Jared Savage

Jared Savage is the New Zealand Herald's investigations editor.

Senior Labour MP's staffer wrote letter for Liu

Chris Carter. Photo / File
Chris Carter. Photo / File

A senior staff member for a Labour MP wrote a letter on behalf of wealthy businessman Donghua Liu's residency application because he had invested $3 million.

Documents released under the Official Information Act show an electorate agent for Chris Carter, wrote to Immigration officials asking "for any consideration that could be given to expediting" Liu's bid to live permanently in New Zealand.

The letter was sent in October 2002 on an official letterhead from Mr Carter's office, who was the MP for Te Atatu at the time.

The agent wrote wrote that she had been approached by a local constituent, Hui Lee, who was in business with Liu.

Mr Lee's company had made an offer on a property in central Auckland for development purposes.

"Therefore they have requested that this office approach Immigration New Zealand in order to expedite the application process which will enable this business venture to proceed in a timely fashion," wrote the electorate agent.

"Mr Liu has already invested over $3 million in the ASB in Auckland and is keen to purchase this particular building for redevelopment.

"I would be grateful for any consideration that could be given to expediting this application."

The letter is the latest in the series of links between Liu and the Labour Party revealed this week. The Herald this afternoon revealed that Labour leader David Cunliffe - who said this week he had never met Liu or advocated on his behalf - also wrote a letter to immigration officials on behalf of the controversial businessman who was applying for residency in New Zealand.

The 2003 letter was written in his capacity as the MP for New Lynn after he was "approached my constituent Donghua Lui [sic] who is concerned at the time it is taking to process his Investment Category application".

- NZ Herald

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