The Herald updates the Labour donations story:
Donghua Liu has issued a new statement to the Herald confirming “close to” $100,000 in total payments to Labour and its MPs – including anonymous donations – but clarifying that the money was not for one bottle of wine.
Liu, to whom Labour gave permanent residency against official advice, says his earlier signed statement on the wine auction was “capable of two meanings” and after repeated inquiries from the Herald he says he wants to clarify what he spent the $100,000 on.
The signed statement obtained by the Herald on Sunday said that at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser, he “successfully bid on bottles of wine including one bottle signed by the then Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon Helen Clark, with a contribution of close to $100,000”.
The previous sentence in the signed statement said dinner and a boat trip on the Yangtze River in 2007 with a group including Rick Barker, the Minister for Internal Affairs at the time, which Liu estimated to cost between $50,000 to $60,000.
Today, Liu said: “I did say I made a contribution of close to $100,000 and that is my closing comment in my statement…that is how much I believe I have donated in total to Labour and some of their MPs during their last term in Government.”
He said the figure was the total payments to Labour and its politicians which included the wine auctions, a $2000 donation to the Hawkes Bay Rowing Club, the Yangtze River trip and anonymous donations to MPs. . .
It is possible that the difference between giving to the Labour Party, shouting one of its MPs a trip and donating to the rowing club the MP’s daughter belonged to was lost in translation.
Those might have been differences without distinction in China but that isn’t the case here.
However, if he gave nearly $100,000 there is still around $40,000 unaccounted for.
It might have been given to different electorates, MPs or candidates in smaller amounts.
Although under current rules that wouldn’t make any difference to the declaration the total given to the party whether as a whole or in different amounts at different times to different people or groups within the party must be added up and declared.