So here’s my theory about the great Labour/Donghua Liu mystery.
- Like I said in my previous post there are two separate stories about two separate donations. The ‘party source’ who told the Herald that Liu gave Labour $15,000 for a book signed by Helen Clark at a Labour Party fundraiser and the mystery source who obtained a signed statement from Liu shortly after the Williamson story broke and then gave the statement to the Herald over the weekend. The statement claims that Liu paid ‘close to $100,000″ for wine at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser’.
- We’ve also seen this photograph of former Cabinet Minister Rick Barker handing over a bottle of wine signed by Helen Clark to Liu’s partner at a 2007 fundraising auction.
- It’s weird, isn’t it, that the first source didn’t say anything about the $100,000 donation for wine and Liu’s statement doesn’t mention anything about a $15,000 donation for a book. It matches up with the way Labour’s made a big deal about ‘nobody remembering a $100,000 donation’.
- My guess is that the different sources are all talking about the same donation with inaccuracies in each story: that Liu paid $15,000 for a bottle of wine signed by Helen Clark – which is the bottle of wine we see Rick Barker handing over in the Herald photo – that the ‘party source’ – let’s call him Shane Gones – misremembered slightly and said it was a book, and that Liu misremembered the amount and claimed it was $100,000.
- If Liu eventually fronts up with proof he donated $15,000 – and not $100,000 – it will be a bit awkward for Labour, but it will be awful for the Herald.