Written By: - Date published: 7:30 pm, November 26th, 2014 - 38 comments
Categories: David Farrar, greens, national, political parties, russel norman, same old national - Tags: cameron slater, jason ede
This press release came through from the Greens today. Embargoed until 1930. Suffer through the usual tortured prose beloved of press release writers. It is however quite revealing about the effort National makes to keep their donors anonymous to the public compared to other parties. The numbers are here.
National pockets over $3 million in undisclosed donations
New research shows that the National Party used a loophole in electoral funding laws to pocket over $3.3 million in undisclosed donations in the three years before the 2014 election, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.
Dr Norman released the findings while giving the Rod Donald Memorial Lecture in Christchurch this evening. His speech, Democracy in New Zealand: Who broke it, who bought it, and how do we fix it? explores the issues of dirty politics and the National Party’s erosion of democracy.
“National pocketed $3.375m in undisclosed donations in the lead up to 2014 election,” Dr Norman said.
“Almost 80 percent of National’s donations are undisclosed. They know who’s paying them but the public doesn’t.”
Analysis undertaken by the Parliamentary Library for the Green Party shows that in the period 2011-2013 political parties received $6.5m in undisclosed donations, with the majority going to National and its support parties, ACT, The Maori Party and United Future.
An undisclosed donation is when a political party knows who gave them money, but because the donation is less than $15,000 the party does not have to declare the identity of the donor. You could give $15,000 a year for three years, a total of $45,000 and the party doesn’t have to reveal your identity.
“National was the worst offender of any political party; almost 80 percent of the donations they received were undisclosed,” Dr Norman said.
“The large number of undisclosed donations is not good for our democracy.
“Since National has come into power there have been several scandals where questions have been raised about the link between political donations and political favour.
“National Party Cabinet Club cash for access, Maurice Williamson and Donghua Liu, Judith Collins and Oravida, John Key and SkyCity are all examples where money and politics have intersected.
“Our democracy is not for sale and unless we bring in transparency, it will continue to go down a slippery slope with National.
“In Government the Green Party is committed to cleaning up undisclosed donations, including lowering the threshold for disclosure to $1000.
“Rod Donald showed us that by fighting for our democracy we can win. We need to hold undisclosed donations up to the spotlight and remove the corrosive impact the cash for access has on our democracy,” said Dr Norman.
It does shed light on the process whereby National hoovers up ‘anonymous’ money from a variety of carefully crafted sources that it knows, bit no-one else does. It then expends it on people like Jason Ede, David Farrar, and probably over the last three years on Cameron Slater – the arsehole of blogging and politics.
After all it looks suspiciously like money was being funneled through some of Nationals favourite PR companies to fund attacks by Cameron Slater on various political targets.
How easy is it to make a legally combined donation of $45k over 3 years. Pretty damn easy.
How easy is it for individuals and companies to make donations of several hundred thousand? All you need is to do is make donations from your partner, the kids, the shelf company that you have for taxes, the trusts for your buildings, or through the multiplicity of ‘private’ contractors beholden to larger companies.
I agree with the Greens. To me this looks like a systematic flow of money to National for legislative favours.
Dirty money funds the arsewipes of politics. Drop the limit to something quite low and make donating to political parties public and transparent. It’d probably clean up politics like nothing else would.