The citizenship application file of National MP Dr Jian Yang has been released – but the documents have left questions about his declarations when he applied to be New Zealand citizen.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) released the information to media outlets, including Newsroom, after a Newsroom investigation revealed Yang’s ties to Chinese military intelligence.

Before coming to New Zealand, Yang studied and taught at the Louyang languages school in China’s Henan Province for 10 years.

The school is part of the People Liberation Army’s third department which spies on foreign countries.

Yang told a media conference last week that he had not declared this and instead said he attended “partner universities”.

He later released a statement saying all the information he had given to the New Zealand authorities was “correct and truthful”.

However, the DIA documents have been heavily redacted, including his workplaces for the previous 10 years at the time of application in 2004.

Yang studied at the Australian National University before finally arriving in New Zealand and taking up a job at the University of Auckland.

One of the issues at play has been whether Yang properly declared the universities at which he studied in China.

He also attended the PLA Airforce engineering school for five years and at the media conference Yang confirmed he had been a member of the Communist Party and a “civilian officer” in the PLA.

The education section from the citizenship application was redacted entirely; although a DIA spokesman later said that Yang only had to declare his study in Australia as evidence he could speak “reasonably good English”.

Yang was also required to declare details of his background when he first applied for residency after arriving in New Zealand.

This file has yet to be released.

Mark Jennings is co-editor of Newsroom.

Leave a comment