There might be some nervous Labour MP's today; Stuff explains:
A millionaire naturalised Chinese New Zealander who used senior political connections to win citizenship has gone on trial in the High Court, Auckland, today on five charges linked to claims he created a false identity.In a case that has been before the court for nearly two years, Yong Ming Yan, 41, has pleaded not guilty to five charges over claims he created a false identity in China to get citizenship.Justice Timothy Brewer is hearing the case without a jury.Originally Yan was charged with 12 offences but these, the court heard, had been reduced due to issues with evidence from China.Yan, also known as William Yan, Bill Liu and Yang Liu, arrived in 2001.He got citizenship with letters of support and lobbying from Labour's Dover Samuels and Chris Carter as well as National's Pansy Wong.The Department of Internal Affairs opposed citizenship saying with two passports, two names and two birth dates they did not know who he was. Then Immigration Minister David Cunliffe over-ruled and granted citizenship.The trial was initially set down for 10 weeks but is expected to run three weeks with video evidence from Canada and Australia.
Michael Field has actually got a few details wrong. We have blogged on this case on a number of occasions; just search Bill Liu on the search engine at the top left of the page, or follow this link. Bill Liu's citizenship was actually granted by Shane Jones after the case was referred to him by former Labour MP and Minister Rick Barker who declared a conflict of interest.
But David Cunliffe does not escape unscathed, despite Field's error. Cunliffe was asked by Immigration NZ officials to revoke Liu's residence nine months prior to citizenship being conferred when it was discovered that Liu was using multiple passports and identities. David Cunliffe refused to take that step. Had he done as his officials recommended, the awarding of New Zealand citizenship to Bill Liu would have been a moot point.