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National has nothing to be afraid of

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, February 20th, 2020 - 54 comments

National has absolutely nothing to worry about the prosecution of four people for carving up a donation to the National Party.

National’s donation reporting problem

Written By: - Date published: 7:19 am, February 19th, 2020 - 25 comments

National’s recent donations returns suggest that a large total of their donations are made in the under $15,000 category, the benefit of which is that the donor’s identity does not have to be disclosed.  Update: The four accused have been named.

National received two dodgy $100,000 donations

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, February 18th, 2020 - 45 comments

The SFO charges laid in the District Court reveal that it investigated not one but two dodgy $100,000 donations to National.

Will DPF condemn National for hiding the identity of its donors?

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, February 11th, 2020 - 59 comments

David Farrar has called for the suspension of Winston Peters from Cabinet for reasons which would also justify the suspension of Simon Bridges from the National Party.

Pay the money back Simon

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, February 1st, 2020 - 33 comments

Simon Bridges has stated that National wants to pay the undeclared $100,000 donation back but even though nearly two years have passed since it was made it still remains unrepaid.

Is National the party of law and order?

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 am, January 30th, 2020 - 38 comments

Following the announcement by the Serious Fraud Office of charges relating to the donation of $100,000 to the National Party Simon Bridges claim of being exonerated appear to be optimistic.

Bridges calls for investigation into National’s handling of electoral donations

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, November 29th, 2019 - 24 comments

Simon Bridges’ demand of an investigation into the New Zealand First Foundation appears to have backfired after it emerges that the NZ First Foundation was modelled on the National Party Foundation.

Hypocrites

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, November 22nd, 2019 - 57 comments

National’s attacks on NZ First’s Foundation are hypocritical in the extreme given that it also has a Foundation and has used this foundation to hide the identity of donors who have collectively potentially contributed huge amounts of money to the party.

Hypocrite

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, November 20th, 2019 - 74 comments

Simon Bridges has accused NZ First of engaging in the most significant breach of electoral law in New Zealand’s history. But has not ruled out working with NZ First in the future. And has forgotten about National’s neat partition of a $100,000 donation to hide it from the authorities.

Not a good look

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, November 19th, 2019 - 98 comments

There has been recent media exposure on New Zealand First’s treatment of donations and the use of a trust to receive donations and avoid contribution disclosure requirements by making payments loans rather than gifts.

Ross leaks again

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, August 27th, 2019 - 46 comments

Jami Lee Ross has released details showing National avoided restrictions against overseas donations by a New Zealand incorporated company being used to make the donation.

The election year party donations returns

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, May 6th, 2018 - 40 comments

The election year donation returns have been released and show a surge of donations for Labour but National still well ahead.

The Yellow Peril?

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 pm, November 15th, 2017 - 338 comments

What’s with the academic panic epidemic about China? Two in our media in the same week, referencing each other with vague warnings about the Chinese bogey. It’s not quite Lionel Terry in Haining Street again; more likely in my view a case of singing to someones else’s geopolitical tune. No prizes for guessing whose.

 

Party donations analysis

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, June 20th, 2017 - 101 comments

Max Rasbrooke has done an analysis of donations to political parties, and raises the concern that donations buy influence. There is a solution to this problem.

Political donations and conflicts of interest

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, March 2nd, 2015 - 53 comments

Whether it’s about election donations or portfolios, some people do seem to think MPs should always get the benefit of the doubt.

Brassneck

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, March 2nd, 2015 - 64 comments

The release of the candidate donation returns has shown us that the National Party are still rorting the system. However, there are issues for the NZ Labour Party as well. Four MP’s have taken money from sources that do not have the interests of the Labour party or, indeed, the majority of Kiwis at heart. Brassneck or bought and sold?

“Mr Slater’s made it quite clear”: Key standup transcript pt1

Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, August 19th, 2014 - 25 comments

How slippery is John Key? Part one of transcript of Key’s press standup last Thursday. On accessing Labour’s website private details, OIAs to the SIS, Dirty Politics, Nicky Hager and Mr Slater. [Updated]

Positive Labour policy for meat industry

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 pm, July 27th, 2014 - 4 comments

In the late 1980’s I worked on the establishment of the Meat Industry Tradesmens Agreement, bringing eight  awards into one. My lasting memory is how the meat companies hated each other more than they hated the unions, and they were no union-lovers. 25 years later, the companies still can’t get their act together, and it is the country as well as the farmers who are hurting. It may surprise some, but it’s the Labour party who is putting forward policy to bring in the necessary change to the $8billion industry. Good work from Damien O’Connor and the Labour leadership.

NZ First conference – the kingmakers?

Written By: - Date published: 4:48 pm, July 15th, 2014 - 50 comments

It looks like I’ll be able to head to the NZ First conference at Alexandra Park racecourse on the weekend as media. This election the position of NZ First party members is probably going to be crucial for any coalition that forms. In this rather long post I explain my (and other peoples) thinking on possible coalition results for National after the election. They aren’t good because they really depend on a political group that National has been denigrating for quite a while.

Polity: A clear choice on education

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 pm, July 7th, 2014 - 144 comments

One of the most prominent battlegrounds in this election campaign will be education. Both large parties know our kids deserve better than the two-tier education system we currently have. Both have clear, costed plans they think can help. And now the public can choose. Actions, of course, speak louder than words. Both John Key and Bill English have chosen to send their own kids to private schools. Asked why John Key said  “Their schools have smaller class sizes and are better resourced than most state schools.”.

No Right Turn: Electoral donations, corruption, and transparency

Written By: - Date published: 4:11 pm, June 11th, 2014 - 36 comments

Writing in the Herald, Fran O’Sullivan tells us what we all knew: that political donors have expectations, and want favours in exchange for their cash. She’s too polite (and Establishment) to call it corruption, but that’s what it is. Its time we forced parties to do so as well. Transparent public funding if required. If the choice is spending public money or permitting corruption, the choice is pretty clear.

Through the looking glass

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, June 8th, 2014 - 93 comments

Banks look very likely to be gone by Monday. But, some journalists are going to bat for John Banks, claiming he hasn’t really done anything wrong with respect to the verdict of guilty for filing a false election funding return.  They are ignoring the facts of the case, and trying to rewrite history. [Update: Banks to resign]

Polity: Dotcom’s $3 million donation

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, June 1st, 2014 - 132 comments

Kim Dotcom has shaken up the election with a claim his new Internet Party will have a $3 million war chest. The big questions are: is this kind of donation good for democracy, and are left-leaning campaigners hypocrites for accepting it? The answers are respectively yes and no. A politician’s job is to campaign within the rules as they currently stand. They owe no duty to provide their opponents with advantage by pre-emptively limiting their own campaigns.

Labour’s Mana Internet Party dilemma

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, May 30th, 2014 - 232 comments

So what does Labour do? Gift Te Tai Tokerau and be open to allegations of manipulating the system (even though National has made an art form of this particular type of activity) or campaign hard and risk the loss of 3 – 4 % points of party vote if Hone loses his seat?

Here’s an idea: electoral funding

Written By: - Date published: 6:01 pm, January 11th, 2014 - 25 comments

“Want to get some transparency back into politics funding in New Zealand? Tired of electoral funding skullduggery?” Standardista freedom suggests “NZ creates the Electoral Donation Register of New Zealand.”

What’s in a glance?

Written By: - Date published: 3:37 pm, October 26th, 2013 - 50 comments

David Jones QC argues Banks could not have signed a false declaration of election donations because he did not read it. But  Banks’ campaign manager’s evidence was that Banks  “glanced at it before signing it.” The Oxford dictionary defines “glance” as “take a quick or hurried look;” “read quickly or cursorily.” So Banks did read the donations return. It would have been hard to miss the $15,690 recorded as both a radio expense and an anonymous donation which he had personally solicited.

The fish rots from the head

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 pm, October 16th, 2013 - 91 comments

Today’s decision that John Banks will stand trial for signing a false donations return signals the beginning of the end of the Key government. Increasingly it resembles the last days of the Shipley government only worse, as corruption replaces shambles. The decision also puts the famous tea party conversation between Key and Banks, where they stitched up the deal to provide the present Government’s majority, into new perspective.

Dotcom on what Banks knew

Written By: - Date published: 12:59 pm, October 15th, 2013 - 27 comments

The District Court is hearing evidence today as to whether John Banks should stand trial for signing a donations return that he knew to be false. Kim Dotcom has given evidence – the Herald reports that when he agreed to give Banks a donation of $50,000, Banks asked for it to be split and to be made anonymous., so that if Banks helped DotCom in the future it would not be known that he had donated to him.

Epsom by election?

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, May 3rd, 2013 - 73 comments

John Banks is in court to answer allegations over his Dotcom donations and electoral returns. If convicted he loses his seat. How would an Epsom by election play out?

Known unknowns

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 pm, September 12th, 2012 - 8 comments

My OIA request for the Police  file of their investigation into Banks’ anonymous donations arrived today. John Key had said the law would be changed if “they could find the time.” Today David Carter found the time to say the law will be tightened before the 2013 elections.It will be very important that all the lessons from this sorry affair can be properly considered  at select committee.

Know when to run

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 pm, September 3rd, 2012 - 21 comments

Key has gone for a gamble again; but not the gamble some of the pundits were expecting. On the asset sales, he’s chosen flight over fight. But the real problem the asset sales face now isn’t Maori action, it’s the state of the economy.

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