The horse-racing billionaire at the centre of a foreign donations row met with multiple ministers in the last government, including former prime minister John Key.
Representatives of Mogul Lang Lin said he also recently considered donating to New Zealand First because of the party's support for horse racing, but they - and Winston Peters - said Lang did not discuss any offer.
The mogul's connections to New Zealand government figures were played up by his representatives over the past week, including the sending the Herald a photo showing Lang alongside Key and Chinese president Xi Jinping taken during a November 2014 visit to New Zealand by Xi.
Chinese media presents many of Lang's meetings with local political figures as news, with stories and pictures featuring him having lunch with then-prime minister Key in December 2015, and sharing a stage with primary industries minister Nathan Guy.
Representatives of his Rider Horse group are also pictured meeting foreign and racing minister Peters last year in Beijing.
Last week the Herald broke news then-trade minister Todd McClay had helped facilitate a $150,000 donation to the National Party from Lang's Rider Horse group in 2017, after having first met the mogul in 2016 in Beijing on official business.
McClay and National leader Simon Bridges replied that the donation was legal and declared in the party's accounts, but the use of Lang's New Zealand-registered Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry NZ (IMRHINZ) to make the donation sparked a political firestorm.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the use of a local company to avoid restrictions limiting donations from foreign nationals to $1500 was "outside the spirit of what our law intends when it comes to foreign donations".
Renegade former National Party MP Jami Lee Ross, who provided phone and bank records linking McClay to the $150,000 donation, declined to comment when contacted by the Herald this week. But last week in Parliament he said the episode raised legitimate concerns of foreign interference in New Zealand's political system.
"Does anyone really believe that a Mongolian oligarch wants to, out of the goodness of his heart, make six-figure donations to a political party after meeting the person who has responsibility for the very policy that he's interested in, when it comes to the exporting of livestock? I don't think he did so out of the goodness of his heart," Ross said.
Lang's representatives, contacted for comment on Ross' claims, denied any wrongdoing, and said their donation was "within the law" and motivated by a "good impression" of the National Party and also was an "appreciation to the New Zealand people".
Lang representatives added comments last week that government "should award him an honour" was "just joking".
Lang is listed as the vice president of the Xing'an Chamber of Commerce, an organisation run by China's United Front Work Department.
Canterbury University professor Anne-Marie Brady, whose work on United Front activity in New Zealand has drawn international attention, said the issue with donations from China was not one of ethnicity.
"It's not a problem to be ethnically Chinese and giving money. It's not a problem to be rich and donating money. The problem is foreign states and interference in our political system," she said.
She said Lang's pictures with ministers raised issues of appearance that were, in and of themselves, corrosive to democracy. "It gives the impression our politicians are under their thumb, in the pocket. It's more than they're an asset, that they're one of ours," she said.
Lang's representatives said they had also recently considered making another political donation: "Rider Horse has also considered to donate to New Zealand First, based on their support to the horse industry. However, this hasn't been processed."
IMRHINZ director Simon Poon told the Herald the possibility of a donation was not discussed with New Zealand First, and had ultimately not proceeded due to what he said were budget constraints.
Peters told the Herald this week he could only recall once being in the same room as Lang - when he was at a racing function and the mogul was presented with an award - and word of a planned donation was news to him.
"To the best of my knowledge the course on which you're going at the moment is fruitless: We have not received any money from the Wolf, as I know him as," he said.
Questions to Guy were answered in a statement sent by a National press secretary. The statement acknowledged he had in 2015 presented Lang with a "horse of the year" award and launched a veterinary exchange programme at Massey University involving the Rider Group.
"I have not met with him or the Rider Horse group since. We did not discuss donations and I have never approached any Government departments or ministries on his or the wider Rider Horse group's behalf," Guy said.
Questions to the Labour and Green Parties about whether their accession to government had triggered the receipt, or discussion of, a donation from Lang or his Rider Group were met with firm denials.
"The Green Party has not discussed, sought or received any donation from this individual or his New Zealand based company," a Green Party spokesperson said.
Labour Party president said Nigel Haworth said: "We have checked and there is nothing on our records from either the person or the organisation."
TRANSCRIPT OF FINAL MINUTES OF CALL BETWEEN HERALD REPORTER MATT NIPPERT AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER WINSTON PETERS:
MN: So, to the best of your knowledge, New Zealand First have not talked with Lang about him donating? Is that what you're saying?
WP: [Pause] Well, look, if a member of my party was at the racecourse one day, interpreted a conversation with him it's quite possible. But to the best of my knowledge the course on which you're going at the moment is fruitless: We have not received any money from the Wolf, as I know him as.
MN: I guess the outstanding question remains is: If this donation were offered by him, would you accept it?
WP: An outstanding question? Who do you think you're talking to? You're going to have a hypothetical, and put it to me as an outstanding question? Bulldust mate. Where do you get off? Where do you get off with that arrogant attitude? "The question remains". For you?
MN: He says he's considering donating to NZ First. Would you accept the donation? It's pretty simple.
WP: You're going to slide mate, from facts to bullshit. Right? You're not going to be able to slide from facts, with a modicum of detail, to flat-out bullshit and speculation.
MN: So you would take the money? Or you wouldn't?
WP: Get a brain mate. That's not the alternative answer, is it?
MN: It's a very straightforward question, Winston.
WP: It's not a straightforward question. It's some silly, smart-arse question by somebody who should know a whole lot better.
MN: I'm just trying to figure out where this is going.
WP: It's not going anywhere, because it started nowhere. It's built on the premise you're going to write an article, based on nothing. Because you've got a charade of details you're going to put out there. That's what it's based on.
MN: It's based on Mr Lang telling me he was planning to donate to you.
WP: Good god, what a flimsy peg you're trying to hang your story on. God.
MN: Well, I'll flick it to my editors and see if they agree with me.
WP: They probably will, the bloody morons.
MN: Winston, are you hanging up on me?
[CALL TERMINATED BY WP]