There was a lot of back patting going on around Parliament which was a little baffling to say the least.

News had just come through that the man who's been an arch nemeses to politicians on both sides of the political spectrum has coughed up a cool forty three million bucks to settle allegations of money laundering, but without accepting any guilt.

The generosity of Chinese businessman Bill Liu is staggering then. He paid the cops all that money to wipe his slate in this country clean, even though he maintains it was clean as a scrubbing board right from the start.

The cops are happy enough, saying the pay cheque's the end of the matter without any admission of criminal or civil liability by Liu, even though he's in the top five on the Chinese most wanted list, as confirmed by John Key when he was in Beijing in April.


Beijing claims Liu stole $129 million through a complex fraud before leaving China in 2001 and laundered the money in this country. SkyCity records show he gambled a mind boggling $293 million over a twelve year period, despite being banned twice for two years and losing a total of $23 million.

Liu it seems knows how to lose friends but influence politicians. He's now a New Zealand citizen after the then Clark Minister Shane Jones overruled his officials who said Liu failed the good character test, and gave him New Zealand citizenship.

Liu splashed political donations all over the place and had them from both Labour and National dancing to his tune.

It's the mild reaction to Liu's latest getting out of jail pass that's staggering.

The steely, creaseless smile of Judith crusher Collins beamed benevolently at reporters after she was briefed by her charges on the Liu payout, several million dollars more than the biggest ever lottery win in this country. Collins mused that a settlement's always better than court and the police have done some very good work!

Key was equally relaxed saying one option's to do a deal with anybody and every case has to be treated on its merits.

Well that drove Winston Peters up the Chinese wall, thundering that not only is justice now for sale in this country, so too is the key to citizenship.

And on this one, it's hard to argue with the political don!