passed his desk to be signed – looked above board, signed, and promptly forgotten.

          I’d be at least willing to listen to what he has to say – I did with John Key at the beginning.

          It’s not as if he was a larger than life, flamboyant businessman who threw a ton of cash around the electorate, having parties and paying for extravagant public fireworks shows

          • grumpy

            Thats not what Rick Barker said when he went 1800km out of his way for dinner with Liu – what was Barker’s portfolio again?

            • Naturesong

              What’s that got to do with Cunliffe?

            • Tracey

              so collins needs togo in your opinion?

              And their is the liar in chief saying he played golf with owner of oravida for “charity” when he knew it was national party coffers…

              So, if cunliffe lied, he goes, collins goes and key goes. I can live with that.

          • Bob

            “Mr Cunliffe may have seen it for the first time when it passed his desk to be signed – looked above board, signed, and promptly forgotten.”
            John Banks may have done the same thing, I am sure you also gave him the benefit of the doubt?
            Of course those auctioned bottlles of wine and books were purchased by Mr Liu at hugely inflated prices without any prior knowledge of anyone from the Labour Party. They would never ask him to buy a book for $15,000 rather than donate directly…..

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Do you really need to have it pointed out to you that Banks still denies his crime whereas Cunliffe, who hasn’t committed any, called a press conference to admit a mistake?

              Do you really think the two cases are equivalent?

              • Bob

                Do you really need to have it pointed out to you that David Cunliffe just called a press conference to say ”I did not advocate for him. A letter has just come to my attention which is 11 years old, which simply asks how long a process will take… I do not believe I have done anything wrong.” How is that admitting a mistake?

                “Do you really think the two cases are equivalent?” Well I guess that will come down to whether or not anyone within Labour knew Mr Liu wanted to donate to the Labour Party but wanted to stay anonymous or not. We will have to see what further details arise….

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  If you’re going to quote press conferences the statements you omit stand out like the proverbial, child.

            • phillip ure

              have you forgotten there..’bob’..(said in rowan atkinson voice..)

              ..that banks asked dotcom to split the donation..so he could declare it as anonymous..?

              ..and then lied on the declaration..?

    • Mike the Savage One 20.3

      The third question is the crucial one to be worried about. While MPs do often offer some help to constituents, they may forget details re meetings and letters written. But having written a letter for Liu and then later attacking the Nats for receiving large donations from migrants like him, that sadly smells too much of double standards.

      No wonder David Cunliffe is so cautious on so much. On the other hand, the Herald is at it, lobbying for the government, so to say, with a campaign of smear and undermining. It will certainly not make me vote National, I would never vote for Key or Nats, so it will surely be a small party on 20 September.

      I am indeed tempted to protest vote this election, yes to send a shock signal to the rotten political establisment of this country, it needs a thorough shake-up.

      • Colonial Viper 20.3.1

        But having written a letter for Liu and then later attacking the Nats for receiving large donations from migrants like him, that sadly smells too much of double standards.

        So why wouldn’t David Cunliffe do his job as an electorate MP, completely impartially, for a constituent?

        Where in doing your expected job is the “double standards”?

        • Mike the Savage One

          Well, I am not so sure that it may all just stay with this one letter. Let us pray that not more comes to the surface. David Cunliffe was probably doing his job as MP then, but as Liu appears to have tried to gain some influence by approaching various politicians from various parties, then Labour ones (who were then in government), and more recently National ones, who are now in government, I fear that Cunliffe or his office may have offered some more assistance than just writing that letter.

          The Chinese business people believe very much in networking, and they like to lobby politicians and government officials more intensely than what ordinary Kiwi or other “western” business people may be doing. It often resembles a kind of “embrace”, hard to contain and keep a distance in.

          If more should surface, things will not look good.

          After Cunliffe fronted up on radio and television, and did rather well on the Paul Henry Show, he will have regained some trust. But given the continued attacks, the media are too busy reporting on these side issues, rather than present and discuss Labour’s policies.

          Labour’s leader, party workers and MPs really should be doing better in regards to dealing with media, and with their whole strategy. The impression by the public will largely not be such a good one, I am afraid.

          And dealing with the media is a highly sensitive and crucial matter, and they should be more confident and aggressive when addressing these attacks by the Herald and others.

    • ianmac 20.4

      ” Did you have anything to do with the granting of his permanent residency?”
      “No I did not.”
      Hang on there. That is still true isn’t it?
      DC as an MP wrote to find out how long would it be before an Investment decision be processed. Not an application for residency is it?

      • phillip ure 20.4.1

        ianmac..see comment 22.2.2..

        ..he did much more than that..

      • ratesarerevolting 20.4.2

        [Even for a RWNJ your comments are a complete waste of broadband – MS]

        • Colonial Viper

          He’s the next Prime Minister of NZ, more like.

          • ratesarerevolting

            “He’s the next Prime Minister of NZ, more like.”

            When did that ever exclude one from being [Even for a RWNJ your comments are a complete waste of broadband – MS]

        • Chooky

          if you are going to swear genitalia at least get your gender correct

        • phillip ure

          are you speaking for the nervous right..there..?..rates..etc..?

      • Chooky 20.4.3

        “DC as an MP wrote to find out how long would it be before an Investment decision be processed”

        . …and maybe some office boffin wrote for him…after all MPs get rather busy at times and their office assistants do reply or follow up on requests…..so maybe he just didnt do it himself …hence he cant remember……and god knows how many letters MPs sign every day without looking closely at what they are signing….but just trust in the judgment of their assistants

        ( btw…when my sister was about five she was desperate to have a pet monkey …nothing could dissuade her… so it was suggested that she write to PM Hollyoak for permission ( snigger snigger)….and low and behold she got back a very charming letter explaining that the laws of New Zealand did not allow for pet monkeys but thanking her for her letter and drawing of a pet monkey …and wishing her the very best ….I am sure Hollyoak was much too busy to have written this letter and some assistant wrote it ….but he did sign it!….and my sister very pleased with his response and accepted the law of the land )

        • ratesarerevolting

          Ahh the Banks defence.

        • bad12

          Yeah of course Chooky, anyone seeing how the office, and, for most of these things its the electorate office, of an MP operates will know that it is the office staff and personal secretary that handles half the people that attend over such matters,

          Immigration is a pretty standard one and it is likely that on the day David Cunliffe signed the letter asking for an update on where the particular process for Liu was at He,(Cunliffe), would have signed any number of such letters having been told by the personal secretary they were standard immigration inquiries,

          The next tranche of letters Cunliffe signed were probably to the local DHB as medical matters also figure heavily in an MP’s electoral work through the local office, and, on it would go,

          i see nothing wrong with Cunliffe being queried on such things, Armstrong’s idiots clarion call aside,

          my view is that they are all deserving of such treatment simply based upon the ”buy your way into New Zealand” policies that both Labour and National have operated over the years,

          That such policies are now turning round and biting them both on the A is a rather poetic piece of Justice…

          • mickysavage

            You guys waste so much of your lives denying the bleedingly obvious. Of course one of David’s loyal and talented office workers wrote the letter. Yu have no idea of the huge volume of enquiries that his office had, how professional they were in handling these enquiries and how unlikely it is that he would remember the contents of a letter that he signed 11 years ago.

  21. Tracey 21

    cunliffe press conference at 245 today

    • grumpy 21.1

      Wow, blatant lies…………National don’t need to do anything the “left” are set on self destruct.

      • karol 21.1.1

        What lies?

        • grumpy

          Never heard of Liu, never wrote on his behalf….how many do you need. The stupid thing is that Cunliffe took this fight to National, knowing he had these skeletons in his closet – and then lied when caught.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Why don’t you quote what Cunliffe actually said yesterday? If it means what you say it does then you won’t need to paraphrase.

          • mickysavage

            Wow so much delusion in such a short comment …

      • Tracey 21.1.2

        and yet collins and key survive their proven lies. If cunliffe has lied, id love his press conference to be his resignation. Then i will watch while the right say he didnt need to resign… To justify hanging onto their own liars.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep that’s the dirty two faced game that the MSM let the Right Wing play

          • Bob

            Or is this a case of the Left being two faced? Right wing politician lies, the Left scream ‘he should resign!’ David Cunliffe lies, ‘it’s okay Right wing politicians do too….’
            Right wing politician (John Key) has a secret trust for his family, the Left scream ‘it’s corruption!’, David Cunliffe has a secret trust for hiding donations from public scruitany, ‘it’s okay, its within the rules’.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Or is this a case of Bob spinning like a top, presenting false assertions as fact then drawing spurious conclusions, and therefore providing yet more evidence that Bob embodies deceitful partisan trash?

              • Bob

                ‘Spinning like a top, presenting false assertions as fact then drawing spurious conclusions, and therefore providing yet more evidence of deceitful partisan trash?’
                I like that OAB, although that should be the preface for BLiP’s list, or perhaps you just don’t like the fact I have pointed out that commentators like yourself like to think you have principles, but once those pricinples are held up to left wing politicians they fall away exposing the underlying political spin and bullshit that your sanctimony usually hides.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No, Bob, I am challenging your assertions. They are false. A trust that is declared isn’t secret, by definition. Key’s trusts are not secret either, for that matter: their purpose was exposed years ago: to subvert the law regarding conflicts of interest.

                  The National Party uses trusts to hide the identity of its donors, ostensibly from its own MPs, but these trusts are no secret either.

                  Your pretend equivalence is a good play, Bob, but it fails the reality check at several key points.

          • Gosman

            Do you think politicians who are caught out in a lie should resign?

            • Colonial Viper

              Fucking Key should have gone years ago over those Tranzrail shares, yes.

      • Macro 21.1.3

        “National don’t need to do anything – Labour are set on self destruct.”

    • is cunnliffe going to resign..?

      • the card 21.2.1

        Or re sign ?

      • phillip ure 21.2.2

        cunnliffe didn’t just send a letter asking about the progress of lius’ immigration-application..

        “.. Cunliffe said yesterday he had never met Chinese-born Liu, 53, and did not press for him to receive permanent residency.

        However, a file held by Immigration New Zealand, released this afternoon, shows a letter from 2003 in which Cunliffe detailed Liu’s plans to set up an export venture.

        Cunliffe’s letter, written on parliamentary letterhead and including a photo of the MP, shows he met with Liu – contrary to his assurances yesterday…”


        • phillip ure

          q-time should b interesting…

          ..cunnliffe is down 2 ask the first question..

          ..if he don’t show..?

          • phillip ure

            he’s fronted..

            ..national are seriously over-excited…

            • mickysavage

              Hey phillip where is the proof that Cunliffe met Liu? Cunliffe’s office had people attend all the time seeking assistance and they then get him to sign letters seeking information. You would be amazed how many people his office has helped.

        • Tracey

          just for the sake of factual accuracy, it is possible to receive help from an mp and never meet them. In 1994 i wrote my mp about a problem with acc. Although in opposition she interceded on my behalf and within 10 days the problem was resolved. We never met or spoke.

          That is NOT a defence of any cunliffe may have done, just supporting the view that you can not meet someone but still help.

        • Colonial Viper

          Cunliffe’s letter, written on parliamentary letterhead and including a photo of the MP, shows he met with Liu – contrary to his assurances yesterday…”

          You better back this statement up, if you can. How does the letter show that he met with Liu? And that the letter wasn’t from notes taken by a staff member, for instance, or something done over the phone?

          • Colonial Viper

            Someone a few days back suggested a $500 donation limit to politicians via any single individual, company or trust and I think that is a bloody good idea.

            edit – this was to karol’s “get the money out of electioneering”

        • The Lone Haranguer

          Not it doesnt.

          It shows that he did some advocacy for a constituent, whom he may or may not have actually met.

          The details of the letter show that Cunliffe has some knowledge of the constituent’s situation, but that can be passed on by a third party, it does not necessarily require Liu be present to do that.

          The bigger issue is whether is a VRWC beat up or if its the second coming of the ABC club. I suspect the timing of the “leaked” information points to the latter.

  22. karol 22

    Time to get the money out of electioneering.

    Liu is looking like one of the greedy who spends his time sucking up to politicians to get favourable treatment.

    Time to stop giving favourable treatment to wealthy foreign businessmen.

    • Rosie 22.1

      “Liu is looking like one of the greedy who spends his time sucking up to politicians to get favourable treatment.”

      And never mind which team they’re on either, any party in government will do!

    • Kiwiri 22.2

      quick comment for now

      time to get money and crony politics out of the system

      i would like to see Cunliffe and the progressive parties campaign to bring new brooms to Parliament to give the current system a good clean

  23. Mike the Savage One 23

    If what the NZ Herald is reporting on David Cunliffe is true, that he had on 13 April 2003 written a kind of supportive letter to NZ Immigration, somehow supporting a residence application by controversial Chinese businessman Dongha Liu, now before the courts, and exposed as a large donor to the National Party (and supposedly also Labour), then the election may this year be all decided.

    This is not good news, not a good look, I fear, and Labour are now stuffed, as they have not done their honest “return to the roots” and cleaned out their top party members and MPs from the rot that still sits in there.

    I am shocked, to be honest, but not quite that suprised, as even Cunliffe is more to the right of centre, than left, and his recent ambiguity over the last months did not convince. So what is David Cunliffe going to say re this, yesterday denying he had ever done anything to support Liu?

    So it will be a interesting time in Parliament today, I presume.

    This election will be the one for small parties to boost their support, as both large parties are clearly too corrupt to be trusted now.

    • Tinfoilhat 23.1

      “This election will be the one for small parties to boost their support, as both large parties are clearly too corrupt to be trusted now.”

      Ain’t that the truth, although I’m hopeful that the Greens take over as the second largest party in parliament as Labour are as much of a disgrace as National.

      • grumpy 23.1.1

        This is tipping point where the Greens take over as the main opposition party. In fact, they have been for some time.

    • Not a PS Staffer 23.2

      This what Cunliffe asked.

      “However, it would be very helpful to Mr Liu to be advised of an estimated period of time in which he could expect a decision on his case.”
      1. Nothinmg wrong with it. It is the job of an MP.
      2. It was in 2003. I can’t remember what I did in 2013!

      BTW Your pirating of another name is gutless.

      • Mike the Savage One 23.2.1

        I am not “pirating”, as my name is descriptive of my perhaps a bit “savage” views and approaches re some issues, but perhaps you suggest I should write it with a small “s” then.

        I will not bother raising questions re your name, as we are not here to discuss names, but topics, issues and other commenter’s comments on such, thanks.

        Best wishes, I will look forward to other comments from you.


    • Tracey 23.3

      if it is true, it ought not be a good time for national with their liu entangle,ent, collins with oravida and key playing golf with shu fir “charity” when in fact 50k went to the national party… And yet they are at 50%.

      Worth more than a pause i would have thought. And both collins and key lied about donations and work for donors

  24. pdubyah 24

    Remind me of the rules of Roshambo again. How do you keep a straight face.

  25. Nakiman 25

    Captain Cockup strikes again.
    He’s just too stupid to know when to keep his mouth shut.


  26. Blue 26

    I will be very glad when the Herald introduces a paywall because it will keep me from the temptation to go and watch the car wreck.

    They just blatantly have it out for Labour and I can’t take much more of their so-called ‘journalism’.

    First they have Tamsyn Parker misleading the public about Labour’s KiwiSaver policy and now they are dutifully ravaging Cunliffe on the orders of the National Party research unit.

    I’d make a complaint but I don’t even think I can be bothered anymore. NZ has no functioning media and people will have to make their own enquiries.

    • the card 26.1

      I know you are but what am I ?

    • grumpy 26.2

      Nobody forced Cunliffe to die in a ditch over the Liu ties with National, just as nobody forced him to lie about his own history with Liu or Labour to lie about recieving money from Liu after getting residency (against official advice) and entertaining Labour minister in China.

      Right, lets just blame the Herald for reporting it.

      • Crashcart 26.2.1

        Have to agree with you. Surely someone working for Labor said 2 days ago when questions about Labor and Liu came up soul dhave started a search for all links. This incompetance is inexcusable and may honestly cost the lef this election.

      • Colonial Viper 26.2.2

        What lies? Apart from Collin’s that is. The NZ Herald is a discredited hatchet job rag, I’m just waiting for the banner “Labour in ruins” headlines the day before election day.

        • Macro

          It’s not lies – it’s just out right incompetence.

          Labour should have been on the front foot about this. – The man did after all buy a book at auction for a very large sum. When he came to light with his involvement with National alarm bells should have been ringing in Labour HQ as well. Now it all looks messy and tarred with the same brush – no matter how hard Labour try to explain it.

          Frankly I am consigning myself to the fact that with these incompetents of the main “Left” party – National will sleep walk to the treasury benches – to the detriment of us all.

          Labour are playing a hopeless game – their strategies and their tactics are appalling. Not only are they turning away their base supporters with extending the age to entitlement for Super (how many 50+ to 64 year olds are going to vote for that! many just hanging on in there in a work place that is becoming more and more oppressive), Turning away the “strugglers” who have scrapped together enough to buy a bach someplace, exacerbating the plight of young workers – already having to repay tertiary loans and trying to save for a place to live, with another imposition – compulsory Kiwisaver. If that is not enough, they keep on dropping the ball, and kicking for touch. They haven’t a hope in hades of getting more than 30% if they are lucky.

          The only hope is that the people will see where the true future of NZ lies; and switch to a Party that truly represents the future of NZ (and its not on the right).

          • Colonial Viper

            Oh stop it lol. On the bright side, the more centrist and 3rd way Labour become, the more room we will have for proper Left Wing parties.

            Not only are they turning away their base supporters with extending the age to entitlement for Super (how many 50+ to 64 year olds are going to vote for that!

            Yeah it’s election suicide. National are going to successfully position themselves as the party of the struggling older worker in the TV debates just on that one platform, and there is nothing Labour will be able to do about that if they stick with this kamikaze policy.

    • c’mon blue..!..cunnliffe has fucked-up..big-time..!

      ..bit silly to shoot the messanger..eh..?

  27. grumpy 27

    ..off to watch Parliament TV now…….popcorn.

  28. Will@Welly 28

    Is there not a Labour MP who can keep a clean sheet? FFS! the election is there to be won if they stop F!!king around, but oh no, little surprises keep popping up, playing into the Nat’s hands!!
    Get someone in there who can keep the members in check, and who can control the caucus with an iron fist.

  29. James 29

    So – whats everybody’s guess for the body of the 2:45 media interview today?

    Its all a mistake?
    You all have it wrong?
    Its John Keys Fault?

    But, yeah, this probably isnt good for labour.

    It’s apt that the soccer world cup is on at the moment – there was a great world cup quote:

    “They think it’s all over, it is now”

    • the card 29.1

      Perhaps he’ll toss someone under the bus ?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 29.2

      How about: “This National Party beat-up shows they’re getting desperate. MPs fulfill requests like this – for information about procedure – all the time.”

  30. Mike the Savage One 30

    Suddenly the Internet Party may start looking quite “acceptable” to more voters, given what the MPs and leaders of Nats and Labour have been up to.

    Rich pricks are donating and discretely lobbying for support and likely favours all over the place, come back, Transparency International, please, do a re-check on these bizarre claims New Zealand (Inc) is one of the “least corrupt” countries in the world. No, the governments here are mostly just very smart at pulling the wool over people’s eyes.

    I think there is probably more transparency and honesty in certain “third world countries” than there is in NZ, well the days will come where NZ Inc will join the “developing world”, given over dependence on primary product exports, with little added value.

  31. ianmac 31

    Should have posted this here:
    ” Did you have anything to do with the granting of his permanent residency?”
    “No I did not.”
    Hang on there. That is still true isn’t it?
    DC as an MP wrote to find out how long would it be before an Investment decision be processed. Not an application for residency is it?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 31.1

      Yes, but if you ignore all the inconvenient facts you can prove that he’s Saddam Hussein in disguise!

  32. Tautoko Viper 32

    Calm down. The letter does not show any misdemeanour on Cunliffe’s part. Brain fades which are not in fact brain fades (like forgetting the no of shares in Transrail or forgetting a helicopter ride to a mansion) are different.

    • ratesarerevolting 32.1

      Ha ha hypocrisy rules !

      • One Anonymous Bloke 32.1.1

        So the letter shows that Cunliffe lobbied in support of Liu’s citizenship application? Nah, I think you’re lying, as a perfect expression of your low character.

        You’d better quote the relevant part of the letter to prove me wrong.

    • infused 32.2

      Yep. AKA, only bad when it’s done by the right.

      • Lanthanide 32.2.1

        Er, no, John Banks and John Key were lying and ‘conveniently’ forgot.

        Furthermore, the John’s cases what they lied about were materially bad things to lie about. Cunliffe’s crime (if you can even call it that) is saying he didn’t do something, when evidence comes to light that he might have. Big deal?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 32.2.2

        Show me how Cunliffe’s letter crossed the line, Infused. Quote it to make your case.

        • infused

          It has nothing to do with the letter.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Pray tell, what is the “it” that’s only bad when it’s done by the right?

            • infused

              I was talking about the brain fade. Which Cunliffe himself has attacked Key over, but has been using more often these days,

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Holding a press conference and admitting a fuck-up is what exactly? Everyone has brain-fades, they become suspicious when they’re a little too convenient. Remind me how convenient this one is.

                So far the only substantive criticism of Cunliffe comes from Danyl, that well known right winger. No, wait.

                • infused

                  I have no problem with it.

                  You are missing the point, as usual.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    The point is that it is now open season any any MP who’s ever written a letter on behalf of a constituent looking for information, whereas previously it was only open season on MPs who divert Ministerial visits to China to materially benefit their husband’s company.

      • Tracey 32.2.3

        but you dont think key or collins have done anything wrong, despite being caught in untruths around significant donors, do you?

        When john key, responsible for gcsb, met with one person to discuss a leader for the gcsb, do you believe he could not only forget that he recommended fletcher and agreed to contact him, but when a sked remembered it as iain rennie recommending fletcher?

        If your answer is yes, then you must accept that cunliffe didnt recall writing a letter in 2003 asking inz to give liu a time feame for his application?

        IFf your answer is no, can we agree collins, key and cunliffe need to go?

        • The Lone Haranguer

          In all probability, neither Cunliffe nor Collins actually did anything which risks the security of the nation, in their dealings with some Chinese businessmen.

          But neither Cunliffe nor Collins can pass the “Electorate Sniff Test” as both appear to have said something that is factually incorrect, and have both been found out.

          The real difference is that Collins does not (and now never will) lead her party and never have to go onto a leaders debate and risk being questioned on matters of credibility.

          Cunliffe, unfortunately, will go forward to some leaders debate and will be open to accusations (pretty unjustified ones really) that hes a bit economical with the truth.

          We need a strong opposition to keep the Government honest, and we arent geting it at all at this time. The Labour MPs need to realise that their opposition is on the other side of the House.

  33. finbar 33

    Cunliffe and Liu.The phrase comes to mind “hoisted by one!s own petard”.

  34. One Anonymous Bloke 34

    Asking for someone to be advised of a timetable is not the same as lobbying in favour of their citizenship application. I can see why The Herald is pretending otherwise. I’m not sure why so many lefties agree with them though.

    Once again, for those who clearly don’t get it, the media had their cosy relationship with the NZLP leadership selection process disrupted and retaliation is inevitable. That means they pick through everything looking for things to cast a negative light upon. There’s no way around this, and it doesn’t matter what you do. If you say you like apples they’ll say you have something against oranges.

    That said, it works, or Tories wouldn’t own media outlets nor fill the ones they can’t buy with shills.

    • marty mars 34.1

      Fair points of course. The perception will be fanned and that is their plan. I’d like to know why they were snooping down that hole anyway – who set them on the scent. Also I thought politicians were smart enough to know that unequivocal ‘nos’ often come back and bite them on the bum. Jeez just get them to watch a bit of ‘Yes Minister”.

  35. James 35

    LOL at press conference…

    “”I actually know I’ve done nothing wrong” – Cunliffe.

    Yep Voters will love that !

    • ratesarerevolting 35.1

      Was Len Brown there nodding sagely in the back ground ?

    • Tracey 35.2

      it was good enuff for key when banks said it… and banks turns out to have committed a crime

  36. karol 36

    geezus. A lot of frothing over a mole hill that is nothing like what happened with the Nats and Liu.

    And, from Clare Trevvett on Twitter:

    Cunliffe says he had asked his office to check his records, they said there was nothing on Liu.

    Not a lie. Not a resigning matter – some incompetence there.

    • the card 36.1

      As predicted Cunliffe throws one of his nameless plebs under the bus.

      #Heyclint what do you think about that ?

      • Te Reo Putake 36.1.1


        Actual Cunliffe response, according to Stuff:

        “He checked with his office but doesn’t blame staff.”

        • the card

          I’m sure most of the press gallery and those interested in politics will be rolling their eyes at Cunliffe’s performance as well.

          • Te Reo Putake

            The difference between Cunliffe’s performance and yours is that he hasn’t been caught bullshitting.

            • the card

              Awwww big bad TRP, are you going to have a wee cry and suck on your thumb ?

      • karol 36.1.2

        Stuff report of Cunliffe’s stand up:

        David Cunliffe: “I did not advocate for (Liu)”. The letter was 11 years old and has just come to my knowledge.

        Cunliffe said his office checked for correspondence between him and Donghua Liu. They advised him there was none.

        “I actually know I’ve done nothing wrong” – Cunliffe.

        “MPs do this all the time in respect if immigration cases…this was
        11 years ago and I simply have no recollection.”

        He admits his memory failed him.

        He checked with his office but doesn’t blame staff.

        “I did not tell a lie.” Cunliffe says it was a “failure to recall”. He’s now dashed into the house for Question Time.

        Storm in a teacup – and the links to Cunliffe re- knowing about Liu’s contribution via Labour Party auctions/raffles?

        Storm in a teacup.

        • mickysavage

          Yep and the letter does not even advocate, all it does was ask for when a decision was likely.

          • Colonial Viper

            On an investment decision, right? Not an immigration matter.

          • grumpy

            ….or…”just letting you know I’m keeping a close eye on this”

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Is that what it looks like to authoritarian followers? Better make sure immigration fires them all if that’s what they read into requests for information.

        • Bearded Git

          Quite right Karol. Who can remember routine letters they wrote 11 years ago, forchristsake?

          I think Cunliffe should go on the attack here, saying this was a minor matter 11 years ago and asking what normal person could remember this and drawing a distinction between this and Williamson’s intervention in the legal system.

          On the information we have this is a beat up and Armstrong has lost all credibility here; one rule for Key and Collins, another for Cunliffe.

          • Tracey

            shit the pm cant even remember recommending ian fletcher to iain rennie and agreeing to make contact with him… himself

            • Bearded Git

              Exactly Tracey. Cunliffe must attack saying Key’s memory span doesn’t stretch for a few months let alone 11 years.

              This is a single page letter from 11 years ago probably dictated in 5 minutes.

    • Karen 36.2

      +1 Karol
      I really cannot see what the fuss is about. This is a media beat-up orchestrated by the right. It’s a shame his office did not remember this but it was 10 years ago and it is a standard constituent MP letter. He isn’t writing as a cabinet minister, he isn’t approaching the police about a criminal conviction. The letter just asked for an indication of how long the decision on an application is likely to take. It doesn’t suggest the application needs to be granted because this guy is rich. As for the memory lapse this is nothing compared to the memory lapses John Key has had over more serious matters over the past few years.

      • Olwyn 36.2.1

        +1 Karol and Karen. I cannot believe the vitriol with which David Cunliffe is being pursued, and the lack of basis for it. They must have dug deep to come up with this one: 11 years old and too ordinary to be memorable. I am so sick of the NZ right wing and their tiresome baying hounds.

        • Colonial Viper

          +1 Karol and Karen. I cannot believe the vitriol with which David Cunliffe is being pursued, and the lack of basis for it.

          It’s a measure of how desperate the Right Wing are right now. They know that David Cunliffe, PM, means that they will be locked out of power for a good long number of terms.

          • Chooky


            • Kiwiri

              and actually, the desperate attempts of the gnats are, quite strangely (!), bringing my party vote back firmly to Labour to strengthen support for Cunliffe …. this despite some Labour policies that i don’t agree with

              • Colonial Viper

                As I said in the other thread, it’s crucial that Labour don’t respond in kind with trying to dish out dirt on the NATs.

                ~94 days left until election day. Labour has to push out into the public arena positive policy of what it will actively do in the first year of office.

                This is not a time to get side tracked by NAT games, this is a time to demonstrate to the electorate a government-in-waiting eager to get on with the job of governing the nation.

  37. James 37

    “I did not tell a lie.” Cunliffe says it was a “failure to recall”


    • the card 37.1

      “He said he gave an honest answer yesterday.”

      Seriously he should just STFU this is just getting embarrassing.

      • karol 37.1.1

        Yeah – the right wing spin meisters never sleep.

        • the card

          Whadda you care aren’t you a Green ?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            As a Green voter I prefer that the country not be governed by right wing scum with transparent double standards to go with their witless incompetence.

          • karol

            I’m left. These days I vote Green – and have volunteered to help them this election – not a party member though. I’m not a great fan of the current Labour caucus – on balance.


            I just care about the hypocritical smearing done by the right and the compliant MSM.

            The most anyone can say is that Team Cunliffe have been sloppy.

            This is a major beat-up on thin evidence.

            • the card

              You see that’s the disappointing thing in NZ – the number of political partisans that only care about the hypocritical smearing done by their opponents and then go on and do the exact same thing themselves next week ……. and the bitching in NZ at the moment about the compliant MSM from the left and right side of the political spectrum, pathetic can’t we just all agree that the MSM is just pretty shit rather than accusing them of any particular imagined political bias to explain their shitness.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Oh puleeze: confirmation and cognitive biases are inescapable: democracy only works insofar as it can eliminate bias in the decision-making process.

                So we all do it, and since we all do it, we all point it out in one another: what are we supposed to do, just sit there while John Key claims ignorance of Springboks and intimate knowledge of invisible environmental science that proves our 100% purity?

                Think of it like peer-review, and pay attention to the timing.

              • Tracey

                Which is why i wont vote for ACT! National or Labour… Oh and UF.

                The only way to get rid of the loose use of the truth is to vote for those who discuss and proffer policies, solutions and a high standard of behaviour.

          • Lanthanide

            I support Labour, but if John Key was getting shabby treatment he didn’t deserve, then I would stick up for him to.

            • tinfoilhat

              Yes I agree Lanth you are among most fair and reasonable commenters at this site and an example to the rest of us most of the time.

            • Tracey

              my benchmark is truth. If our leaders, in all their forms twist and manipulate words to obscure truths we cannot expect tge rest of the fish to escape the rot.

    • SpaceMonkey 37.2

      “Failure to recall”… boom!… Cunliffe just established his credentials to be Prime Minister.

    • mickysavage 37.3

      Come on James it was a letter written 11 years ago by a staff member. Really?

      • Roflcopter 37.3.1

        So now there’s a letter signed by David Cunliffe that has either a) not been read, only signed by DC, or b) basically a forged document sent out with his signature, but without his knowing or approval….

        … wow, how many more are there?

  38. One Anonymous Bloke 38

    Open season now on any MP who’s ever written a letter on behalf on a constituent. Better make sure none of them were at Cabinet Club.

    • the card 38.1

      Also open season for any MP or party who hasn’t properly declared donations – looks like some great fun to be had as the Nats and Labour nuke each other all the way to the election.

  39. McFlock 39


    I don’t have access to trademe at work (because some dicks overused it to the point of being blatant), but I have found an auction that mets the criteria so far set by the tory shitmerchants: an auction where people paid for a copy of a book signed by Helen clark.

    the auction?
    Books for Babes:

    Well known New Zealanders have teamed up with Books for Babes to auction a selection of favourite children’s books on TradeMe ( http://www.trademe.co.nz). All profits raised will help Books for Babes bring its programme to children across New Zealand.

    Prime Minister Helen Clark and National Party Leader John Key have both donated their favourite books, along with other political figures including Jeanette Fitzsimons, John Banks and Tim Shadbolt.

    Other famous donors include Hilary Barry, Leah Panapa, Troy Flavell, Anna Scarlett, The Edge Morning Madhouse, bro’Town, Suzanne Paul and Suzy Cato.


    All 20 books in the auction have been purchased new and are signed inside by their donors.

    Can someone look it up on Trademe and see if the Clark book went for $15k? Might explain why Labour are having difficulty finding it in their accounts.

    • Lanthanide 39.1

      Trademe don’t appear to keep auctions going back that far publicly accessible. The booksforbabes.org.nz website has a snapshot from 2008 on Wayback Machine, but it doesn’t seem to mention anything about the auction or it’s outcome.

    • McFlock 39.2

      okay, not quite – apparently the auction only raised $500.

      HC must have gotten RSI, signing all that stuff for charity auctions 🙂

    • finbar 39.3

      The Clark book did sell for $15,000.and the winning bidder was Mr Liu.

  40. BM 40

    This is hilarious.

    20% here we come.

  41. karol 41

    Interesting post by DanylMc: Cunliffe stupidly fell for a Nats’ sting:

    Under ordinary circumstances the revelation that David Cunliffe wrote a letter of advocacy for Donghua Liu wouldn’t amount to much. Cunliffe didn’t do anything wrong and he wrote the letter eleven years ago.

    These aren’t ordinary circumstances though. The unfolding story of Liu’s donation has almost certainly been managed by the PM’s office and they’ve earned their paychecks this week and set David Cunliffe up something awful. He was given the opportunity to deny ever having contact with Liu and stupidly took it, at which point a document proving that he did was immediately released.

    We’re going to hear a lot about how this proves Cunliffe is ‘tricky’ because that’s National’s talking point. I think it’s a bit worse than that: it proves Cunliffe is a gullible sucker. He blundered his way into a classic media trap in which he denies a small story and the denial is then proved false which becomes a major story because it directly attacks the politician’s credibility. Aspiring Prime Ministers are supposed to be a bit more savvy.

    • infused 41.1

      Which is what all the fuss about. Yes, nails it on the head.

      I knew something was up when I heard that asked yesterday and wondered what was coming.

      • Tracey 41.1.1

        to clarify, if key is caught in a lie(example below) it is irrelevant even tho he is pm, but cunliffe caught in a lie is too stupid to be pm, that was your point tgrough this thread infused?

        John key said he played golf with shu, of oravida, for “charity”, when it was for 50k to the national party

        John key, as head of gcsb, said iain rennie recommended ian fletcher when it was actually key who recommended him and agreed to be the one to contact him?

        John key, during a recession, said he had to get the bmws cos labour had committed to them. Not true at all

        John key said labour committed govt to paying out scf. Not true, the guarantee was renewed by bill english and contrary to treasury advice

    • Lanthanide 41.2

      So what exactly should Cunliffe have said, then? Refused to answer the question?

      • the card 41.2.1

        If you are not sure the best thing to say is I don’t know especially in situations like this.

        • McFlock

          not really – makes you looks shifty. Especially if you think you’d recall the guy.

          The thing is, that letter would be in Liu’s immigration file. Which is in possession of the government. And obviously being used for political gain.

          Whereas Cunliffe largely has to search all correspondence by his office and hope nothing gets missed. In the time it takes to respond. So if he doesn’t remember, he’s screwed.

          Who’s electorate was Liu in when Cunnliffe was approached, I wonder? Did L do the “approach all MPs in my area” thing? Probably. At least 4 years before any possible donation.

          A far cry from personally calling police about a party donor.

          • Colonial Viper

            The thing is, that letter would be in Liu’s immigration file. Which is in possession of the government. And obviously being used for political gain.

            Yeah this is a very shady part of this operation

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Shades of Paula Bennett and the Privacy Commission. I wonder how Mr. Liu enjoys being used as a political football by the beneficiaries of his largesse.

              • Colonial Viper

                Nice parallel construction gone on here I think…an insider who knows about the existence of the letter leaks it to the Tories…who put together an OIA for a letter that they already know exists because of the leak. And voila, look what they discovered just by chance.

            • grumpy

              As soon as National was being questioned on Liu, they would have looked at his file. So, who knew that letter was sitting there?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                And will anyone face charges for breaching Mr. Liu’s legal right to privacy?

                • McFlock

                  will they hell…

                  • Is it beyond the realms of possibility that the Herald could have just requested copies of all letters written by Members of Parliament in respect of Mr Liu? I’m not sure that the existence of a leak is needed to account for all the known facts.

                    • McFlock


                      Just pure coincidence that nats get cunliffe to make a statement and the herald is prompt with an overhyped “contradiction”, isn’t it.

                    • lprent

                      Is it beyond the realms of possibility that the Herald could have just requested copies of all letters written by Members of Parliament in respect of Mr Liu?

                      Yes it is. Have a look at what can be requested in a OIA at some stage. It is quite limited and you must be quite specific.

    • BM 41.3

      Brilliantly played by the blue team and supported beautifully by the ABCers.

      The timing is superb.

      Key in the US shaking hands and being all matey matey with the POTUS, while back home his challenger(snort) is getting crucified for his incompetence and out right shiftiness.

      It couldn’t have gone better

      • Lanthanide 41.3.1

        It would have gone better if they had an actual crime (like signing a false electoral return) or incredibly dodgy behaviour (like parliamentary speeches about tranzrail when owning shares in the company), rather than this damp squib.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 41.3.2

        At least you’re honest. And yes, well played.

      • Dave_1924 41.3.3

        The Blue Team????

        Really – why? Who benefits? Not National – this is very much an inside job. Look in the caucus room for Labour and you will find the person/people behind this stitch up job.

        National love having Cunliffe as LOTO – it suits them. They will be fuming he is in the doo-doo over this. Happy to see him squirm for sure… but strategically it doesn’t suit them one bit.

        If your loking for who benefits then look at ABC – its much more likely. Play the Oravida card, get the media hyped up on recent Chinese business emigrants acting like the do in Chingqing, then leak the Labour party linkages to Liu, then Cunliffes linkages to Liu. Stir well and watch it burn….

        Internecine warfare – when will the Left ever learn…

        EDIT: a couple of spelling errors as always…

  42. Barnsley Bill 42

    Infused, if you managed to wonder what was coming why didn’t the clowns in the war room who are advising Cunliffe wonder the same thing?

    • infused 42.1

      I said to my partner last night there was a loaded gun behind this.

      I don’t know. They obviously aren’t batting for Cunliffe, despite what he says.

  43. grumpy 43

    Surely Barker knew exactly who Liu was, having travelled 1800km out of his way to have dinner with him. Likewise some Labour minister knew that they had approved his residency against official advice?
    When Cunliffe started attacking National over Liu, why didn’t these guys just ring Cunliffe and say “hang on, we might have a bit of skin in this game too”? Nobody did. Is the ABC club that influential?

  44. James 44

    They say Perception is reality.

    Not looking like the media are being helpful to the comrades leader:

    NZHerald: Everybodys talking about :Cunliffe’s resignation may be in order
    NZHerald lead story: Cunliffe: I have not lied
    Stuff Lead story: Cunliffe: I didn’t lie
    NewstalkZB: Cunliffe intervened in Donghua Liu’s residency
    TVNZ: David Cunliffe: I will not resign
    3 News: Official documents reveal David Cunliffe knew about controversial businessman Donghua Liu – despite repeatedly denying it.

    Seems that this website is one of the few websites that think that there is nothing to see here.

    Will not be surprised if there is more to come on this.

    DC is going to be crucified in this election.

    • karol 44.1

      If Cunliffe has to resign over this, Key should have resigned years ago.

      • Dave_1924 44.1.1

        Karol – its just more varnish on the object called “Tricky and unorganised”.

        I don’t know David Cunliffe except what I see in the media. And frankly as a centrist, tending right to be truthful, it leaves me cold – not his Left wing policies and advocating for the working class, no problem with that.

        Its his lack of organisation and consistency that gets me. Political Management is the PM’s job. DC has demonstrated he hasn’t got that mastered – his own caucus are stitching him up….

        • Tracey

          you have no proof this came from labour not nats. with key away it reeks of nats dirty tricks.

          why do you think key has got away with over 100 lies or brain fades…. and cunliffe has been fried for a few. it cant be anabborrencee of lying or bad memories

  45. Sanctuary 45

    It is clear now that the ABC faction have white-anted Cunliffe from day one. They should be expelled from the party, preferably before the election.

    • Tracey 45.1

      you have no proof and are buying into what the right wants you to believe. This bas national all over it NOT playing dirty of course

  46. dimebag russell 46

    tomorrows fish and chips.

  47. aerobubble 47

    Twitter and Faceboook, UK boss says its not illegal to spy on them.

    So essentially, terrorists, the dumb ones, use these sites. The smart terrorists don’t or don’t reveal anything important when using them.

    The people who use Twitter and Facebook are going to be people whose motivation change, maybe.
    Those like in the Arab spring who suddenly rise up, and use social media.
    Or back in the UK, those who become terrorists.

    So the UK authorities surely are tracking people in order to predict and catch a terrorist before they become a terrorist. Now that would require extensive data, and a huge effort of examining motivations and character paths to becoming a terrorist.

    Of course, this would also be very useful to commercial entities as well, and worse, to political movements. Take our current Tory cult that has now be running its course through society for the last thirty years. Believers in the true perfection of markets, too deluded to know better, could easily have misused such a vast wealth of government collected data to pursue those against their cause.

    That’s the fear. But fully we have Key protecting us, putting Banks and Dunne on the intelligence committee…

    • Tracey 47.1

      my partner suggested today that due to her. on use of social media and devices for work only she has hit on a more private life than others

  48. Wyndham, George 48

    Wake up to gross bias and manipulation of the news.
    Wake up to attacks on the left by the right.
    Know what died you are on.
    This is not the time to be taken in by the right and the fickle media.
    Cunliffe didn’t recall a standard request his office made.

    This attack on Cunliffe is designed to keep the right in power, to continue to transfer wealth to the better-off and to keep the poor down.

    Know what side you are on.
    Fight against the right.

  49. aerobubble 49

    My local library has now banned access to national radio podcasts.

  50. chris73 50

    The saddest thing is that, for the most part, Cunliffe is the author of his own misfortune:


  51. chris73 51

    “I did not tell a lie, I absolutely did not.”

    He added: ”The advice I had was we had no records. My memory has obviously failed me.”

    For some reason it reminded me of this:


    • emergency mike 51.1

      It didn’t remind you of John Key repeatedly claiming brain fades over far more serious matters?

  52. dimebag russell 52

    piss off chris.
    speak for yourself and stop dropping link shite all over the place.
    Just because the crawling creeps have unearthed some nothing from 2003 has got all you capons into frenzy.
    where did john keys get $80,000,000 of other peoples money from?

    • chris73 52.1

      where did john keys get $80,000,000 of other peoples money from?

      • Down the back of the sofa? Thats where I find my spare change…
  53. millsy 53

    Meanwhile, while we are all working ourselves into a frenzy over something someone signed 11 years ago, the government is set to outsource school caretaking jobs to multinational corporations…

  54. North 54

    I could weep……..scabs scabs scabs and scabs everywhere…….but particularly in the once proud New Zealand Labour Party. No ? Have a look at Campbell Live tonight…….Mallard, King, Pipkins…….the bespectacled one from Dunedin somewhere. They all just gleefully voted for Mr Higher ShonKey Standards. Gleefully.

    Thank Christ there’s a New Left emerging.

  55. North 55

    Two scab-hits in 30 years. Tell me…….how much do these bastards care about those down the bottom. Oh heaps…….like, like, their parliamentary pensions forever and ever……hundy K plus. Scabs !

  56. Colonial Viper 56

    CV returns. Ahem. 😎

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