The dirtiest election campaign backfires

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, June 19th, 2014 - 280 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, labour, Media, spin - Tags: ,

Yesterday looked like it was going to be a pretty bad day. There were scandalous revelations, blatant lies, unrestrained corruption gnawing at the very heart of the left. At least, that’s what we were promised.

But in the end what we got was a pretty standard, decade-old MP’s letter to Immigration asking about timeframes for a constituent(1) and a chorus cry from people who were never going to support anything Labour did anyway for Cunliffe to resign.

What happened next was interesting.

As the story developed – or rather, undeveloped, because a few pictures of someone’s wife standing next to Rick Barker is not the Zimmerman Telegram – I saw a lot of people on my (admittedly leftwing, Wellington-focused) Twitter feed coming together to call bullshit on the whole thing.

My personal favourite:

Even the satire accounts got into it:

And of course, there were posts at The Standard along the same lines: (2)

This isn’t a redemption story by any means. It’s not smart to issue categorical denials of something when you’ve been in politics for 15 years – but of course it’s also not smart to prevaricate and say you’ll check, because then Paddy Gower follows you around with a microphone all day demanding a yes/no answer (and check out the audio of Cunliffe’s stand-up yesterday for some fantastic examples of journos demanding an answer which will give them a good headline.)

But it is, really, a story of hope. Because you have to ask yourself just how desperate the Nats have to be if their first kinghit on Cunliffe is an 11-year-old pro-forma MP’s letter which says nothing more than “how long is this going to take, yo.”

I expect there’ll be more – I figured this election year was going to be nasty – but we know their game and we are refusing to play it.

(1) This is where Matthew Hooton demands Donghua Liu’s 2003 street address because what if David Cunliffe’s office drafted a letter about someone not from his actual electorate, huh? HUH? CORRUPTION!

(2) This is where the right accuses us of acting on orders from the Party. Nope, just a simple case of great minds thinking alike!

ETA: no, this morning’s poll isn’t great, but I defer to Dimpost’s analysis on that one.

280 comments on “The dirtiest election campaign backfires ”

  1. Kiwiri 1

    “Because you have to ask yourself just how desperate the Nats have to be ..”

    Ok, my Welly contacts who work with Nats say this smear was on the books when there were worries about how to contain the John Banks fall-out.

    • Anthony Bull 1.1

      Thats weird, my Welly contacts who work with the Nats say that this smear has come from within Labour.

      Sounds like you are making stuff up……as usual.

  2. nadis 2

    Not really sure the Nats are calling for Cunliffe to resign. Sure, lots of commenters and commentators are but my opinion is that the John Key would probably be better off with Cunliffe as a target through the election campaign rather than a new face who can “draw a line” and “move forward” etc etc. Rightly or wrongly, the association the wider public will have with Cunliffe is now hypocritical, tainted, dishonest. Not saying its necessarily true but he’s already lost the PR game. Cunliffe is the political equivalent of the Spanish football team.

    To me the bigger issues here are what really goes in with immigration (with all parties) and are we comfortable that the govt of the day (Nat or Lab) see immigration approval as a fundraising opportunity, and are David Cunliffes “advisors” just incompetent or wilfully destructive?

    BTW – does anyone know when the Labour and National party lists are released, and what the selection processes are?

    • Chooky 2.1

      Nacts are running VERY SCARED!….Kathryn Ryan asked the hard questions of David Cunliffe and he came up squeaky clean…and very impressive!

      Now all Labour MPs need to do it is bring out the ROTTWEILER and attack the rotten underbelly of John Key and NACT at every opportunity ( where is Trev?) ….and put some very impressive policies on the table.!

      ..NZers NEED strong incentives to vote Labour! : eg

      *abolish university student interest on loans
      * lower age for super for working people nearing retirement.
      *guarantee that peoples precious savings will be safe from overseas predators ( bolster/protect NZ banks esp. Kiwi Bank)
      *special support and protection for beneficiaries
      * stop overseas speculators buying up precious NZ housing and land
      *free high quality state education for all (…with special funds allocated for students with special needs ..get rid of corrupting privatised charter education run by USA companies)…
      * incentives for R@D…support for business ventures eg high tech, medical research, rural business diversification , farmer ventures / reservoirs which dont drain and pollute rivers
      * get rid of the Motorways costing billions ( which will only serve the over population/ immigration speculators of NACT and cronies)…and put this money into rail , public and education and housing

      etc etc

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        If NZ needed those incentives to vote Labour why aren’t they showing their preference fro that by supporting parties who DO offer many of these policies? IMP and The Greens have barely moved over the past few polls and in fact The Greens have lost support.

      • Once was Pete 2.1.2

        So let me summarise your suggestions – more bullying (thats what led us here) and more bribery!

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.3

        Darn good list chooky

      • Kiwiri 2.1.4

        “etc etc”

        I would like to see the salary and remuneration packages of top public servants together with SOE board members, their executive team and senior managers, capped for the next five years as well as any future rises benchmarked to the rise in the minimum wage.

    • I disagree, chiefly on the basis that Matthew Hooton is seriously pushing the “Oh yes, John Key totally wants David Cunliffe to stay, yes he does!” line on Twitter this morning.

      Key says he’s known about the letter for ages, and has hinted there’s more to come – clear signs this is a deliberate campaign to attack Cunliffe personally. They must view him as a significant threat, because otherwise why bother? If they really believe Labour is going to crash and burn and thus probably change leaders post-election anyway, why deflect attention from Key’s hobnobbing junket with Obama?

      • infused 2.2.1

        Stop trying to act like this isn’t something Labour would have done. Do you remember 2008?

      • Gosman 2.2.2

        Because it is really not detracting attention yet. Key meets Obama tomorrow. The focus on Cunliffe is happening when Key is merely in New York.

      • Tracey 2.2.3

        and dont forget how hard hoots championed cunliffe ahead of shearer… He sooooo didnt want cunliffe

      • Tracey 2.2.4

        and Key didnt trust his caucus or his deputy enough to share what he knew with them…

    • Te Reo Putake 2.3

      Labour’s list gets decided this weekend. A series of regional ranking conferences have been held, and those lists are melded into the final placings. Expect some significant renewal, which will fly in the face of the nutters like Martyn Bradbury who still think the previous leadership have control of the party. Ultimately, for the list to have a positive effect, Labour needs to lift its party vote, to allow those new faces on the list a reasonable chance of getting to become MP’s.

  3. Ad 3

    If only ZB was as calm and sanguine.

    Great to hear intelligent networks calling it so soon.

    • gnomic 3.1

      Aren’t they all predicting 3 more years of this ghastly regime? Except of course Radio Tirana or Moscow, and we all know they are lefties to a person. Guncan Darner would know innit? Not to mention Leighton and the Hosking.

      As an aside I wonder why the RWNJs never call Radio National Radio Peking, or at least not that I’ve seen? Presumably mainland radio no longer speaks of capitalist running dogs and lackeys, like back in the good old days.


      running dog (plural running dogs)

      Lackey; an unprincipled person who helps or flatters other, more powerful and often evil people; similar in this sense to the English word lapdog. --- wiktionary

  4. john 4

    Someone was saying this morning, that based on today’s poll (taken before yesterdays story broke), Labour would only have one male list MP. (6 list MPs, of which 5 would have to be female to make up for electorate imbalances).

    Is that correct?

    [lprent: How can it be? The Labour list hasn’t been decided yet. Sounds like horseshit from Whaleoil. ]

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      A) the poll is pants b) so what?

    • john 4.2

      Is it correct that Labour has mainly male electorate MPs, and a female quota system?

      Surely this would mean to meet the quota, if the list is small, there must be a very low number of males on the list?

      • Te Reo Putake 4.2.1

        No and no. There are more male electorate MP’s than women (something like 14/7, from memory). Labour doesn’t have a ‘female quota system’, (whatever that might be) but it is committed to gender equality, so the list is likely to lean toward women this time. However, election as a list MP is dependent on the results of list candidates who are also standing in electorates, so there is no guarantee that the list will actually balance out the overall numbers.

        A more interesting list is National women MP’s in cabinet. How’s the gender balance there? I think you’ll find that whatever the actual numbers of women Labour MP’s overall, their influence in the Cunliffe Government will be significant.

        • john

          The Herald reported last year that there was to be 45% female representation quota for the Labour Party for the 2014 election (and 50% for 2017) – did that not go through?

          • McFlock

            you forgot to ask whether “the herald reported” (or, more accurately, “I think the Herald reported) means it’s true…

      • lprent 4.2.2

        Female quota system? No. Just one of those myths from the misogymist right based on a proposal being put up for the conference to vote on that didn’t get voted in.

        When building the lists at a regional level, there are a pile of factors that are considered. These range from considering geographical locations (don’t have all of the list candidates from the old Auckland city area), to ethnicity (don’t have all maori and polynesian), gender, unionists, etc. The idea is to get a list that is attractive to as wide a range as possible.

        But the overriding factors are always competence and experience – especially campaigning experience.

        I was observing the region 1 list conference a couple of weekends ago as a party member. Lots of horse trading and a pretty satisfactory selection of candidates. Hopefully the final winnowing of the lists from the weekends (which I think happens this weekend) will be as good.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    This was the best the Gnats could come up with? Whatever will become of them.

  6. Gosman 6

    Wow! Bunch of left leaning individuals think attack on leader of major left leaning political party is much ado about nothing. Who would have thunk it? /sar

    • Wow! A perennial thread-derailing right-leaning commenter is scornful of a post on a leftwing blog! Who would have thunk it?

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        I’m not trying to make the claim that because a bunch of people who largely share my political viewpoint agree that something is a non-issue it must make it so. Frankly that is a ridiculous claim to make and one which you even acknowledge to a degree by admitting potential bias.

        What you fail to take in to account is the wider implication for David Cunliffee on matters of conpetence in his office and how he deals with situations like this. While I don’t think he did anything wrong he certainly shouldn’t have been caught out on this subject when he had been leading an attack on the National party for links to this same person.

        • Ad

          He is dealing with the situation just fine – as expected.
          Watch any of his interviews.
          He’s holding up very well.

        • Please re-read the post, noting the tweets from The Egonomist about false equivalency. Not being able to find a pro forma letter from 11 years ago =/= interfering in a police assault investigation on behalf of a donor whose beach-house you crash in.

          • Gosman

            Not many people are making that claim. The media certainly isn’t stating this is the equivalent of Mr Williamson’s case. The issue really is if you go after people for links to people make sure you have your ducks lined up so no unexpected surprises arise and DON’T make claims that could be taken as definitive answers which later turn out to be not so definitive.

            • Stephanie Rodgers

              You’re repeating yourself, Gosman, and by doing so you are treating the situations as equivalent. The issue of Williamson is not about “links”, it’s about specific actions he took. Please stop rehashing National Party spin in my comments.

              • Gosman

                Umm… the links are the recent attacks Cunliffe has made in relation to Mr Liu’s relationship with the wider National party not just the Williamson situation. Or are you stating that Cunliffe hasn’t made these sorts of allegations?

                • Now you’re playing stupid and it isn’t cute.

                  You are trying to frame Cunliffe and Williamson as being equivalent because both have “links” to Liu. These things are not equivalent.

                  • Gosman

                    I’m not tying Cunliffe and Williamson. You made this call not I. I stated that Labour had started to make wider references about National party linked to Mr Liu. Is that not the case?

                    • You’re comparing accusations by Labour of active donations and advocacy by National MPs to an 11-year-old letter. They’re obviously not the same thing, which is why you’re trying to obfuscate the issue by talking about “links”.

                    • Gosman

                      I’m stating making linkages between political donations to favours performed by National party members(not Williamson) that Labour have done shouldn’t be done UNTIL you are aware of any links you might have with the person you use as the example in any attack. That is shoddy.

                    • New Zealand is a small country. When one has been in politics for 15 years+ it’s hard to imagine not having some minor connection to any other given person, so you seem to be demanding a level of perfection which no politician could ever attain.

                    • North

                      Gos’ fella – SR is bashing you good so you really do need to shut up. A nose repeatedly bloodied can become a real health problem.

                      On a friendlier indeed grateful note, thanks for your candour expressing as you do @ 6.1.1 above –

                      “While I [Gosman] don’t think he did anything wrong…………..”

                      Your candid appraisal of John Armstrong please. And your candid acknowledgment that Cunliffe ain’t within a bull’s roar of Maurice Williamson…………chalk and cheese and all that.

              • Tracey

                Another very slow day at keepingstock, so gosman is spreading his

                “it is the incomptency” meme

                Cos he and the herald cant run a dishionesty angle cos that would end the careers of

                John Key
                Judith Collins
                Paula Bennett
                Simon Bridges (altho he should be caught by incompetency)

                Who have i missed out?

                Just how many govt mps have resigned, been found guilty or resigned out due to behaviour?

                8? 10? 12? 15!?

                To lose one minister or high ranking mp is unlucky, but to lose over 8 plus others, “deadwood” that is the definition of incompetence.

        • Win Win

          Quite frankly Grosman I don’t give a damn… about what you think. Cunliffe has done a great job of keeping the piranhas of the press in line. This should have been a ‘so what’ event but has been exaggerated to something quite extraordinary at the behest of no doubt the right wing masters. Good god man links to the same person? It’s not the person who is at fault but the things the Nats were/are doing for him that had/have to be called into question – their actions that are deemed to unconscionable. But the unfairness of it all is definitely galvanising the left (apart from the Greens who keep talking about dolphins) so now the right is saying it was a Labour set up! Bloody hell!

  7. red blooded 7

    I think Cunliffe performed very well under fire with Ryan today. Having said that, he was gazumped by an attack that was clearly signalled some days ago, that he should have seen coming (Why all the questions? They were obviously building towards something.). Absolute denials are very hard to negotiate away from – think of Winnie and his “No” sign.

    While he may have great debating skills, I’m starting to wonder about his political instincts.

  8. swordfish 8

    In terms of your final comment (on deferring to Dim-Post’s analysis of the latest Fairfax poll), I’m not sure Danyl is entirely on top of it. As I’ve just commented there, the swing is first and foremost from the Left into Undecided territory. (Andrea Vance makes an oblique reference to this in her poll report: The poll shows “…disillusioned Labour supporters are now undecided where their loyalties lie. Respondents who voted Labour in 2011, and planned to do so in September, fell from 81.6 per cent in February to 61.3 per cent. The drop in support is greatest among 30 to 44-year-olds.” ).

    I’ll be setting out some detailed stats from this latest Fairfax-Ipsos on my blog Sub-Zero politics over the next couple of days. But at this stage, I’ll just point out that when you re-calculate Party support based on the entire sample (thus allowing one to take into account movement in and out of the Undecided category), you get the following:

    LEFT BLOC – 7.6 points
    RIGHT BLOC + 2.4 points
    UNDECIDED + 5.1 points

    Major swing from the Left to the Undecided category and a minor Left-to-Right swing. I think that provides a much more accurate indication of the change in sentiment than simply focussing (as the MSM does) on the Decided respondents only. (Do the latter and you’d be led to believe that the poll indicates a 7 point swing from Left to Right. But, as you can see, that assumption would be totally wrong).

    • Bill 8.1

      snap 🙂

      Curious as to where you found the numbers for the undecideds though. I looked at the link given on open mike and couldn’t see any indication of their numbers.

      • swordfish 8.1.1

        Yep, we were thinking along the same lines at the same time, Bill.

        Undecided numbers:

        Here’s the link…

        Scroll down to the bottom of the ( Top Four Parties support) line-chart and you’ll see the raw number of Decideds for each recent Fairfax Poll – June 777 , May 826 , February 845 and so on.

        Then, in order to find the Base for the entire sample, you need to click on “Sentiment” (at top, next to “party vote” ) and again scroll down the new page to the bottom of the ( Right Track / Wrong Track ) line-chart and you’ll see the Base figures – June 1014 , May 1011 , February 1018.

        Then, just calculate Decideds as % of Base and take it from there.

    • Tracey 8.2

      can that be interpreted as people leaving labour but still unsure wo else on the left to vote for? That would reflect some commenters on here who are off labour but not right voters.

      • swordfish 8.2.1

        Yep, Tracey. The Fairfax Polls consistently indicate a clear majority of Undecideds favour a change of government. In the latest Fairfax, the split for the entire sample (including both Decideds and Undecideds on the more specific Party-Vote question) was 48/44 in favour of the status quo when it came to the Mood for a Change of Government question – much narrower than the gap between Right and Left in Party Support (the latter, of course, being restricted to Decideds only).

        See my comment below at for how the MSM focus on Decideds can grossly distort the public’s understanding of current trends in public opinion (using women respondents to this latest Fairfax as an example).

        • Tracey

          thanks fish. I dont do numbers so appreciate the efforts of you and others to extrapolate and compare poll to poll.

  9. Bill 9

    I disagree with Danyl’s pessimistic take. I just can’t see why Labour voters would move to National. Far more likely some (I suspect many) are now undecideds due to retirement age and kiwi saver policy announcements and are looking at the Greens/IMP as alternatives. And…fck, here we go again…those people, the undecideds (over 12% in the Herald/Digi poll) aren’t factored in, and that skews the picture, exaggerates percentage gaps between parties, and exaggerates total percentages to the extent that we get these bullshit claims of National being over 50% and governing alone.

    Labour are in the shit, yes. But that doesn’t mean the left bloc is in the shit – just that left bloc voters are vacillating…and being discounted from these polls.

    • weka 9.1

      If I’m reading the Stuff poll right, isn’t 777 out of 1014 around 25% undecided?

      • swordfish 9.1.1

        Yep, close enough… 23.4% Undecided.

        • 5.1 from 18.3% Undecided in May and + 6.4 from 17% Undecided in February.
        • Bill

          I’m shite when working with numbers and percentages (I get confused 🙂 ), but it crosses my mind that somebody more adept than me at working with this stuff should recalculate any future polls with the ‘undecideds’ put back in and post. Yup, I know..I’m an author with posting rights. But fcking numbers! Give me words any time 🙂

          • swordfish

            Yep, Bill, I intend to do just that on Sub-Zero Politics (I shouldn’t keep blatantly advertising it – “Blog-Whoring” as I believe you trendy young people would call it – all the bloody time, should I ?). I’m gonna re-calculate on the basis of the entire sample for all of the 5 major Public Polls – with the conspicuous exception of the 3 News Reid Research which, unfortunately, doesn’t provide any indication whatsoever of who and how many are excluded.

            I’ll be setting out the demographic / geographic breakdowns for the Fairfax and Herald-Digi as well.

            I’m just in the process now of trying to calculate which demographics have moved most heavily into the Undecideds in this latest poll.

            And, once again, we find that most Undecideds do, indeed, favour a change of government.

            Take, for instance, Women:

            In terms of Party Support among Decided respondents (which, of course, the MSM exclusively focus on – thus forcing the rest of us to go through the whole palava of re-calculation) women went 52.5% National vs 39.8% Lab+Green. So, you’d have to assume women favoured the Nats over the 2 key parties o the Left combined by a whopping 12.7 points. Clearly, on this basis, women are very keen on the present Government.

            But then just look at the Do You Want a Change of Government question (which includes the entire sample – including the 23.4% Undecided on the more specific question of Party Support):

            Female: Yes, Change Government 49%, No, Keep Present Government 42%, Don’t Know 9%

    • Gosman 9.2

      National moved to attract center voters with their recent budget. That is why they attract soft centre left Labour supporters. What is Labours startegy to try and win them back and attract soft centre right National voters? According to many on here it is to go further left in to The Greens and IMP territory.

  10. Matthew Hooton 10

    Stephanie – I am not demanding anyone’s address. I’m just saying that Mr Liu never lived in New Lynn. Therefore he was never a constituent of David Cunliffe’s. (Nor was he ever a constituent of Maurice Williamson’s, to my knowledge.) It is possible his son lived in a house that Mr Liu owned in Waitakere.

    • Matthew, here are four tweets from you questioning whether Liu was resident in Cunliffe’s electorate:

      Your intent to create some kind of “this totally innocuous letter must actually be a sign of corruption” implication from whether Liu was technically a constituent of New Lynn is both obvious and a bit silly.

      • Matthew Hooton 10.1.1

        If he wasn’t living in New Lynn, why did Cunliffe say he was a constituent? It’s very strange. In fact, I don’t even think he was living in New Zealand in 2003 (he wasn’t a resident after all). Labour ministers and MPs only knew him because they visited him in China.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Because constituent is a generic term used by politicos.

          • Tracey

            so is

            “installed sky cables”


            “popped in for a cuppa on the way to the airport”

        • Macro

          Mr Liu owned a house in Waitakere, he would have used this fact in his request to Cunliffe for assistance in the matter of his residency application. It is duplicitous to infer that Cunliffe was acting in anyway contrary to that of an electorate MP representing the people for whom he is a the elected representative. If anything the question should be how was this obviously suspect individual abusing the electoral system, by the fact he had ownership of a house.

        • Bunji

          Or because he came into the electorate office and said he was a constituent?
          He had an appropriate address to be represented by the local MP.

          • grumpy

            What address was on the Electoral Roll?

            • Te Reo Putake

              Electorate MP’s also deal with people who aren’t on the electoral roll, grumpy. It’s not standard practice to look up the roll every time somebody pops into the office looking for help or advice.

              • alwyn

                It was for Hone, as I remember.
                If anyone approached him for help he would check whether they were on the Maori Electorate Roll.
                If not he would send them of to the MP for the General Electorate, Carter usually.
                So for Hone it certainly was standard practice.

            • Macro

              grumpy I had issues with my salary once. I lived in an electorate held by a National MP who did not have an office handy to where I lived. A Labour MP who would call regularly to my place of work heard of my situation and wrote a letter on my behalf. Is that a corrupt practice do you think or is it doing his job?

              • weka

                +1. Done the same thing myself, gone to the electorate next door because it had a left wing MP.

                The people who are making out this is a big deal (the whole thing) should be ashamed of themselves.

                • Macro

                  Actually weka I didn’t go to see him – he heard about my case through a colleague – and came to see me!

                • Tracey

                  or your mp is not in govt. Although my experience with an mp in opposition was very positive

        • lprent

          Don’t be a repitious dickhead Matthew. A constituent is technically someone on the electoral roll. Liu couldn’t be as he was probably not even a permanent resident at the time, but also hadn’t been in the country for long enough to go on the roll.

          When it comes to immigration matters, you’ll find that most electorate offices wind up dealing with people from all over the place because of that undefined status

          • ianmac

            Guyon when interviewing Bill English this morning, asked very carefully if the National Party had anything to do with the letter. Bill avoided and mumbled and deflected so Guyon asked again. Bill said that he didn’t know what others in the Party knew or did but anyway it was a real letter.
            Point is I think Guyon suspects The National Dirty Tricks Brigade is involved.

            • Matthew Hooton

              This is not a good response from Labour – “we’re victims of a dirty tricks campaign”. Rightly or wrongly, political parties try to find dirt on each other, and feed it to media. So even if National was behind Cunliffe’s latest troubles, it is just as example of National outplaying Labour in the dark arts, and moaning about it is not really a vote winner. From experience: all the complaining that other people on the right and I did over Nicky Hager and the Hollow Men didn’t change the fact that he had the information and used it politically as he saw fit. Complaining about it after didn’t do much good.

              • Except that the Hollow Men story was about serious things that actually happened, and the Cunliffe letter is a total non-event which is being spun into a resignation-worthy scandal.

              • Shrubbery

                Rightly or wrongly? It’s wrongly. Being the best at slime is no justification for doing it.
                That you consider it’s the right way to go about politics speaks volumes as to your total lack of any integrity or decency.

              • Tracey

                rofl at rightly or wrongly. I see your moral compass hasnt been repaired since 2002. Imagine that!

              • Macro

                “The Hollow Men” showed just how duplicitous you lot were and are. A more disgusting shower of grasping rat bags it is difficult to imagine. It was fair comment. This so called “scandal” shows that a Labour MP wrote a letter on behalf of a person who was seeking residency asking for a time line on that. (I could well imagine it amounted to little more that 15 – 30 mins contact in the electorate office on a saturday morning). The two are as different as chalk and cheese. But we know how you can spin Matthew – and it does you no good – in the end you just look a deceitful dishonest person.

              • Kevin Welsh

                Big thanks Matthew for confirming Nicky Hagar was right all along. Cheers!

        • redfred

          Hi Labour Parliamentary Staffer Immigration Consult X here, we have got a client who has been waiting a very long time on a decision can give them a hurry up?

          Parliamentary Staffer: Sure I’ll get David to flick them a letter.

          Parliamentary Staffer : David we have a constituent that is having a very long wait mind signing this off?

          David: Do I know him?

          Parliamentary Staffer: You may have met him at a fundraiser?

          David: Doesn’t ring a bell, but sure thing

          How many letter were written by MPs that year to the Immigration department, wasn’t that the period they were found to be dysfunctional?

          11 years ago!

          Get a grip.Mathew.. It not like he called the police to get him out off a charge, or had a secret meeting with a Chinese border official on behalf of his partners company .. now is it….
          How about John Key resigning for lying about the charitable donation made by Ovirida.. oh no that was Golf. The Herald and their Australian APN masters need to fuck off.

          • Bob

            Nit picking, but to be a constituent Mr Liu would have to have been a person living in David Cunliffe’s electorate and be eligible to vote. If Mr Liu was neither (he was applying for residency so he obviously wasn’t eligible to vote) then I can see potential for a certain Graham McCready to raise a private prosecution for a signed false declaration by David Cunliffe….

            • Tracey

              i agree with your definition of constituent. I dont get how that leads to a false declaration.

              To be clear mr liu was not a constituent of williamson, but was a donor.

              Mr liu may or may not have lived in new lynn and on info to date was not yet a donor to the national party

              Constituent is a hoots red herring.

              Fact mr liu was found guilty of domestic violence. Two victims. He is applying for a discharge without conviction. I predict even mr boag wont give the judge a character reference

            • the pigman

              ” can see potential for a certain Graham McCready to raise a private prosecution for a signed false declaration by David Cunliffe…”

              I can see that false equivalence runs deep in the genes of these shitbags…


              I wish I could attribute some kind of clever motive to your utterly uninformed nonsense, but much more likely you’re just a fucking ignoramus. I know that runs in tory genes too, so you get a free pass this time.

        • Tracey

          where was he living hoots?

  11. Not a PS Staffer 11

    Yes, this whole dose of fabricated “news” is purely a National creation.
    Yes we need to get back on the front foot qickly.
    Yes this election is still winable if we focus on our plan for voter turn out.

    No. Attacking John Key has not worked to date and, safe to say, will not work. Attacking his ministers will work. Attacking his policies will work. Attacking greed will work.
    No. Seeing this as a Cunliffe issues is naieve. That type of attack could have been done on any MP.
    No. Seeing this as a Labour PR failure is naieve. The Media have been shockingly dishonest and wolf-pack-like. The only tool in our hands is to get out the vote.

    Get OUR vote out.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Voters will stay at home if there is nothing in it for them to believe in.

      • Ant 11.1.1

        There doesn’t seem to be much to motivate people to vote at the moment, it is like there is something in the parliamentary arm of Labour Party at the moment that is way too over-calculating or risk averse and it translates into an insipid nothingness in the place of fairly straight-forward bold policy. At the moment I can’t see many people caring, it’s all beige…

  12. Blue 12

    The problem with National’s latest muck-raking expedition is that it relies on people being really stupid. Sure, there are some idiots who have taken the bait, but from what I can see the majority aren’t buying it.

    They can see that the letter, the crowning jewel in the National Party’s manufactured story, is completely innocuous. It does not prove David Cunliffe is a liar. It does not prove he met Mr Liu. It does not prove that he advocated on his behalf. In fact it shows the opposite.

    All it proves is that National are dirty little scum merchants and that the Herald has finally resigned any pretension to being a credible source of news and is now relishing its position as a right wing toilet bowl.

  13. finbar 13

    The problem with taking the moral high ground is not ensuring your closet is clean.However, Cunliffe to date has held fast and is performing well under questioning by John Campbell and the super right Paul Henry,that said ,i find it more damaging when members of his caucus such as Mallard”the duck” and Hipkins “the prefect”where asked yesterday by a media pack did they have confinence in Cunliffe,all they would say was that he was the leader of the party and when being pushed again with the confidence question again both refused to answer,that i found more damaging than any 11 year old letter.

    Regarding those calling for Cunliffe to go if labour party members,should recall the disaster of Moore,replacing Palmer, so close to a election.At that time i attended Moore, opening a water treatment plant and he looked to me like a man under extreem pressure and pretty close to having a compleat breakdown pleading with those attending the opening to “just give us a go.”

  14. dimebag russell 14

    hooton writing here is like an arsonist who sticks around to watch the fire brigade come.
    there is a strain of national party voters who are despicable and they seem to get away with it but the voters will punish the party at the election.
    National have had their “TURN” and now its time for them to go.

    • infused 14.1

      Funny how the polls don’t match what you are saying.

      • phillip ure 14.1.1

        what exactly about 24% undecided don’t you understand..?

        ..and/but most of that 24% favouring a change of govt..?

        ..your to spin that in nat/key favour..

        ..go on..!..give it a go..!

  15. DH 15

    There’s actually the possibility for a very good opportunity here. The media are getting into porkie territory and if they’re taken to task over it may be forced into a public retraction…. before the election.

    For example this editorial is on very dangerous ground for the Herald….

    Editorial: Cunliffe’s denial has done party no favours

    Advocate (verb)
    to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly:

    I don’t think there’s any chance a neutral party would read Cunliffe’s letter as advocating for Liu. It’s a very diplomatic letter, if anything I read it as giving the immigration service tacit carte blanche to ignore it..

    To answer the Herald; mentioning Liu’s business plans provided the reason why the letter was being sent in the first place. If the man had no future schedules to meet then he wouldn’t have needed any timeline for his application and Cunliffe would have no cause to write. Without cause it’s more likely to be construed as advocacy, with cause the interpretation is different.

    A well worded complaint may force the Press Council into demanding a retraction for this and other false accusations being made about David Cunliffe. It would need to be very well prepared though; needs some experienced people who know the system, are good with English and reading comprehension, and can foresee all the rebuttals, diversions, attempts to delay etc.

    • ianmac 15.1

      Advocating and stating as a fact that David met Liu. And stating as a fact that Liu donated $15,000. Pretty dodgy stuff I reckon.

      • DH 15.1.1

        Yes. The media have many avenues by which they can publish innuendo, even defamatory content, and not be held liable. They can, for example, simply print what someone else said. They can pay outside contractors to write their personal views in the opinions column. The editorial is not one of those avenues.

        They key point here is the Herald itself is making these statements and if they are false they’re liable for it. The editorial is the view of the ‘paper, from what I’ve been able to find out it’s ghost written by an editorial writer employed by the Herald and the writer is instructed in what to write by editorial staff – Herald management.

  16. Young and Dumb 16

    It’s funny how doug says “So nice to have fair and balanced reporting in New Zealand.” The media has never been balance, but only now are they taking a shot at the left.

    This whole letter thing isn’t really that big of a deal. Even Key has said something along the lines of its impossible to remember every letter you write over 11 years. The problem is the media, they always try and make things bigger than they are – across the board, left to right.

    But it needs to be said that Labour and the Left for that matter attempt and use whatever minor piece of dirt they have to sting National. They have been doing this since before the last election, hence the name on whaleoil of Nasty Party. These negative politics won’t work as many see right through them, such as this entire fiasco.

    Realistically though, Cunliffe really needs to take a look at his staff and supporters and should purge where is necessary. Cunliffe and Labour for that matter need to be united as a political machine in order to have any hope in forming a government. Somebody should have been able to look this up and shoulder tap him quickly tell him where his position on Donghua Liu is, or should be.

    Hopefully there will be a clean out of Labour’s caucus leading into the next election which should see them work together as a more effective political unit. Get rid of the old guard and ABCs then hopefully Cunliffe can make a solid campaign towards the 2017 election.

    • redfred 16.1

      Agree sacrificial lamb time…. sack someone for the fuck up for not doing their job properly.

    • framu 16.2

      “but only now are they taking a shot at the left.”

      exactly what media have you been reading the past 8 years?

      and key downplaying the issue is part of the game

  17. fisiani 17

    Cunliffe has emphatically denied knowing Mr Liu. How embarrassing would it be if Mr Liu is revealed as one of the two SECRET donors to Cunliffes SECRET trust and whose money was SECRETLY paid back? Would that SECRET be enough to shame Cunliffe into resigning and giving someone else a chance. The ABC group will need to hold a barbeque this weekend as many of them will realise that they might lose their seats. Such a large rise in the National Party vote would invariable spill over to the electorate vote. Mallard, Goff and Shearer and Lees-Galloway would be goners.

    (Stephanie: This comment hits way too many of the troll bingo points. Please refrain.)

    • dimebag russell 17.1

      the open secret is that you are a pre programmed word spewer rotten fish and your words are mostly lies.

    • finbar 17.2

      The monies that Mr Liu,donated to the labour party came by way of a auction for a book.So the inference that some how Mr Liu,has donated monies to Cunliffe!s present campaign is full blown mischeif.

      The present issue arising from Cunliffe,opening his mouth to quickly to distance himself from a media question regarding Mr Liu, {who is toxic to any form of political association}donating to the Labour,back in the day,and rightly stating,”that is a question you should be asking the Party fund raising committee”,the problem came from him attempting to distance himself from any form of dodgy dealing,saying that it was before my time as leader,and further, that he had not met Mr Liu.

      My 2 cent opinion as its worth, is that the present torch and pitchfork media and anti Cunliffe mob will be baying for blood until some other headlines profer more profit.

      One thing that should never be forgotten in politics.PERCEPTION CAN MAKE AND BREAK.

      • David Lloyd 17.2.1

        Rubbish. Regardless of how the funds from Mr Liu were obtained it is up to Labour to declare them. Labour did not declare, not the first time this has happened by the way, so have they something to hide?

        • weka

          Was the auction public? Why is it being called secret?

          • finbar

            There was nothing secret.Unlike the Cabinet Club,when most National politicians asked by a media scrum denied,only to understand that there is no hiding what on record is fact.

        • finbar

          Time for a Gin and Tonic,David.

        • Tracey

          are you talking about cunliffes trust for the leadership campaign? I ask because it is only a labour party rule that he broke, not an electoral law. Am not excusing his breaking their rules. He declared the name and amount of three and their amounts. Two opted for privacy and were repaid. That appears to rule out any buyingof influence by secret donors.

          Now, does national or ACT have a similar rule?

          Who paid $5000 a head to eat at antoinnes and why doesnt it bother you to not know that?

          What do you think of key saying the owner of oravida won him in a charity auction when the national party was paid 50k in return for key spending at least two hours ine on one playing golf with him?

          Can you point me to your morally outraged posts here about those?

          • alwyn

            The money given to Cunliffe’s trust by each person was a gift to him, and worth more than $500.
            Any gift that exceeds that amount must be declared in the member’s return they make of the member’s pecuniary interests. It doesn’t matter in the slightest whether it was returned. It is the fact that they received the gift that counts. That is a rule of Parliament, NOT just a Labour party rule.
            Cunliffe has not reported these gifts. His excuse appears to be that he really is ignorant as to who the people who made the gifts were.
            If you believe he didn’t know the names of the five people who coughed up his expense money for the campaign you are much more gullible than you appear.

            The Antoine’s dinner was for the benefit of the National Party. The cut-off for those gifts to a party is $15,000 and no individual exceeded that figure. The $50,000 paid for a round of golf exceeded that figure and was declared.
            On the other hand it is fairly clear that Mr Liu paid $15,000 for a book signed by Helen Clark. At the time the limit was $10,000. The Labour Party did not declare this and it is this failure to declare that is the breach of the law. Their failing was in not declaring the gift, not in accepting it. There also appears to be questions about his purchase of a bottle of wine for more than the legal limit that requires reporting. If he did the failure to report it is a breach of the law.

            • freedom

              “The cut-off for those gifts to a party is $15,000 and no individual exceeded that figure.”

              But alwyn you conveniently forget, again, that the ticket receipts were not donated as individual items, those monies were donated as a sum total and registered as a donation from a whole other entity, namely the restaurant. Which is odd as it was a declared fund raising event where individuals who remain anonymous paid thousands of dollars per head.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I think Alwyn is conflicted: moderate IQ, perhaps, or a slightly less tumescent amygdala. He spins the lines but he tries too hard to be a true believer.

                • alwyn

                  My, my. You are very fond of using that new word somebody told you about aren’t you? Wow: Clearly you are a brilliant man who has used the word “amygdala” about 3 times in 2 days.
                  For those who haven’t heard of it, or like our anonymous friend were told the word but don’t actually know what it means it is
                  “A lobe of the cerebellum; one of the palatal tonsils”.

                  • McFlock

                    You missed the good bit:

                    Shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions, the amygdalae are considered part of the limbic syste

                    [my bold]

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    cf. Kanai et al 2011

              • alwyn

                I didn’t forget it at all.
                Tracey wasn’t asking about whether Antoines’ contribution was declared.
                She was asking
                “Who paid $5000 a head to eat at antoinnes and why doesnt it bother you to not know that?”
                I was pointing out that the individuals had no need to be declared.
                When you have a requirement to declare amounts of greater than $15,000 there is clearly no reason why contributions of, apparently, $5,000 should not remain anonymous.
                Mr Lius donation however appears to have been $15,000 at a time when the limit was $10,000. If so it was required to be declared.

  18. bad12 18

    And now they are Spinning,Spinning,Spinniung through the magic land, from my wireless, RadioNZ National news at 12.00,

    Slippery the Prime Minister speaking from Amerika,”i have known about the letter to immigration on behalf of Bill Liu for a couple of weeks”,

    Bill English,”No one in the National Government knew about the letter to immigration on behalf of Bill Liu until this week”,

    Just who is lying, and who is making shit up, take your pick…

    • appleboy 18.1

      Exactly. Key says he’s had the letter for weeks. English says he knew nothing about it today on National radio. There’s a lie or are they telling us the PM and Deputy don’t talk? Will the Herald call for English’s resignation now?

    • Tracey 18.2

      john key doesnt trust his deputy or caucus so he told none of them. If it were labour this would be a sign of problems inside national. Distrust etc… Coupled with ALL those resignations…

    • alwyn 18.3

      John Key is to be congratulated for keeping the existence of this letter strictly to himself and not passing it on to other people in the National Party who might have been willing to use it to highlight Cunliffe’s hypocrisy.

      Obviously someone, probably in the Labour Caucus, sent an, anonymous, letter to Key telling him about DC’s activities. Key, being a moral man has decided that this is not something that should be used against Cunliffe and did not tell English, or anyone else, in the National Party. Instead he kept it completely secret.

      The leaker, disappointed by Key’s behaviour, has then passed the material on to The Herald, who have used it.
      Now Key is asked about the letter. It is obviously in the public domain and, not being a liar, he is unwilling to deny that he had in fact seen it.

      As I say, his unwillingness to copy Labour Party tactics and throw mud at opposition MPs, is to be applauded. Oh that MPs in other parties could follow his example.

      (Posted with his tongue in his cheek to a certain degree)

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.3.1

        It’s pretty obvious where your tongue is and it isn’t your cheek.

      • bad12 18.3.2

        Alwyn, i would suggest that you posted this particular comment with your tongue firmly in an orifice other than your cheek,

        From the brief Slippery the Prime Minister quotes, RadioNZ National News at 12.00 today, ”i have heard that there have been donations that may be as much as 100’s of 1000’s from Liu to the Labour Party”, or words to that effect,

        Of course when asked to provide a shred of proof that back up such assertions Slippery then takes the vows of silence, not being able to provide the source of ”i have heard” would have our PM vocalizing with His tongue firmly planted in the same orifice as yours, which aint either of you’s cheeks but hell it must be crowded in there,

        Where did the letter get OIA’ed from, the 9th floor of the Beehive of course, Slippery the PM’s minions, paid all by the taxpayer have been using the time we pay for out of our taxes to dig political dirt on the Opposition leader,

        That is what really reeks here, not Cunliffe’s lack of memory over a letter typed up by His staff 11 long years ago and signed by Him as He and every other MP would sign 1000’s of such letters each year over a myriad of constituents concerns…

        • alwyn

          And exactly what evidence do you have that the OIA request came from the Prime Minister’s Office? If you really think that is the case you can make an OIA request to be told who it was that did make the request.
          Come on old chap. Put up or admit that you are spouting a line of bulls**t.

          I am only to happy to agree that his action in sending the letter in the first place was no different from things all the MPs do. However it was Cunliffe himself who has been claiming that such activities by National MPs is corrupt and it is Cunliffe who claimed to the Press on Tuesday that he had never done such a thing. Why does he lie in that way?

          As for your views on orifices I can only suggest that your brown-nosing Cunner’s is unlikely to be much use. He will, in Pam Corkery’s immortal words, “be outta there ” by the end of September.

          By the way spelling words like his, him and he with capital letters as “His”, “Him” and “He” as you do in the final sentence is usually reserved for the Almighty. Do you really think that Cunliffe is God?

    • Tracey 18.4

      hiya bad

      Did key call him Bill?

  19. redfred 19

    Here are the major share holders of APN and hence owners of the Herald.

    Allan Gray Australia Pty. Ltd.
    Baycliffe Limited
    Independent News & Media (Australia) Ltd. 1
    News & Media NZ Ltd.
    Perennial Investment Partners Ltd.
    Maple-Brown Abbott Ltd.
    MLC Investment Management Ltd.
    Dimensional Fund Advisors,
    Manulife Asset Management (Asia)
    The Vanguard Group, Inc. 3,

    I wonder where Allan Grays political sympathies are?

    • Gosman 19.1

      Do you have evidence that any of these firms directly influence the editorial policy of the NZ Herald?

      • gnomic 19.1.1

        Not that I read editorials because they are a waste of time, but I can’t recall a period when Grandma’s editors were not lined up with Attila the Hun, which is part of the reason I don’t bother reading them.

        Snippets randomly plundered from the electroweb.

        ‘Attila the Hun is known as a destroyer rather than a builder of civilizations.’

        ‘Modern times: It has become popular to describe far-right politicians as “just to the right of Attila the Hun” — sometimes this is a self-description designed to burnish “conservative” political credentials. It’s obvious, however, that Attila was about as far from “conservative” as anyone could be and that radical anarchism was more his style. The “Attila the Hun” right-wing political identifier really has more to do with Hitler than with Attila.’

  20. dimebag russell 20

    so the herald is run by a nameless group of institutional investors who are interested in only one thing and that is extracting every last penny they can from the new zealand economy.
    so much for freedom of the press.

    • redfred 20.1

      Ive always laughed at the Herald and the pettiness and smug bullshit that flow out of Trevett, Amstrong et al. Non thinking lackies, but this episode has taken it to a whole new level of political interference.


  21. Chooky 21

    The media magnifying glass needs to swing onto John ( EDGAR HOOVER) Key and his BOTTOM DRAWER…

    National , as Bill English has seen , is vulnerable here!( He is back peddling fast , saying that the NACTS were not sitting on this for some time…they have only just found out about it! )…unlike John Key who says he has been sitting on it for some time!

    …New Zealanders dont like dirty little spies spying on them and executing traps and coups on them and persecuting them over trivia !..they like fair play in politics …like everything else

    ….particularly when the John Edgar Hoovers have far worse hidden and dirty little secrets in their own closets

    • Chooky 21.1

      More on John Edgar Hoover

      Late in life and after his death Hoover became a controversial figure, as evidence of his secretive actions became known. His critics have accused him of exceeding the jurisdiction of the FBI.[1] He used the FBI to harass political dissenters and activists, to amass secret files on political leaders,[2] and to collect evidence using illegal methods.[3] Hoover consequently amassed a great deal of power and was in a position to intimidate and threaten sitting Presidents.[4] According to biographer Kenneth Ackerman, the notion that Hoover’s secret files kept presidents from firing him is a myth.[5]

      According to President Harry S. Truman, Hoover transformed the FBI into his private secret police force; Truman stated that “we want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him”.[6]

    • Blue 21.2

      Mike Smith already tried I think you’ll recall. Came back empty handed.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.3

      You don’t get it Chooky. Political fires don’t need substance they need heat. National has decided that it’s open season on MPs doing their jobs. That rusty blunt spoon can be used to feed from their bowl too.

  22. redfred 22

    When was that letter requested? and when was it released anyone know?

    • ianmac 22.1

      Who requested it and how did they know to ask for that specific letter from 11 years ago?

      • redfred 22.1.1

        Yes…. that is where I was going with that, and how much of a set up this has been

      • David H 22.1.2

        And why do TV3 and Radio Live ( I leave it on in the shed for the dogs) have such a hard on for Cunliffe? And the ‘hosts’ were almost foaming at the mouths in their efforts to out do each other in anti Cunliffe shit. And then Garner came on, so I just came inside and left them to the foaming. Tho’ I notice the Dogs also left.

        It is amazing the amount of stations that have it in for Labour and Cunliffe..

        Radio Live
        Granny Herald

        So on Sept 20 are we going to have an election? or shall we just leave it up to the JONOLISTS to announce a winner?

    • Delia 22.2

      The letter request == sometime in 2003

      Released on John Armstrong Herald column == yesterday (2014)

      • I suspect redfred is asking when the letter was most recently requested, presumably under the OIA, or by the office of the Minister for Immigration.

      • freedom 22.2.2

        not the way it went down Delia, the letter was released by Jared Savage at 12:59 am and Armstrong’s column was at 1pm (i have screengrabs)

        Either way, why are the MSM not interested in the question of who sourced the letter?
        – especially when considering the co-ordinated release of Armstrong’s column exactly one minute after the “breaking news!” was first published yesterday

        We now know from the PM’s admission he had fore-knowledge of the letter, so how did it end up in front of the PM “weeks” before the media released it?
        (or is another Key brain fade on the way?)

        If Liu requested his file…

        It either goes from Liu to the Nats to the reporter then the public release….
        from Liu to the reporter to Nats then the public release …

        The first option is the most likely.
        The second option though less likely, is the most damning for the Herald’s integrity as it provokes the question ‘why did the Herald sit on it so long and share it with the PM before the public?’

    • john 22.3

      For the official information requests about Williamson and the Liu case, there were documents from police where they said they were required to specific parts of the govt know what was happening under the “no surprises” policy, hence some people knew what was coming out in advance of the official release.

      What really helped make the Cunliffe letter such a hot potato, was his denial of it the day just a day earlier.

      Up until then, it was just one of hundreds of letters and emails in the Liu case.

      • redfred 22.3.1

        “was his denial of it the day just a day earlier”

        That is my point, this has been a really slick assassination, I suspect this has been well planned to make the tea cup storm like it is. The timing after the Super policy announcement, the timing of “that question” the timing of the Rick Barker photo. All to clock work, Key hinting there is more to come. The herald has been primed and synchronised .

        Compare it to Collins and Ovirida, it had to be dragged out of Collins

        • john

          redfred says “That is my point, this has been a really slick assassination,”

          Assassination, or assisted suicide?

          • redfred

            Assassination, pop gun from the grassy knoll really; once the dust settles any sensible thinking person will see through this as a planned PR shit bucket throwing exercise.

  23. Tsubasa 23

    I genuinely want to know: how many “ordinary” immigrants has Cunliffe helped in the past decade, in a similar fashion as this? Being an immigrant, I can tell you my family and I struggled a lot seeking our residency, and we know many who faced similar situations, who were not as lucky as us.

    Seriously, how often do MPs in general help your average immigrant? There’s been a few cases made public in recent years, featuring struggling immigrants in dire situations, and none of these cases ended with a happy ending thanks to some “helpful” MP.

    Does anyone here know of any more Donghua Lius out there, who were not quite so wealthy?

    • Cunliffe has stated his office deals with 10,000 such queries each year. I doubt they take the time to check everyone’s credit score when sending out simple “please give us a timeframe” letters.

      It’s more likely that someone like Liu has the resources to afford a lawyer who would have recommended contacting MPs for support.

      • Tsubasa 23.1.1

        Do you really not see anything wrong with this, Stephanie?

        The business environment in China is one that is rife with corruption and exploitation. Not only did this guy do well in such environment, but he made millions! Regardless of how small an assistance Cunliffe tries to make this sound, did he really not see anything wrong in helping out a character like this?

        For a guy who constantly reminds us of how Key is out there to help the 1%, Cunliffe’s actions were, at the very least, hypocritical.

        • No, I don’t see anything wrong with an MP sending a standard letter to Immigration asking for a timeframe for an application to be processed. Of course MPs should do it for applicants regardless of their wealth, but there is nothing hypocritical about Cunliffe doing something which is simply part of his job for a constituent who needed help getting answers from a government department.

          • Tsubasa

            Stephanie, this wasn’t just another constituent, and Cunliffe knew that, as is shown by his letter’s reference to Liu’s business aspirations. Again, I’ve seen no specific example of Cunliffe, or other MPs, providing this sort of help to constituents whose aspirations were not quite so high.

            And as I said, there is also the fact that this guy made his money largely through a cement factory in China. Maybe Cunliffe didn’t know Liu’s complete background, but he knew he was from China, and he knew was very wealthy. That alone should raise doubts in anyone’s mind as to how such person attained that kind of wealth in the first place.

            Cunliffe wasn’t bothered by that fact, and I’m very inclined to believe that is because he thought giving Liu a hand could result in donations to the Party in the near future. The origin of the donation money would be irrelevant. That’s the message Cunliffe sends when he writes a letter like that. A message that I can see coming from National, not the self-proclaimed worker’s party.

            • Stephanie Rodgers

              I am very familiar with this kind of letter. It was certainly not written by Cunliffe, but people in his office, probably based on information provided over the phone or in a lawyer’s letter. It’s absolutely normal for this kind of information to be included to provide extra detail, ensure the Immigration officer assigns the letter to the right case, and also (ironically) for the office’s own records so they know why a letter was written.

              I am sorry you have had a rough time in your dealings with Immigration but I certainly don’t support MPs refusing to help people just because they have money and are Chinese.

              It is also ridiculous to assume that the letter was provided with the hope of future donations unless you have actual proof to the contrary.

            • lprent

              You’re assuming that

              1. Cunliffe met the guy. Which in my experience was rather unlikely in an electoral office on a first pass on a immigration matter.
              2. That either Cunliffe or his staff would be particularly concerned about Liu wealth. Which I find also find unlikely. The left including the NZLP MP’s electorate staff aren’t that impressed by money. They are more interested by fairness or unfairness.


            • Tracey

              you sound like a concern troll.

              Mps intervene frequently on immigration, acc, winz and other matters.

              If you really want an answer to your question about immigrants and mps, read tnis


          • David Lloyd

            What about the undeclared “donations” Mr Liu gave to the Labour Party and some ministers? This corruption, if proved, is far more serious than a letter. No one is above the law. If it is found Labour did not declared monies and gifts received from Mr Liu then prosecutions MUST follow.

        • Chooky

          @ Tsubasa …bullshit!

          …the letter reply was innocuous and pro forma ( it didnt even register with Cunliffe)…it didnt offer special favours…and none were asked for ….there was nothing to set this request out from anyone elses’…request for a a timeline…nothing more

          China may be corrupt and a corrupting influence via its rich exported immigrants … we have seen with Oravida and the National Party interceding with the police over a legitimate prosecution …however NOTHING was done wrong by Cunliffe or his Labour team

          …so dont try and insinuate otherwise!

      • freedom 23.1.2

        Hi Stephanie, Cunliffe said it would total around 10,000 over the last decade, not 10,000 a year

    • redfred 23.2

      I’ve heard in the past it is one of the top requests for MPs assistance;

      Good question ask the Immigration Department how letters they get from MPs, and specifically how many from Cunnliffe.. why not?

    • Lanthanide 23.3

      Cunliffe says he’s had about 1,200 immigration requests similar to this one over the last decade.

    • freedom 23.4

      Tsubasa, sorry to hear about your troubles
      Q1: When were you having problems with your residency processing?
      Q2: What area where you living in during this time?
      Q3: Who did you approach for assistance?

    • David H 23.5

      And the other offshoot could be politicians saying no when asked for help by immigrants in the future.

  24. Charlieboy 24

    Obviously the Natz have never read “The Enormous Crocodile” by Roald Dahl. When faced by dirty tricks,you don’t resign, you pick up the dirty trickster by the tail and throw him into the sun. Expose this watergate style campaign waged by Keys well known dirty tricksters, name them,expose their links to media, and then we can see who is the real Nasty Party.

  25. fender 25


    This molehill of a scandal is fucking desperate from the Nats. But it’s fucking hilarious how Key and English can’t even get their stories aligned with each other.

    If the Parata tweet above is genuine it’s great to see a Nat admit Williamson DID interfere in a police investigation..

  26. Olwyn 26

    One good thing that has come out of this: we now know what we are up against. We have seen the NZH brandishing a red “breaking news banner” over an 11-year-old, pro forma letter. We have seen a 24 hour media putsch, involving a shrilly delivered negative poll. This also gives us a clue as to why some in Labour would have preferred the approval of these kinds of people over a clash with them. Well, now they have shown their form, and it is up to us to step up to the plate. As Cunliffe said on RNZ this morning, change never comes easily. It is time for us to get active.

    • gnomic 26.1

      Or maybe it’s about 30 years too late? Certainly Labour should have been ready to roll at least 18 months ago instead of navel-gazing. History seems to show that last minute leadership changes are equivalent to a suicide note, in NZ at least. This media frenzy-feeding on nonsense is distasteful.

      • Olwyn 26.1.1

        Certainly Labour should have been ready to roll at least 18 months ago instead of navel-gazing.

        Yup. But you can’t turn back time. However, with this nasty little episode, the Nats have thrown down the gauntlet. There is no point in trying to look safe,centrist and light blue with such opponents. You have little choice but to rally your supporters and fight back.

  27. Keiv 27

    If Bill Lui has never lived in New Lynn, how can he be classed as a constituent of DC ?

    To quote Stuff “He paid cash for a $2million-plus apartment in the swanky Metropolis tower in central Auckland. Five years later he bought a home in Bayswater, valued at $5m.”

    And they call Key Shonkey, I think there’s more to follow on this.

  28. If the polls for Key’s govt were so good, why bother with a slander crusade, perhaps their
    internal polling is shite.
    Seems strange though that there is no record in the system that the letter was actually sent,
    also the fact that it is 11yrs ago, for goodness sake.
    All the main media outlets are pro National, any comment is moderated to make sure only
    Nat friendly opinions and stories/articles get through,waste of time on Stuff, even the poor
    little like and dislike buttons have had a makeover to give the impression that Labour are shite.
    The next three months are going to be tough as Key has much delight in spreading his dirty
    propaganda, i just hope it comes back to bite him on the arse on 20th september.

    • I don’t find it strange at all that Cunliffe’s office had no records of an 11-year-old letter. Most organisations I’ve seen have incredibly inconsistent document management, especially going back through the years when things were handled by different staff, on different computers, using different software, naming things differently.

      • Chooky 28.1.1

        @ Stephanie Rodgers…finding an 11 year old letter is just too much…especially a form one of no consequence whatsoever

      • Tracey 28.1.2

        when you work in litigation you find civil defendants have almost always destroyed documents older than seven years

      • dimebag russell 28.1.3

        go an take a bath.

        (Stephanie: Sounds like pointless abuse to me. We have rules about that kind of thing.)

    • Chooky 28.2

      @ southernbelle.

      “If the polls for Key’s govt were so good, why bother with a slander crusade, perhaps their
      internal polling is shite”.

      Agree the polls are bunk!…my Mother gets them from the Herald…she is in her eighties ….and they mumble and smirk so much she can’t hear them….even worse, when I take the receiver from her…i cant hear the questions either, they are confused, confusing and mumbled …and I dont have hearing issue

      at least one vote for Labour lost in their polls…also I suspect many people lie to the pollsters because they have no respect for them

  29. David Lloyd 29

    The most important issue is not Cunliffe’s lies about the letter but the undeclared “donations.” This issue must be investigated and charges laid if it is shown that both the Labour Party and some ministers took payments from Liu. Corruption such as this should not exist in NZ.

    • freedom 29.1

      So now it’s brown bags in the carpark is it? What’s tomorrow? Labour Ministers ran a people smuggling operation through Herne Bay? Labour MP exposed as National spy after eating at Antoine’s?

    • Tracey 29.2

      Yes, we must get the Minister for Oravida to present a speech to parliament about corruption. Immediately.

  30. Lastmanstanding 30

    Which one of you ABC’ers leaked the letter and the photo to the media. And what else do you have waiting to be leaked. We need David to stand and fight the good fight right up to 20th September. We cant have another Mike Moore episode.
    Time of all party faithful to stand together and out the ABC’ers and expose them and ensure that they lose their seats or place on the list come 20th September.

    • poem 30.1

      This rubbish has been orchestrated by national, it has their name all over it. With the election proper not that far away, its the usual dirty tactics national like to play.

  31. poem 31

    What’s with Martyn Bradbury? he has completely lost the plot.

    • freedom 31.1

      he does seem to be carrying a lot of eggs in one basket

      • Tracey 31.1.1

        i was thinking he seems a sandwich short of a picnic

        • poem

          Yeah, totally agree with that Tracey, and have to say there is not so much ‘freedom of speech” on the Daily blog. The posts I have made disagreeing with Martyn Bradbury have been removed.

  32. Lastmanstanding 32

    Just heard the latest poll for us got the numbers wrong. They transposed the numbers. The correct poll number was 32% NOT 23% so yeah we are up in the polls and this when the enemy MSM are attacking from all sides.
    Only 90 days to go until VICTORY sweet VICTORY!!!!!!

    (Stephanie: You sound an awful lot like a troll. I suggest you remedy this.)

  33. Wake up my comrades on the Left !.We should have been expecting that something like this would happen .This is typical Crosby -Textor sleaze. Unfortunatly a lot of the Left has fallen for it ,Instead of standing united they have fallen into this well set trap and started to tear itself apart.
    United we Stand Divided we fall.. Dont let vhe Nats dirty trick brigade be succesfull.fight back expose these slimy greedy uncaring money bags for what they are or have another 3 years of unfettered capitalism

    • Tracey 33.1

      two things

      A2 milk knows all about crosby textor and the irrelevance of truth to them

      So many rightwingers gleefully posting cos they feel their own low threshold for ethics is justified by this. How many kiwis are exhibiting this low threshold to their children, and rationalising it.

      The dirty dozen

      . It’s for your own good (white lies) – Remember to look at the lie from the perspective of the person lied to. Upon discovering the lie would it undermine trust; would the person feel betrayed or thank you for caring?

      1. Everybody does it (we’ve always done it this way) – Ethics is about the way things ought to be not about the way things are.
      2. Who am I to judge – If you never render moral judgment there is no moral difference between Mother Teresa and Adolph Hitler. You must judge when the conduct violates a fundamental core ethical value but judge cautiously and without self-righteousness.
      3. You’re a bigger one (doctrine of relative filth: I’m not so bad so long as others are worse) –Sorry, your moral obligations are a matter of personal integrity and character. There is no dispensation simply because others may be worse. If you lie to a liar, you’re still a liar. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
      4. It’s not my job – Yes it is; all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. If not you, who?
      5. Nobody is hurt – Who are you kidding? The people who play by the rules are always hurt and disadvantaged by those who don’t. Besides, you are always hurt when you sacrifice your integrity and character.
      6. It’s too important; it’s necessary – If the stakes are that high than your character is truly being tested. If you can’t be trusted to do the right thing when it will cost more than you want to pay, you can’t really be trusted at all. Besides look out for the false necessity trap. It is hardly ever really necessary or a question of real survival – “what if” you couldn’t do what you want to do. Necessity is not a fact, it is an interpretation.
      7. It‘s not important – Then why in the world would you give up your claim to character and virtue? If the stakes are small, pay the freight and keep your integrity. Remember kids see whatever you do. So do subordinates and colleagues. Do you want your character judged by petty acts of dishonesty, maliciousness or irresponsibility?
      8. The end justifies the means – Maybe, but that’s what they all say. Is it really best in the long run? If everyone did it would it be a good thing? Have you thought about all the stakeholders? Will the means change the ends or change you in a way that harms your reputation. Is it clearly necessary? Are you really doing it for a moral end or are you simply cloaking self-interest in a moral excuse.
      9. I’m only human (I’m not perfect / I’m basically honest / I hardly ever lie / Just this once) – So how many times do you get to lie before you are a liar? Try as you might, you won’t be a saint but that doesn’t give you any free swings. You are accountable for every choice you make. Remember we tend to judge ourselves by our best intentions and most virtuous acts but we will be judged by our last worst act.
      10. It’s a stupid rule – Maybe, but a lot of people think that about rules that cost them time or money or don’t let them do what they want. Are you willing to let everyone decide for themselves what rules to follow and what rules to break? (your children, your employees, the police, politicians, manufactures of food products)?
      11. Ethics is a luxury I can’t afford right now – It doesn’t ever get any easier. The ethical problems change but they get bigger not smaller as the stakes get higher. If you don’t demand the best from yourself now you never will. Being ethical is a matter of habit and conditioning, its not a light switch you can turn on and off at your convenience.
  34. finbar 34

    The knowing is,who is going to give us a fair wage,who is going to give us a smoko,who is going to give us a lunch break.Not the National Party,they are saying that you can negotiate your smoko and lunch break for your profit with your employer.Three percent of your hourly pay rate for your smoko break,and three percent of your hourly lunch break,most of us workers work on casual employment minimum wage,who if protected under your employer will be given the legal right will to ignore.
    Gloves of come these torries winning the next election,not only in the Labour laws,but also in our social care of health and our enviroment.

    • Tracey 34.1

      Remember this from nationals comedian in chief bill english

      Jan 2014
      Finance Minister Bill English has backed workers’ expectations of a pay rise after years of belt tightening, saying they are entitled to expect a share in the economic recovery.

      Or when he called cunliffe “tricky ” yesterday, as though he never double dipped at tax payers expense, didnt intentionally write down the chchch rebuild cost to get a surplus, didnt call a grant an interest free loan to create a surplus, renewed the scf guarantee against treasury advice, and then pay it out, plius 20m to those not covered.

  35. ianmac 35

    Poll alert:
    “Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a fall in support for National (49.5%, down 3%) but National are still well ahead of a potential Labour/Greens alliance (40%, up 2%).

    Support for Key’s Coalition partners has fallen slightly with the Maori Party 1% (down 0.5%), Act NZ (0.5%, down 0.5%) and United Future 0% (unchanged).

    Support for the Labour Party is down 1% to 28%, the Greens are up 3% to 12%, New Zealand First is 4% (down 0.5%) and the Mana Party 1.5% (up 1%). Mana Party alliance partners the Internet Party are at 1% (up 0.5%) – a combined 2.5% for the two parties while support for the Conservative Party of NZ is 1.5% (up 0.5%) and support for Independent/ Others is 1% (up 0.5%).”

    All is not lost when you put the likely Left partners into the equation.

    • Tracey 35.1

      this is the poll fizzy said was bad news for the left…

      • Colonial Viper 35.1.1

        Well, it’s bad for Labour, and rather mediocre for the Left. Winston likely gets to be kingmaker at this rate.

        Where is the alternative narrative for the nation.

      • fisiani 35.1.2

        10% gap in Right Left cannot be bridged in 93 days
        What part of 49.5% versus 28% is good news for Labour????

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The part where the National Party are lighting fires and hoping the wind won’t change 😀

  36. redfred 36

    Did John Key / or staff see the Lui letter in the Maurice Williamson police interference investigation file?

    Did John Key or any of his staff access that file after the Williamson was sacked? Sounds like he did Is this unlawfully accessing a police record? Who in Key staff handed on this information to the Herald to make the specific OIA? One of Keys staffers.

    It seems our Prime Minister is in the business of peddling privileged information for gain… Bill English knew his line … no prior knowledge or wasn’t he told for deniability… but Key didn’t mistake down to arrogance I think.

  37. MS 37

    Meantime – a message from a Kiwi on your FB page , copied and pasted into here because you all can’t seem to see the wood for the trees:

    FFS YOU PEOPLE !! I do understand that we have a right wing media in the country but WTF are you doing ??? I can barely refrain from writing this in all caps I’m so F&$ angry .
    HANDLE THIS !! Do you actually WANT to be Govt or are you all happy with your pay packets ? Are you all happy plonking about in Wellington without the stress of Govt ? Because it SURE F
    #ING LOOKS LIKE IT from here – out in the real world – you DO remember the REAL world don’t you ? Where we get paid $15 an hour and our power prices keep going up ? Where we can’t buy butter any more because it’s too expensive ? Where we don’t go the f&#%ing DENTIST any more because we can’t afford it .
    Either sharpen up or piss off ! We’re suffering out here under these arseholes and you guys are doing NOTHING !! Oh and PS – you might want to stop being so f
    #$ing sniffy about the left wing parties and start talking. Do something …ANY THING ! ( oh and pretty pix and memes on FB …doesn;t count as ” doing things ” )

    [lprent: Perhaps you’d like to point me at which facebook page you’re talking about. The site don’t have one. Nor does it have a twitter page.

    The people around here are activists in their own areas. They come here to discuss events, policies, and simply to come somewhere to disagree with each other. Perhaps you’d like to read our about. It might give you a better idea about what this site is about.

    Just at present I think Mike Smith is the only active author from Wellington.

    I suspect that you’re just another strange concern troll. ]

  38. Observer Tokoroa 38

    Not for the first time John Key has handed Bill English a poisoned chalice. John set up the illegal raids. It seems Bill carried them through. The mug.

    The non team player Key has no respect for any of his colleagues, other than dearest Judith. Of whom he is helplessly terrified.

    Hooton and Farrar and other slimy bit players, will soon enough be disemboweled by New Zealand’s most popular ever Con Man. Totally unmemorable the lot of them.

    Armstrong lays claim to being our nation’s all time dishonest journalist. In fact he is not a journalist – just a Goebbelist. Armstrong, the Judas of Journalism. Hateful of truth, False to the core. Hateful of the common man with a constant twisted malice. Shuffling along with his aged bag of silver.

    But if Cunliffe can’t see Key, Armstrong, and Hooton coming, he should ask caucus to get someone with better eyesight. Shouldn’t he?

    [lprent: Please don’t Godwin our site. I am finding it irritating. ]

  39. Clemgeopin 39

    It is obvious to me and it should be obvious to anyone with some intelligence that National sleaze brigade is active in its smear campaign against Labour and its leader. I am sure most people are fair minded and smart enough to see through this National party mud raking on flimsy issues, just as they did to Mrs Clark, Mr Goff, Mr Shearer and now to Mr Cunliffe, who in my opinion will turn out to be one of the best prime ministers this country will have.

    I just received by email from Mr Cunliffe a letter that he has sent to all members and supporters this evening. Here it is:

    “It’s been a tough couple of days for everyone in Labour, but I have been greatly heartened by the messages of support that my Caucusand I have received from members and supporters.

    As I’ve stated in many media interviews over the last 24 hours, I stand by my
    word and we will not be distracted from our mission to help build a better New Zealand for everyone.

    What has been made very clear by our opponents is that this will be a tough election campaign. They would like nothing more than for this election to focus on smears
    and insinuations. However I have immense faith in the people of New Zealand to recognise what really matters in this election and to vote for positive change.

    That’s positive change that only a Labour-led government can deliver. It means making sure every New Zealander has the opportunity for a secure, well-paid job, that every
    Kiwi has a warm dry home and has home-ownership in reach, and that our kids are given all of the opportunities they need to thrive and prosper.

    Our party has been galvanised by recent events. National’s attempts to destabilize us have failed – our Caucus has been unified and resolute and party activists have stayed on the front foot making phone calls, knocking on doors and getting Labour’s
    message out to the public.

    We know that we have a hard road ahead of us, but we also know that this election is shaping up to be down to the wire and that every vote will count. We cannot afford, New
    Zealand cannot afford, for us to be distracted from our duty of making real fundamental change for good.

    I know we can do it this September. Together.

    Kia kaha,

    David Cunliffe
    Labour Leader

    PS, we’re preparing for the biggest, best Congress ever. There are
    still tickets available. To reserve your seat, click here. Link etc

    • Anne 39.1

      However I have immense faith in the people of New Zealand to recognise what really matters in this election and to vote for positive change.

      Sorry but I can’t agree. I will go further and say that I believe Labour consistently over-estimates the ability of the average NZer to understand the political landscape and to vote accordingly. In reality most of them make no/or little attempt to become informed, are gullible and leave themselves wide open to manipulation.

      I have come to the conclusion that the majority of them actually don’t deserve an even half-decent government.

      • emergency mike 39.1.1

        @Anne, agreed.

        John key got reelected in 2011, and he could possibly win again in 2014. That’s proof enough right there of what you say.

        I wondered at the stupidity of the US public when they voted Bush back in 2004 after 4 years of looking at him. Now look at us.

    • john 39.2

      A smear campaign, is usually used to define a campaign that is untrue.

      This campaign would be impotent if Cunliffe hadn’t –
      – attacked National on helping Liu and taking money from him.
      – done the same himself
      – told the public he hadn’t
      – got caught

      Hardly a smear campaign – more a multiple blunder.

      And that hypocrisy destroys trust, as seen in today’s NZ Trust survey.

      Out of 100 Kiwis, only Michael Laws, Kim Dotcom, and Hone Harawira came out less trustworthy than David Cunliffe.

      See list at bottom of story at

      And while that’s more bad news for Labour, note that Hone Harawira and Kim Dotcom – allies that Labour might need to govern – are the least trusted people on the list.

      Which could well explain the sudden drop of support for Labour in today’s Fairfax Poll.

      And brings up another dilemma – would Labour get more votes if they ruled out working with Internet Mana, or could they only govern if they work with them?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 39.2.1

        It brings up another dilemma flagrant opportunity to express ridicule and contempt: are you going to keep on plagiarising other people’s ideas for your comments? If so you should know that you are merely bolstering Rachel Maddow’s Echo Chamber thesis, also known as the Bellman fallacy.

        We need better wingnuts.

        • john

          Hilarious – You complain about using others peoples ideas in comments, followed by a sentence with other peoples ideas.

          This in reply to a post on hypocrisy.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The idea expressed in the second sentence is that you are supplying evidence of what Hodson & Busseri describe as ‘insufficient exposure to outgroups’.

            The difference between my behaviour and yours is that I acknowledge my sources.

            • john

              I’d love to know who I’m supposed to be plagiarising.

              And I didn’t realise you’d made up a rule banning all people from thinking the same way as any other person.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It isn’t a rule, John.

                Let’s look at this through Maddow’s lens. She presents evidence that conservatives, in defiance of best practice, rely on one another for confirmation of their notions.

                Curiously, Hodson & Busseri observe the same behaviour.

                Best practice is that your worst enemy is your best critic.

                So, since you’re here, I’ll criticise your behaviour, your arguments, and you personally, because we need better wingnuts.

                • john

                  So you tell me I’m plagiarizing someone, but you can’t tell me who it is.

                  That sort of stuffs up the credibility of your complaint.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    In fact John I am referring to your behaviour in general: I have noticed a pattern of copyism.

                    On this particular occasion I think you’re plagiarising The Dim-Post and others.

                    • john

                      What did the dim post say?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sorry john, once your credibility is gone, that’s pretty much that. Thanks for playing though.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Poor John; didn’t you get the obvious ‘only someone with a low IQ, limited exposure to out-groups, and an engorged amygdala wouldn’t get’ hint you were spoonfed?

                      What a dilemma.

                    • john

                      I see you’ve got colonial viper to help you hoist the surrender flag on the plagiarism accusations.

                      Can’t find an inkling of evidence – eh?

                      And now you’ve become incoherent.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      john, what did I say? Nothing you say carries weight. Feel that? That’s a breeze. It carries more weight and substance than your utterances. Get it?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, John. I’m just getting you to deny it a few more times before I rub your face in it.

                      Good grief, have you no semblance of dignity?

                    • john

                      Ha. That confirms it – your surrender flag is well and truly up.

                      A total failure to substantiate …well…anything. At all.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Baby steps, John.

                      Good grief, Dim-post, surely one of your Google-competent acquaintances can help you out. If not, here comes the face rub.

          • McFlock

            John, how did you know that part of the contents of an OIA request was in a file named “2.pdf” with a web address ending in “QlVpYnV3Q3RsMHp2WnRVag”?

            Pure luck? Or did someone give you a link to regurgitate here?

            • john


              And a substantial amount of perseverance.

              I’m pretty sure there’s quite a few more folders as I saw the list of something like 222 documents that were part of the OIA request.

              I was going to look for some more today but I’ve been quite busy and it’s quite time consuming.

              If I can find that folder, the journalists must have thousands of documents, specially since they’re often the ones doing the OIAs.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Substantial just doesn’t have the same ring to it these days.

              • McFlock

                That’s the funny thing – there don’t seem to be any keywords for a search crawler to gather…

                What search term did you use in google?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  John won’t answer that unless he’s arguing in good faith.

                  Then we get to see what his notion of substantial amounts to.

                  • McFlock

                    If I were a conspiracist who thought that tories paid fifth-rate PR shills to astroturf, I’d follow the philosophical dictum of “he who smelt it, dealt it” 🙂

                • Colonial Viper

                  What search term did you use in google?

                  More of this bullshit “parallel construction” technique being used. Do they think we’re not on to them already???

                  • john

                    So because I found a document that’s publicly available to everyone, it must be a big conspiracy.

                    More than a little paranoia coming out there.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Gold star for John as a finders fee, but only if you take his comment at face value.

                      If not you’d be struck by the possibility that his role in this ‘find’ was no more than that of a sewer pipe’s role in delivering John to the treatment facility.

                  • john

                    Colonial Viper says “Sorry Mr Cunliffe, once your credibility is gone, that’s pretty much that. Thanks for playing though.”

                    On most trustworthy Kiwis, Mr Cunliffe comes 97 out of 100

                    (that’s 10 below what David Shearer was last year).

                    David Cunliffe is certainly intelligent, and may be a really nice person, but he simply doesn’t come across as believable.

                    There are a lot of capable people – Goff, English, Brash, Shearer, and Cunliffe, who NZ will never vote into PM – they’re just not cut out for it.

                    You could add David Parker to that list (too soft/too nice), and Shane Jones, not that he’s here any more, was way too maverick – a loose canon.

                    Grant Robertson comes across more level headed – doesn’t just spout off criticism all the time, unlike David Shearer (who never looked like he actually belieived what he was saying) and David Cunliffe (who is likely doing the very thing he’s complaining about).

                    Who else is coming through? Andrew Little? He seems far less rabid as an MP than as a unionist. Jacinda Adern? I’m not sure if the public has seen enough yet to form a proper opinion.

                • john

                  I got to one website, and followed links to others and eventually came to the file site.

                  I can’t remember exactly what I used but it was something like Liu immigration documents . The problem is there are hundreds more news stories to sift out every day, which is why it took a while.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    This is the sort of semi-competent blundering that passes for research in the Echo Chamber.

                    It’s fun to mock John’s partisan incompetence but I feel a little ashamed at my lack of sympathy.

                  • McFlock

                    fucksake, that’s what you could have said last night.

                    so the search “liu documents Cunliffe” gives us nothing, but “liu immigration documents” gives us

                    All about Shane Jones and Liu. Including an email near the bottom with links to a dropbox.

                    Yes, the first link is the list of released documents.

                    Can I just point out that when you said:

                    lprent says “You can’t just ask for the whole of someone’s immigration file in a OIA. ”

                    Wrong. Not only can you. But it has already been done.

                    A list of over 200 documents on the Liu case was given out two years ago under the OIA, with what they were, and who sent them.

                    Not all documents were supplied, or fully supplied, but a large number on the list were.

                    Maybe 90 out of the 220 documents listed were fully or partially disclosed.
                    In other words, you might be able to ask, but they won’t give most of it to you.

                    Hell, check out the description of document 196: “Letter and attachments from B Boyle to J Harbord”. Most of the “attachments” are letters from MPs on both sidesof the House, of varying degrees of support.

                    So a letter so old your archives got shredded might be an “attachment” on the document list, when you are now doing an OIA on everything just in case toryboys will lie and say it was equivalent to a minister calling a cop about an active investigation. And you’ll be made to wait 20 days for each request, not 2. Oh, and you’d get billed for the staff time of people doing your request.

                    Whereas Woodhouse gets told immediately by his staff as soon as it’s relevant under “no surprises”, and the herald coincidentally submit an expedited OIA request shortly thereafter.
                    [edit] oh, and then the herald outright lies about the letter and says it’s a letter of support [/edit]
                    See a slight imbalance, there?

                    Now I see why you don’t cite. It only shows your assertion doesn’t match what masquerades as your evidence.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Are you saying John tells lies? Do you suppose it’s a perfect expression of his low character and diminished sense of personal responsibility or something?

                    • McFlock

                      Nah, I’m just saying that he’s as reliable as the herald.

                    • john

                      What didn’t you understand about “Not all documents were supplied, or fully supplied, but a large number on the list were.”?

                      You’ve counted 90 our of 220 were supplied or fully supplied. Which backs what I said.

                      You complain that I didn’t give the words I googled for – WHEN YOU DIDN”T EVEN ASK FOR THEM -DUH!!!! And you got an actual link.

                    • McFlock

                      1) So your point is that one can ask for all the documents in someone’s file, they just won’t give them to you or even list them all individually? That’s super.

                      2) If you make an assertion, I’m supposed to ask for proof before you give it?
                      See, given we were talking about cunliffe, your link didn’t come up. Wasted my time. As soon as you revealed that your linking didn’t even have anything to do with Cunliffe, that made life easier. Not even the link extension came up in google last night.

                      Fuck it, okay – lets play it by your OIA rules. In future, when you contradict someone else can you please provide a link, citation, or supporting evidence for that assertion like a normal human being would? Pretty please, with fucking sugar on top?

                    • john

                      McFlock – you’re whinging and whining about me not doing things, that you never even bothered to ask me to do.

                      All you needed to do was ask.

                      What a miserable place it is here – an endless and obsessive moaning, whinging, whining, abusive vortex of negativity.

                      You’re all stuck in it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Feel free to leave then john. Bye bye.

                    • McFlock


                      You found a list of five document dumps, referred in your comments to dump 1 with the document inventory, but decided to link only to the download page for dump 2 rather than the list and/or the inventory. [edit] oh, and you found this all within an hour of Lynn saying OIA requests needed to be narrow[/edit]

                      And when lynn asked you less than an hour later for links to the other document dumps, you had no idea how to get them?

                      Do you see why we might think you’re just a wind-up toy?

  40. fisiani 40

    I love the optimism that with each new low poll it is assumed that things will only get better. The belief is that these setbacks are temporary and easily recoverable. Yet with each limbo pole result getting lower and lower I can assure you that 23% may not be the nadir. If the next poll is 19% will the message finally get through that the public like and prefer a strong stable centrist government?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 40.1

      Where’s this strong (by one seat) stable (if only John Banks were there) centrist (the center cannot hold) government then?

      Naturally, the answer you’ve rote-learned springs to (your) ‘mind’.

  41. dimebag russell 41

    anyway all this will blow over and the boys from the standard have won this one hands down.
    key is off getting a new job in the apple and english doesn’t have the equipment.
    You guys are just a rearguard action for a government that is in retreat.

    • karol 41.1

      boys? And yet this post above was written by a woman.

    • fisiani 41.2

      Have you not read the poll results? If this is retreat then can we have some more? Cunliffe is the author of his own lies/mistruths/errors or memory fades. There are some heroic assumptions above that this will all be turned around. The phone is off the hook.

  42. Clean_power 42

    Not very flattering to Mr Cunliffe.
    Clearly, Cunliffe is now virtually a spent force as Labour leader. The gaffes he has made have not been major.

  43. risildowgtn 43

    Obviously Key is using his Psssst I got shit on you file –

    you know the one the one he says he keeps in his top drawer..

  44. Mr Oh Well 44

    Lets play a Sesame Street Game

    One of these things is not like the others,
    One of these things just doesn’t belong,
    Can you tell which thing is not like the others
    By the time I finish my song?

    1. J Colins
    2. M. Williams
    3. J. Banks
    4. D. Cunliffe

    Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
    Did you guess which thing just doesn’t belong?
    If you guessed this one (4.) is not like the others,
    Then you’re absolutely…right!

    Confused kids, the media seem to be, they dont seem to be able to gauge the relative magnitudes nor point it out.

    Maybe this will help kids (not saying that it is related to any of the above of course).


    Any situation where the actions taken in an official capacity could be seen to influence or be influenced by an individual’s private interests (e.g. company directorships, shareholdings, offers of employment)”.

    They usually fall into these categories:

    personal – e.g. an opportunity for an individual employee to gain advantage or benefit2;
    family – e.g. a pressure for an individual employee to assist or provide an advantage or benefit to their family or friends; and
    community – e.g. an opportunity or pressure for an employee to provide an advantage or benefit to a community or stakeholder group.

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