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Shearer stands Jones down, refers Liu case to auditor-general

Senior Labour MP Shane Jones has been stood down pending an auditor-general probe into his conduct in an immigration case during the last government.

The announcement, late yesterday afternoon, is an unwelcome distraction for the Labour Party just as it was focusing its fire on the delivery of Bill English’s fourth Budget today.

Labour leader David Shearer referred the matter to a Auditor-General Lyn Provost asking her to investigate the matter – a dramatic shift in stance from only two days ago.

Mr Jones was sssociate immigration minister in 2008 and over-rode official advice not to approve citizenship for Chinese businessman Bill Liu.

Mr Liu, also known as Yan and Yang, is facing charges of passport fraud in the Auckland High Court and officials objected to his receiving citizenship centred around the “fit and proper person” test.

Mr Jones has repeatedly denied receiving any gifts, travel or money from Mr Liu, and although Mr Lui donated money to the Labour Party he is understood to have also made donations to National.

Mr Shearer has repeatedly defended Mr Jones’ decision in the case and only two days ago was reported as saying he would not stand Mr Jones down from his shadow portfolio roles.

“Based on my discussions with Shane Jones, I believe that he followed a proper process.

"But given the differing statements made in and outside of court and the questions that have been raised publicly, I believe an independent agency should review the case.

“I’ve asked for the auditor-general to look into all the departmental as well as ministerial processes involved in this case.

Mr Jones is a list MP, and if he were forced to resign from Parliament former MP and trade union official Carol Beaumont would be next on the list.


RAW DATA: Labour's statement

Labour refers Liu case to Auditor-General

Labour Leader David Shearer has today sent a letter to the Auditor-General asking her to investigate the decision-making process around the case involving Chinese businessman Bill Liu.

“Based on my discussions with Shane Jones, I believe that he followed a proper process. But given the differing statements made in and outside of court and the questions that have been raised publicly, I believe that an independent agency should review the case.

“I’ve asked for the Auditor-General to look into all the departmental as well as ministerial processes involved in this case.

“Shane has encouraged me to take this action because he has been left in the impossible position of not being able to clear his name. An inquiry will enable him to do so.

“While the inquiry is under way, Shane Jones will stand down from his portfolio responsibilities and from Labour’s front bench.

“I stand by my decision not to stand Shane down earlier because I believe that everyone has the right to natural justice and to be given the opportunity to answer questions.

“New Zealanders must be able to have confidence in the processes of government and that is why Labour believes it is important for the Auditor-General to provide reassurance that the appropriate action was taken in this case,” said David Shearer.
 

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Comments and questions
15

Maybe the National Government could stand John Banks down - he has donme far worse than Shane Jones

I certainly would be concerned if you were my doctor.

You're joking aren't you? One is a Minister of the Crown abusing his position, the other is an individual accepting donation in his own right, not a Minister or other Govt employee.

The (unproven) allegations against John Banks have nothing to do with him being an MP or a Minister. The allegations against Shane Jones have everything to do with him being an MP and a Minister.

Just a Claytons enquiry.Will not expose the alleged corruption in the Labour Party.Over the Asian Passports for cash,and the anonymous donations put in the Labour Party bucket in the Auckland Restuarant.

A marvellous working relationship, the two Jones boys. One, grants citizenship against the advice of immigration officials; and the other rakes in a $10,000 fee for helping to complete the citizenship application. And don't forget the cheerleader Dover Samuels (master of GST Returns), offering all the support from the sidelines. Warms the cockles of your heart, to see them working in a collaborative manner, to line their pockets

This is to flush out John Banks, & Jonkeys slim majority to get his asset sales legalisation through.

Unfortunately, Jonkey is on a mission to sell our assets to his mates, which are long term chess players. Jonkey knows his mates will end up controlling these in the long term, which in my view amounts to treason; and should be treated accordingly.

Shane's quite partial to a bit pecuniary gain. But he's not overly greedy. He could be bought off for no more than, say, the cost of a couple of movie rentals through any hotel's pay-per-view. Or some kina and kumara.

....and to think that idiot Kerre Woodham thought this guy was pm material.

I hope the AG also investigates the $10K “donation” to the Labour Party and the highly suspicious prompt swearing in ceremony held on Parliamentary grounds for this person – who Jones and Labour admit – they don’t know what his real name is even!

A much wider ranging investigation is needed beyond just the “process” Jones took.

Remember when Labour were shrilling at National because employment law needed clarifying so WB would invest half a Billion dollars into NZ to make the LoTR films? Labour were screaming and banging on about how NZ’s legislation was “for sale to the highest bidder” Well it seems with Labour, Citizenship can be brought and brought in a hurry for about $10K with the help of 2 or 3 Labour Ministers?

The AG should also compare the Liu process with the Moradi process also – as it appears the only difference is a $10K “donation” to the Labour Party.

2/4/2008

“As the North Shore Times went to print, Miss Moradi was waiting to be sent to Iran by Immigration Officials. It is feared going back to Iran could be dangerous because she has become a Christian.

Under Sharia law converting to Christianity from Islam is a sin and can be punished by death.

Mr. Jones will not over rule an Immigration New Zealand decision to deport 25-year old Birkenhead resident Bahareh Moradi”

Good on you Labour Party...and improving your chances of winning the next election....

Shane Jones being a minister of anything, is like the Mongrel Mob being fishery officers.

The whole town's talking about the Jones boy, he's a nice boy, he's a fine boy. If he's corrupt he'll be a doing some time boy. He acts mighty peculiar now.

Spot the DOCTOR Bwanks must go, fair play to all

Covering up fellow member(s) of the Caucus is not solving any party's problem. Whether Shane Jones is gulty or not will be revealed in due course....well done, Labour Party, you have won my respect and vote in the next election.