Labour’s exorbitant liquor lark – $100,000 for a bottle of Clark Gargle looks a bit rich

Barker got the lolly ... Cunliffe has copped the hangover.

Liu’s partner got wine, Rick Barker got forgetful … and Cunliffe has got the hangover.

The authorities who police these things should take a bloody hard look at the way the Labour Party has got into the liquor trade.

Alf’s good mate Whale Oil drew attention a few weeks ago to a Labour Party fund-raiser in South Auckland, when those in attendance tossed coins at a bottle of whisky.

Alf’s fondness for good scotch might have tempted him to have a go at winning the bottle by these means, but he would have balked at having to travel to Auckland – a sad city he prefers to avoid – and he has been programmed never to do anything that would benefit the Labour Party.

Pictures on the Whale Oil blog post affirm that a bunch of people had been tossing coins at a bottle of whisky on some occasion.

The Grumbles’ ability to quickly verify that the occasion was a Labour fund-raiser, sadly, has been complicated by the non-availability of the Facebook post to which Whale Oil referred them. Someone – could this be true? – seems to have removed this evidence of lolly being collected for the Lefties with liquor.

No matter.

Further evidence of Labour being a bunch of sly-groggers in the name of fund-raising – or should that be a sly bunch of groggers? – comes to us today via the Sunday Herald.

The newspaper tells us millionaire businessman Donghua Liu spent more than $150,000 on the previous Labour government.

This included a $100,000 on a bottle of wine signed by former prime minister Helen Clark at a party fundraiser.

The embarrassing revelations are contained in a signed statement from Liu, which the Herald on Sunday has obtained.

They come at the end of a horror week for Labour, already under pressure after the New Zealand Herald revealed that Liu paid $15,000 for a book at the same fundraiser in 2007.

Labour has said it had no record of any donations from Liu. And leader David Cunliffe had to fight to keep his job after revelations he wrote a letter for Liu’s residency, despite previous denials.

The Chinese businessman, who has also donated to National, has been at the centre of a New Zealand political storm in recent weeks.

Alf is bound to say he thinks Labour is taking a liberty, collecting exorbitant sums from people – even if they are millionaires – for a bottle of wine (and don’t tell him the signature of Helen Clark has done anything to enhance the contents).

Indeed, he would go so far as to say this looks like a rip-off of the sort that should be brought to the attention of consumer watchdogs as well as our liquor licensing authorities.

Oh, but as well as the wine this Liu feller has signed a statement to say:

• That he spent $50-60,000 hosting then-labour minister Rick Barker on a cruise on the Yangtze River in China in 2007; and

• That Liu visited Barker in Hawke’s Bay in 2006, having dinner with him at an exclusive lodge and then meeting for breakfast the next morning. Liu said he made a donation to Hawke’s Bay Rowing, which Barker was associated with.

Barker was smitten with the same memory failure that afflicted John Banks and had previously told the Herald he could barely remember having dinner.

Last night Barker, now a regional councillor, said the revelations came “as a surprise and a complete reversal” of Liu’s previous comments.

Dunno if anyone asked why he might have gone cruising on the Yangtze River.

Getting some ideas for dam-building in Hawke’s Bay and establishing grandiose irrigation schemes, perhaps.

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3 Responses to Labour’s exorbitant liquor lark – $100,000 for a bottle of Clark Gargle looks a bit rich

  1. Angry Tory says:

    Just goes to show Cam is right:

    NZ needs a plenipotentiary Independent Commission Against Corruption — I’d suggest say Cam himself, Don Brash, Jenny Shipley as commissioners — dedicated to cutting out corrupting in the NZ Labour Party and the unions.

    Or Key could just do the right thing for once: put the NZ Labour party on the Corrupt Practices List, banning them from standing at the next election.

  2. anon says:

    That heavy wood pannelling in the bar looks like it’s from the Hermes Bar at Antoines. Ihttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hermes_Bar_at_Antoines.jpg Isn’t that the PM’s watering hole. Weird.

  3. […] and Liu is denying paying as much as was reported in this blog the other day for a bottle of wine in a bottle signed by Helen […]

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