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Shane Jones: Learnt the importance of process (+ interview)

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Latest Political News | Tuesday March 12 2013 14:41

Shane Jones: Learnt the importance of process (+ interview)


Shane Jones is putting some of the blame on officials in the Bill Liu case for not giving him enough information.

The Auditor General has found there were unfortunate circumstances, poor processes, but no corruption involved in the way Mr Jones approved the application when Associate Minister of Immigration.

Shane Jones told Larry Williams he's learnt the importance of process through the experience.

He says there's a suggestion he could've initiated more enquiries himself.

"But contrary to public belief, a Minister's office is an extremely busy place and you do trust that the officials and bringing you a decision with an inordinate amount of background information."

LISTEN: Shane Jones on Larry Williams Drive

No evidence of corruption has been found in the way the Labour MP handled the citizenship application of Chinese businessman Bill Liu.

The Office of the Auditor General earlier delivered the findings of its inquiry into Mr Jones' handling of the matter when he was Associate Minister of Immigration.

It says there was an unfortunate combination of circumstances which meant it wasn't surprising questions were asked.

However no evidence of corruption has been found.

The Auditor General is recommending systems and procedures around the way such applications are handled be improved.

Mr Jones accepts he could have taken more time with Mr Liu's citizenship application.

He says he should have sought more advice and had a better relationship with officials before making his decision.

"As objectionable as some of those things might be to swallow. I made this decision."

He says the whole experience has been a smack in the chops.

"As chastened as I am by the experience I'm certainly not throwing in the towel but I don't want to deprecate the drama and the wretchedness of living in this limbo for nine months."

He says he was never told there was an active police investigation into Mr Liu.

Mr Jones told Larry Williams there was a brief reference to police having a strong interest in Mr Liu and a reference to Interpol.

However, he says he didn't know what that meant.

"I balanced a humanitarian set of considerations, backed up by a QC's submission against problems with character and in this case I came down on the side of a humanitarian criteria."

Mr Jones said he'd been told by an official Bill Liu would be executed if he went back to China.

Photo: NZ Herald

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