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 underway, 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.