The story on Jian Yang may have been planted by enemies of Bill English and National but the motivation does not matter.

It does not mean it can be ignored.

What matters most is not whether he taught English to spies in China (he did), whether he once belonged to the Communist Party (some of the best Kiwis have been old Comms) or whether he declared it to the National Party when he first signed up as a list candidate (he apparently did).

it is very interesting, but none of that makes him a spy or a liar.


What matters is whether he told the truth to New Zealand authorities in gaining entry to the country and in gaining citizenship which he gained in 2004.

And what also matters is whether anybody in National was aware that the truth of his former employment had not been told.

Making anything other than a true declaration to gain citizenship in 2004 is a career ending move, not to mention unlawful.

Look no further than Metiria Turei's false declarations to claim extra employment benefit or her false electoral declaration in the 1990s, supposedly to vote for a friend.

Bill English no doubt hoped he had heard the last of the issue yesterday after his own press conference declaring his MP not to be a spy, and after Jian's pleading that he was effectively just doing what the Chinese system demanded.

English needs to show much stronger leadership than that.

He should assure voters that he would not tolerate anything other than an honest declaration and that his chief of staff will be making further inquiries.

If he cannot get that, then he needs a guarantee that despite being an exemplary MP, Jian Yang cannot sit in a National Party caucus.