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Labour fundraising

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, November 17th, 2015 - 63 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

In The Herald this morning:

Labour’s finances in the red

The Labour Party has run at a deficit for at least two years, forcing it to dip into its cash reserves and highlighting one of the problems the party faced in last year’s election.

A copy of the party’s financial report obtained by the Herald…

The annual report used to be distributed at conference to delegates and the media, so it was never difficult to “obtain” (is this still the case?).

…shows it recorded a $71,373 deficit in 2014 and an even larger $104,915 deficit the year before, a shortfall president Professor Nigel Haworth put down to the costs of byelections and its leadership contests. That resulted in a $117,410 drop in its cash reserves ($612,378) and the value of its net assets dropped from $270,000 to $199,000. Those assets include about $500,000 in property.

After last year’s election, a review of Labour’s performance raised fundraising as a priority, saying the party risked ongoing “electoral failure” if it could not raise more money.

Hardly a secret!

Last year, Labour raised $940,000 in donations, a quarter of National’s $4 million. It spent $1.3 million on election advertising – half of National’s $2.6 million.

The left has always been, and probably will always be, out-spent by the political right. It is far from a level playing field. That’s just the way it goes when you represent ordinary workers and the poorer members of society.

You can donate to Labour here, or better yet join and set up a regular donation here.

63 comments on “Labour fundraising ”

  1. Detrie 1

    This is the big issue for those ‘representing’ the lower paid working classes. Labour NZ don’t [outwardly] have the charisma or policies that gel with enough disenfranchised voters, eager for a change. Few would be willing to donate their hard earned cash each month/year unless they can see real change coming that would directly help them.. I fear the economy, unemployment and worker rights has to get much worse here for hard working (or unemployed) people to become more proactive.

    Maybe it can only come from local, grassroots work in the labour party branches and the few unions. Perhaps we expect too much from our leaders…

    • savenz 1.1

      + 1 Detrie

      Yes I agree if Labour want people to support them then they need to start to support the people and have popular policies not aimed at neoliberals who surprisingly don’t vote Labour anyway having their needs served more by National.

      Being weak on TPPA is like being weak on the whole Labour brand. Labour (used to) stands for jobs, social policy, health and education and human rights and a bit for the environment – but now under TPP they seem to think that corporatising social systems and having offshore lawyers decide on a different set of rules is acceptable. Only caring about property ownership clauses in the TPPA is against everything Labour used to stand for. Have they marched an stood up to the government on TPP or did they stay at home and expect the donations to rain in?

      Instead of Hoping ‘it will all go away’ and supporters will ‘trust them’, Labour need to stop making great speeches and start doing what they speak about. Then they will start to get people making donations and volunteering.

      After the outburst from Nash about his views on how the public -it is no wonder Labour are using their cash reserves. Even John Key would not have let that outburst go uncensored from a Nat MP.

      I’d love a strong Labour but they keep putting their heads in the sand and ignore what the left wings supporters are saying to them (and they are the ones who count because they vote for them) and instead try to look at what the Herald has to say – that is the problem.

    • Rosie 1.2

      You’ve hit the nail on the head Detrie.

      There just isn’t enough $$$ for supporters to give to a party that exists to represent them, the low paid and middle income workers.

      I understand the financial situation is seriously difficult for Labour but there is just no way I can contribute. We barely keep ourselves afloat and are getting further and further into credit card debt just to pay our living costs. I’m unemployed, we have one income, a mortgage and no support from WINZ.

      I am a Labour member (as of the end of last year) and often get requests for donations in my inbox. I know they need help but no matter how much I empathise with their current situation I just can’t do it. That makes me feel a bit crap. I would genuinely like to help.

      I want Labour to win, but it’s frustrating because sick as it is, winning takes money, and I don’t have any.

      I don’t know what income brackets the Labour Party membership is made up of but I’m guessing that many members will be not be flush, if they’re in the party for the practical reason they want to be represented.

      A party for workers will always have a financial uphill battle compared to a party for bosses.

    • Korero Pono 1.3

      +100 do you think we really “expect too much from our leaders” or is it that “our leaders” have lost sight of the grass roots? Perhaps the Labour Party have forgotten its grassroots?

  2. Anne 2

    Let’s remember the ongoing battle Labour had to fight against though.

    1. Dirty Politics which began years before Hager’s book was published.
    2. The Herald’s dirty campaign to defile Cunliffe’s reputation. Eg. the Donghua Liu affair to name just one.
    3. The general media’s biased reporting – or should I say mis-reporting on many occasions.
    4 And finally the misadventures of a handful of Labour caucus members who didn’t help the over-all impression of Labour’s ability to govern.

    All these things together not only brought Labour into disrepute with the voters, it also ensured their donation levels would be negatively affected. I suspect that larger entities who normally donate to both major parties actually withheld their donations to Labour in the last two elections – or at least reduced the level of them.

    I hope they will be more generous this time around with Andrew Little at the helm.

    • savenz 2.1

      @Anne you are right about all that. But what REAL counter action has Labour taken?

      We can’t all prop up Labour they need to do more to counter your list i.e.
      Support Nicky Hager.
      Take Herald to court for slander about Donghua Liu.
      Not have Nash complain about the Standard in his rant, shouldn’t MSM be the target?
      Shut up the ABC’s and neoliberals undermining the Labour brand.

      • Anne 2.1.1

        The ABC Club is gone savenz. Sure, some of it’s adherents are still in caucus but all you Labour cynics need to accept that:

        Labour really does have a united caucus under Andrew Little.

        He spent most of the last 12 months achieving this goal and he is to be congratulated for doing so. Now it is time to seek dialogue with the voters and build up their trust in him. This is Andrew’s strength and I have no doubt he will succeed but it’s not going to happen overnight.

        We cannot expect the minutia of policy until election year. Apart from the broad outline… to announce specific policy any earlier is suicidal. All it does is enable the government to implement them prior to the election and gain all the kudos. It’s happened time and again in the past and anyone who has been around the political traps for more than two decades will tell you the same. A political party also runs the risk of the voters forgetting them if they announce policy too soon.

        I don’t think Nash will be bitching and complaining again.

  3. Vaughan Little 3

    to the two commenters above: the wounds of the 80s are still palpable, and there are many local problems specific to the nz case. however it’s important to set this in an international context. you always need to look at international trends to understand what’s happening with political parties.

    last night I was listening to the talk given by thatchers biographer at the lse to promote his second volume. when discussing why she always won with healthy majorities even when unemployment shot up he said unemployed people don’t vote.

    I don’t know why that is, but it’s not use trying to blame this international phenomenon on new zealand Labour’s local problems.

  4. Keith 4

    At least Labour can say they are not compromised by donations that are given with clear expectations of pay back like National.

    However I will give National some credit, they have faithfully honoured their backers with dodgy Health and Safety Laws, left the Liquor industry untouched, spent zillions on motorways for their donors in the trucking lobby the sugar industy are still smiling through rotten teeth and some truely horrible worker hating labour laws to name but a few!

    • Daniel Cale 4.1

      “At least Labour can say they are not compromised by donations that are given with clear expectations of pay back like National.”

      You’re kidding, right? One word. Unions. Unions are the major funders of Labour, they have a say in the leadership and they WILL want payback.

      • galeandra 4.1.1

        Yeah? How exactly?

        • sophie 4.1.1.1

          I would like to know too?

        • Daniel Cale 4.1.1.2

          How? You mean how will they want payback? Union friendly legislation. Union friendly candidates. Just the sort of thing to drive more voters to National.

          • Keith 4.1.1.2.1

            I really don’t know where to begin with this.

            Unions are not the problem in this country and those industries that I have worked in with some Union influence ran smoother, had far less staff turnover and had happier, better paid people working in them.
            Why, because things are fairer, one of the biggest bottom lines for any human walking this earth.
            And happy better paid workers spend their money on different things other than rent, petrol and a bit of food and that contributes to all of the economy.
            Those that didnt have Union influence were a nightmare for those not so qualified or those not so settled in NZ, I can assure you and those businesses never ever ran to their potential or even close! They bred a lot of resentment though.

            So what do these evil Unions want Daniel?

            Do they want laws that enhance their profits?
            No!
            Do they want laws that make the few individuals at the top of their organisation filthy rich?
            No!
            Do they want taxpayer money spent on them to enhance their personal profits
            No!
            Do they want safety laws relaxed to enhance their personal profits?
            No!
            Do they want slacker laws to enhance their personal profits?
            No!
            Do they want people to work zero hours (sorry, “flexible” hours)?
            No!
            Do they want employees to be paid poorly for their labour and be totally exploitable?
            No!
            Do they want their fellow New Zelanders to struggle to live?
            No!
            Do they want imbalance in our economy?
            No!
            Do they want businesses to do well?
            Yes
            Do they care about those who have no voice and who have little money?
            Yes!
            Do they give a shit about all New Zealanders?
            Yes!
            Does National?
            No, not at all, not ever!

            You are 40 years out of date. Unions are not the problem, a lack of them is.

            • Daniel Cale 4.1.1.2.1.1

              “Unions are not the problem in this country ”

              That’s mostly true, because they have been largely rejected by NZ workers and have therefore been rendered impotent. The risk, however, is that a future Labour government could reverse the progressive measures we have seen in the past 30 years. There is also the little question of unions holding massive sums of members funds and failure to comply with statutory requirements.

              “Unions are not the problem, a lack of them is.”

              So why has their membership declined so much in recent years? Why have workers voted with their feet since union membership became voluntary?

              “So what do these evil Unions want Daniel?”

              Ah, where to start. A return to interislander disputes every holiday. A return to ports performance compromised by union ‘muscle’. Businesses destroyed by a compulsory living wage. I could go on. Unions had a place in the past, but they have failed to adapt to the modern economy, and are enduring a slow, lingering death as a result.

          • Allyson 4.1.1.2.2

            The next Labour govt will owe a great debt of gratitude to educational unions NZEI and PPTA, as they singularly have been the most vocal and effective opponent of the current Government.
            I know they’re not affiliated Unions but I do expect their support to be rewarded.

      • Leftie 4.1.2

        @Daniel Cale

        The unions are Labour’s base, it was what the Labour party was founded on. Everyone has their say in the leadership; the membership 40%, caucus 40% and the unions 20%.

        So what’s the payback you are referring to?

        • Daniel Cale 4.1.2.1

          See above. It will take the form of more union influence on Labour. The unions were Labours base, but that was when the unions had a purpose and a constituency of worth. Today they an irrelevant rump, disliked by most voters, and rejected by most workers. Greater union involvement within Labour will spell electoral oblivion.

          • Leftie 4.1.2.1.1

            Disagree Daniel Cale. Keith put it nicely…

            Keith 4.1.1.2.1
            17 November 2015 at 7:51 pm
            I really don’t know where to begin with this.

            Unions are not the problem in this country and those industries that I have worked in with some Union influence ran smoother, had far less staff turnover and had happier, better paid people working in them.
            Why, because things are fairer, one of the biggest bottom lines for any human walking this earth.
            And happy better paid workers spend their money on different things other than rent, petrol and a bit of food and that contributes to all of the economy.
            Those that didnt have Union influence were a nightmare for those not so qualified or those not so settled in NZ, I can assure you and those businesses never ever ran to their potential or even close! They bred a lot of resentment though.

            So what do these evil Unions want Daniel?

            Do they want laws that enhance their profits?
            No!
            Do they want laws that make the few individuals at the top of their organisation filthy rich?
            No!
            Do they want taxpayer money spent on them to enhance their personal profits
            No!
            Do they want safety laws relaxed to enhance their personal profits?
            No!
            Do they want slacker laws to enhance their personal profits?
            No!
            Do they want people to work zero hours (sorry, “flexible” hours)?
            No!
            Do they want employees to be paid poorly for their labour and be totally exploitable?
            No!
            Do they want their fellow New Zelanders to struggle to live?
            No!
            Do they want imbalance in our economy?
            No!
            Do they want businesses to do well?
            Yes
            Do they care about those who have no voice and who have little money?
            Yes!
            Do they give a shit about all New Zealanders?
            Yes!
            Does National?
            No, not at all, not ever!

            You are 40 years out of date. Unions are not the problem, a lack of them is.

      • James 4.1.3

        Curious to see Keiths reply to that.

  5. Ad 5

    The specific problem Labour will face by this coming weekend – which is the official launch of Phil Goff’s campaign – is a Mt Roskill by-election.

    Goff will not be able to campaign for the Mayoralty and be MP for Mt Roskill at the same time.

    This means resigning from Parliament, and forcing a by-election.
    An opportunity for one of the Usual Suspects from Mt Roskill electorate.

    More money from Labour’s coffers.

    • alwyn 5.1

      Are you willing to bet on this statement?
      “Goff will not be able to campaign for the Mayoralty and be MP for Mt Roskill at the same time”
      I would only put it at even money that he would resign from Parliament if he won the Mayoralty. Before then I think there is no chance.
      He has been at the tax-payer trough all his life, hasn’t he? Why do you think he will give up now?

      • Magisterium 5.1.1

        Surely Little would demand Goff’s resignation if he won the Mayoralty? Letting him double-dip would be giving National a free hit whenever it wanted.

      • Ad 5.1.2

        Yes I am willing to bet on that statement.
        I would expect the resignation within 48 hours after his actual announcement of candidacy this weekend.
        I’ve been wrong before, but he’s experienced enough to know you can only be one thing at a time. The campaign will be all-consuming.

        The pressure will come on long before he wins.
        In fact the media are already pursuing this as a story as of today.

        • alwyn 5.1.2.1

          A bet, given we are both anonymous, is obviously impossible.
          I will eat humble pie if it happens within 48 hours though.

          • Ad 5.1.2.1.1

            And I the same if it doesn’t happen after the launch this weekend.
            It will certainly be a story either way.

    • Daniel Cale 5.2

      There are whispers about Mt Albert as well…

  6. Peter 6

    When it returns to Labour values then it will get my contributions until then no chance.

    • Ad 6.1

      I tend to agree, but I’m starting to feel confused about what the Greens stand for as well.

      The overall test for my donor dollar now is whether it will change the world, and change the world the way I want.

      For example, I would currently prefer to spend say $5k per year with Forest and Bird than Labour, because their values has been consistent for decades and because I can just tell them what campaign I want it to go to.

    • Kiwiri 6.2

      hah!

  7. alwyn 7

    The Party must be rather sorry they treated Owen Glen so rudely.

    Remember at that University function where Trevor Mallard was delegated to prevent Glen getting anywhere Helen Clark? He jumped in the way and diverted Owen away from “She who must be obeyed” at every possible occasion.
    This was a man who had given them $500,000 for their campaign and then they treated him like a pariah. I wonder if they apologised whether he might forgive them? A donation like that would be worth an apology I would have thought.

    They could have followed the example of France’s Henry IV who said that “Paris is well worth a mass” and propose that $500,000 is worth an apology.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_IV_of_France#.22Paris_is_well_worth_a_Mass.22
    Worth a try do you think?

    • McFlock 7.1

      thanks for your concern

      • alwyn 7.1.1

        Any time young fellow.
        The party obviously needs a few original ideas.

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          So you offer tired tory tropes and obscure notes from french history? Let us know when you have an original idea.

          • alwyn 7.1.1.1.1

            You would do well to read some history.
            As Karl Marx said
            “History repeats itself, first (Goff) as tragedy, second (Cunliffe) as farce.”
            or from George Santayana
            “‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
            After 2017 the Labour Party, if they do not learn, may be listening to a triumphal chant of “Three more years”.

  8. indiana 8

    If Labour can’t manage their own finances effectively, how do people expect them to run the country’s finances?

    • Grindlebottom 8.1

      They’d then have a nation of captive contributors with statutory obligations to give their Government some money, lots of it, same as the current lot.

    • Leftie 8.2

      @indiana
      The Clark Labour government ran the country’s finances extremely well, way better than the failed Key National government.

    • les 8.3

      is borrowing 10’s of billions managing finances effectively?How hards that!

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    That’s just the way it goes when you represent ordinary workers and the poorer members of society.

    Actually, I’d say that was more because Labour don’t represent them and haven’t for a long time.

    If they wanted to represent them then they’d be building up a mass party with a weekly fee of $1 per week and full democratic choosing of policy.

  10. mary_a 10

    Most Labour supporters are struggling along as it is, on paltry and minimal incomes. There isn’t enough left over in the wallet after paying overheads and the like to enable them to live, let alone give donations.

    What Labour needs right now is a very generous benefactor, or benefactors, who believe in the party.

    • Clean_power 10.1

      You mean , the same sort of belief KDC had on Hone Harawhira?

    • Kiwiri 10.2

      Why would such very generous benefactor(s) believe in the party?

    • Chris 10.3

      “Most Labour supporters are struggling along as it is, on paltry and minimal incomes.”

      There are probably more beneficiaries voting for Key than struggling Labour supporters. That’s how fucked up things are at the moment.

  11. James 11

    People give money to causes they believe in. This really shoes people voting with their wallets.

    A few more by-elections, perhaps a leadership vote, its all going to be a downward spiral for labour if they start running extremely low on funds.

    Perhaps a new party on the left is required – something that people can get behind.

    I wonder how the greens coffers are looking at the moment.

  12. Antony Cotton 12

    While some of you think National walks on Water Hitler always said the big Liar the more people Beleive it and that is how Telfon John Key and Friends work say no more. We have a week Media in both TV Channels who are so biased why did they get rid of Campbell I have the answer he challenged Key to much we now have Gower Hosking to name a few in the media who making there own opinion in front of t.v screens right around NZ but this Government is not Bullet Proof.

  13. Thinking Right 13

    Surprise, surprise, Labour seem to spend a disproportionate amount of time representing/agitating on behalf of beneficiaries and criminals. Neither group are known for their possession of discretionary funds and/or the motivation to donate to Labour.

    Meanwhile by focusing on these two groups, the workers/small business owners who potentially could be open to donating tend to get put off as they are are often on the receiving end of offending by the criminal class.

    Not to mention that (rightly or wrongly) after working their butt off all week and having not much left over after paying the bills they tend to get pissed off when overpaid Politicians spout off that the non-workers/indigent should be up for more free hand outs.

    The secret for Labour to get more support is to agitate for their traditional supporters – look at bugging employers to be more generous with pay rises, tax cuts for low income earners, and even consider legislating for mandatory overtime rates.

    This would cement Labour as the worker’s representative – they could still do their bene/crim thing as well but just at a lower level.

    • Kiwiri 13.1

      Hello ‘Thinking Right’,

      In terms of cementing Labour as the worker’s representative, what do you make of retaining 90-day trial periods but making them fairer?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/70319219/Labour-would-retain-90-day-trial-periods-but-make-them-fairer-Little

      • Thinking Right 13.1.1

        I don’t have a problem with the 90 day trial law as it stands.

        I have been an employer and had to utilize it with one employee who starting taking time of without notice and when spoken to about it stated that she would carry on taking time off when ever she felt it was necessary and I would have to live with that.

        Was not good as other staff were suffering having to carry her job – no one knew if she was going to come to work in the morning.

        It got to the point where either I go down the track of putting her through the disciplinary process which would not have looked good on her cv or to explain to her that her social life was not compatible with her employment with us and I gave her her 14 days notice.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          Surprise, surprise, Labour seem to spend a disproportionate amount of time representing/agitating on behalf of beneficiaries and criminals.

          Firstly, fuck you and your self serving privilege.

          Secondly the real criminals in this nation are the ones who skim off the economic surplus from the hard work of others and refuse to pay Kiwis a living wage, as well as National Party enablers who are selling off the future of this nation so that they can add to their own worthless investment portfolios.

        • te reo putake 13.1.1.2

          “It got to the point where either I go down the track of putting her through the disciplinary process which would not have looked good on her cv or to explain to her that her social life was not compatible with her employment with us and I gave her her 14 days notice.”

          You’re quite a lazy fucker, aren’t you? The outcome was the same; she was going to be fired either way. However, if you’d gone through the disciplinary process you might have found out what was really going on. Dollars to donuts it wasn’t her social life that was getting in the way. More likely real life. Family, kids, illness, who knows? You could have ended up with a grateful, productive employee if you’d put some time into finding out why she needed the time off and worked together to find a way to manage it.

          But no, you tell us you were being charitable by firing her the easy way. You’re not a hero, you’re a grade A shit, pal.

    • Daniel Cale 13.2

      The Labour Party I supported in the past had a vision for NZ, a clear sense of its values, and a clear sense of fairness for all NZ’ers. Todays Labour Party is a shell, dominated by minority sector groups and deeply divided ideologically.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        Daniel Cale nothing you have written in the last couple of weeks passes the grade of being more than right wing tripe. Don’t even try, mate.

      • b waghorn 13.2.2

        Its a good thing that Little is unifying them and working on policy for the big issues coming our way then A!

  14. Michael 14

    Elections should have much more state funding.

    Ban corporate donations. (And you can ban union donations to make the idea seem balanced.) The Alberta NDP did the same thing; http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/alberta/alberta-passes-bill-banning-political-donations-from-corporations-and-unions/article25074664/

    If individual union members or individual corporate executives, for example, want to donate to a party, that’s fine. But cap their donations at, say, $1,000 each.

    And then on top of current subsidies, introduce a small donation matching subsidy. So each individual dollar donated (up to $50 per donation) gets matched by $5 of public funds. So if a person donates $5 to Labour, Labour gets $25 of public funds.

    This will allow parties to be funded by grassroots individuals – not the wealthy. It will level the playing field and bring funding of politics back to the people who matter: voters.

    • les 14.1

      you dont think some will find it easy to forward 1000 names donating $1000 each?

    • Tanz 14.2

      But then you have taxpayers financially backing political parties they don’t agree with or believe in, but their hand is forced. Undemocratic.

      • Anne 14.2.1

        Pfft. What a load of codswallop.

        What you would have are democratic elections where the playing field is more or less level and every political party has a fair and reasonable chance of getting it’s policy messages across to the voters – unlike the present situation where one political party commands the support of the 1% rich pricks, and has a grossly unfair advantage over all the other political parties. You call that free and fair elections? I don’t.

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    Thanks for the reminder; have now canned my AP to the Labour Party.

  16. TTD 16

    Do Labour party MP’s tithe some of their income to the Party like the Greens?
    10% of the wages as tithes would bring in 150,047 x 10% =15004 x 32 = 480150.4
    Job done.
    Enough to pay the wages of a couple of full time fundraisers eh?

  17. The Real Matthew 17

    I’ve long suspected the NZ Herald is a left wing publication and todays editorial leaves no doubt about it.

    It’s disgraceful that our national newspaper would run a soft piece trying to solicit donations for any political party.

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