Labour and Liu: Businessman clarifies spending

Cunliffe makes it clear the alleged donations, if they did occur, were 6 years before his leadership began. Photo / NZ Herald
Cunliffe makes it clear the alleged donations, if they did occur, were 6 years before his leadership began. Photo / NZ Herald

The Herald on Sunday last week reported details from a statement signed by millionaire businessman Donghua Liu which said he spent "close to" $100,000 on a bottle of wine at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser.

The statement said he "successfully bid on bottles of wine including one bottle signed by then Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Helen Clark, with a contribution of close to $100,000".

This week, Liu issued a new statement to clarify the earlier one, which he acknowledged was "capable of two meanings".

"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, including for wine, a $2,000 donation to the Hawke's Bay Rowing Club, a Yangtze River trip by a Cabinet minister and anonymous donations to MPs.

We regret reporting the $100,000 was for wine only.

Labour has said it has no record of any payments from Liu, and that the Yangtze River trip and rowing donation are separate from the party. Labour leader David Cunliffe wishes to make it clear the alleged donations, if they did occur, were six years before his leadership began.

The Weekend Herald reported yesterday that Liu has hired Paul Davison QC to help review his records. These are reported to include photos and financial records of his links to Labour.

- Herald on Sunday

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