National’s donation spin

Written By: - Date published: 2:03 pm, July 17th, 2010 - 29 comments
Categories: class war, election funding - Tags:

Radio New Zealand Political Editor Brent Edwards is reporting that National is denying it has donation problems and is pointing to the fact that it’s already raised more this year than it did in 2008 (sorry – no link for the 2008 comparison, I heard it on the wireless).

Raising more money in a middle year than in the last election year might seem like a bit of a triumph but this is more a case of comparing apples with oranges.

That’s because in 2008 the Electoral Finance Act was in place and with it came much greater transparency for donations.

National and its backers saw that this was happening and responded by getting the big money in early. You can see this in the year on year donations:

2004: $330,077.00
2005: $1,881,793.00 (No Brash, No Cash)
2006: $169,666.00
2007: $704,100.00
2008: $201,0001
2009: Nil
2010: $369,000 so far

What you can also see is the fact National hasn’t exactly been raking it in. In fact in the two years since the election they appear to have only gathered $369,000 – that’s less than a fifth of what National spent on the 2008 election and with a July election looking more and more likely it means they’ve got a lot of money to find in just 12 months.

And the returns for party donations exceeding $20k (which have to be lodged within 10 days) also show that the large business donations haven’t come in at all.

I imagine that this will change now Key is giving business the wage-lowering law it’s been pushing for since the Nats gained power.

29 comments on “National’s donation spin”

  1. Emp 1

    national doesnt need big donors like labour did with owen glenn and the velas (consul general job or racing industry benefits anyone?), because they have hundreds of people giving a couple of thou each which isn’t declared. labours in the shits with money because they pissed of glenn and the velas and nobody thinks they will win the next election anyway.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      Donations over $1000 have to be declared. And anyway, the $369,000 figure isn’t from an official declaration but from National’s own accounts (thanks Cameron Slator) and so includes all those sub-$1000 donations.

      • Emp 1.1.1

        No they dont bill, read up on electoral law, only donations over 10k need to be declared, 1k is the limit to individual electorate orgs.

        • IrishBill 1.1.1.1

          That’s an academic argument anyway because the figure I quote includes all donations.

        • $1k is the individual candidate limit, not the electorate limit, There used to be separate electorate disclosure, but now donations to electorates are supposed to be aggregated by the national party.

          • IrishBill 1.1.1.2.1

            Yeah, I realise that. Thanks there Graeme. Don’t know what we’d do without you.

  2. TightyRighty 2

    Maybe it could illegally spend some taxpayers money to get their message out at the next election? they are on the treasury benches after all.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      Is that the best you can do? Because by misdirecting like that you really look like you’ve got no argument.

      I assume this means you agree that National’s attacking workers’ rights to get their business backers back on side?

      • TightyRighty 2.1.1

        it was just a pithy comment reflecting on a period not to long gone in our political history. I know you are such a political creature that you have to question any and all motives, but it wasn’t meant as misdirection. For the record I would be appalled if National performed such a dishonest act.

        I actually do agree with the proposed workplace changes that national is making as I have seen first hand the effectiveness of the ninety day bill. I know that when the bill was first introduced I was firmly in favour of it being only for small businesses. now I see how good it is for workers and employers, and therefore i see no problem with extending it’s reach. It’s not an “attack on workers rights”. Hysterical posturing like that doesn’t help the debate. It’s addressing the level of risk that an employer has when taking on new employees.

        As to union access? well, two minds about that. I genuinely distrust the union movement and believe that in general it is a hindrance to workers, rather than the guardian angel you view it as. I also think union employees are scabs, as evidenced by the unite union in Britain. But, it exists, and in New Zealand, it can do some good for workers and employers. I think union access should be at the discretion of the employee’s, by majority decision, as opposed to at the discretion of the employer. There does need to be clear guidelines as to when a visit is appropriate, and I am fairly sure there already is.

  3. Oscar 3

    Lowering wages? That can’t be right. We are are supposed to be catching up with Australia.Or is that only for the top 10%?

  4. In fact in the two years since the election they appear to have only gathered $369,000

    No, they seem to have declared only $369,000. There’s a difference.

    OTOH, declared donations are likely to be indicitive of overall donations. But OTGH, it may be normal for this phase of the political cycle (I’d like a longer sample period before I made a judgement on that).

    • IrishBill 4.1

      I’d be the first to agree that the declarations are different to actual donations and I think a nil return for 2009 is a bit sus but the $369k figure is from the accounts published by Cameron Slater and as such is more reliable than usual declarations.

  5. Emp 5

    bill that doc doesn’t say how much nats have raised frmo central party fundraising, only that 369 is from electorate funds. read it again, your whole argument is bunk budddy.

    • IrishBill 5.1

      So you’re arguing that there are a whole lot of small donations, made to the central party (not via the branches) that amount to a decent war chest? Despite the claims of a National Party insider that bugger all central fund-raising has been done?

      And by the way you’re banned for your little tantrum this morning (and for the fact I’m pretty sure I’ve banned you under another handle before) but you may as well close out your argument on this thread.

      • Emp 5.1.1

        oh yeah slater is such a national party insider, gee look at his predictions for board, wrong on all counts.

  6. roger nome 6

    Wonder if they’ll be drinking the PM’s swill at their plotting against the poor party.

    • ak 6.1

      Oh they’ll be merry all right Rog – a stage-managed media fest, a flutter on the tables, the rah-rah tonight and to top it all off the greatest invitation and licence to abuse and profit in decades.

      Tory heaven. Aptly celebrated in the den of the devil and related to the masses by the whores of Babel.

  7. Irish

    This issue has actually got me very worried.

    Under the Electoral Finance Act (remember that?) there was an obligation for third parties to file donation returns. People may recall the huge attack the right made on the EFA alleging it was an attack on free speech but they were wrong. It was an attack on expensive speech, the sort that ordinary kiwis cannot afford.

    The third party disclosure rules, aimed at the Exclusive Bretheren and the Waitemata and Ruahine Trusts that the Nats used were discarded. There is no longer an obligation to say how much money is being amassed or spent on the Nat’s campaign by third parties.

    What is the bet that these trusts and maybe others are sitting on a pile of cash, ready to spend?

    I cannot believe that the nats’ funding lines have dried up. Key is far too popular.

    I think the money has been diverted into bodies who do not have to tell us how much they have or where they got it from. Prepare for an onslaught.

    • loota 7.1

      Your warning is apt. This would be a typical “we’re so clever on the Right” shell game.

  8. luva 8

    And with out a doubt the Unions will provide cash to Labours coffers on the proviso there is sufficent anti business policy adopted.

    Cash for policy concessions is hardly a scandal.

    On second thoughts 2011 is already a dead waste so they will probably spend their money on worthy causes. I don’t think the current train wreck that is the Labour leadership is a worthy cause. Hold off until the next cycle when hopefully the dead wood will be gone and a new invigorating inspirational labour party will be worth investing in.

  9. It is such an even battle. The Trade unions verses Telecom, Fletchers and a myriad of multinationals. They have the same amount of money available, hahahahahahahahaha

    If the next campaign is going to be a train wreck the Nats should open up the books for the Waitemata and the Ruahine trusts and any other trusts that will support or advertise for them so the population at large can gauge the relative financial strengths of the parties.

    • luva 9.1

      Are you trying to say Labour does not receive donations from large companies and rich foreign doners?

  10. Wingnut diversion alert.

    So luva

    The Nats declared no donations last year and not many this year.

    Does this mean:

    1. They are going broke?
    2. They are diverting their finding into trusts that are no longer covered by the Electoral laws so that kiwis will no longer know how they are funded?

  11. luva 11

    Why is it a diversion to suggest cash for policy concessions is not a scandal. That is what my orginal post was.

    I have no idea why they didn’t declare donations last year. I think they should because they should not be ashamed of who gave them cash. They have absolutley nothing to hide.

    They are proudly a party that stands for the interests of business. Therfore it is hardly a scandal that business will lobby hard and wave cash in their faces as part of that lobby.

    • Juan Manuel Santos 11.1

      It is a scandal so long as National refuses to recognise publicly that it is the political wing of the business class. The moment they start to campaign on that basis you can pretend there’s nothing to see here.

  12. ak 12

    Are you all havin a larf? Are you seriously suggesting that the Party of Money is hard up for cash?

    Get real and accept it. They bought the media years ago. Espiner and Garner were repeatedly on the piss with Key FFS. With utter impunity. There is no independent Fourth Estate.

    Mining showed the way: this interweb thing, the street and the letterbox. Wave petitions, go door-to-door and get South Auckland to fill in their postal vote, or forever hold your piece.

  13. Pete 13

    “The third party disclosure rules, aimed at the Exclusive Bretheren and the Waitemata and Ruahine Trusts that the Nats used were discarded. There is no longer an obligation to say how much money is being amassed or spent on the Nat’s campaign by third parties.”

    Yeah keep an eye on the upcoming elections in Australia.Im picking it will quite likely turn into a real circus.Will some dare want to let a Woman who`s also a unmarried atheist in for another whole term?.

    • loota 13.1

      Gillard will get away with it because she has signalled to the Right and to the Conservatives that what she does in her private life, and the policies she will promote in her public life, are going to be two completely separate and isolated things.

  14. Pete 14

    Loota yes quite likely.But what i was thinking more about is what involvement will the Exclusive Brethren have this time around.Id say they dont really like or trust atheist prime minister and a unmarried atheist might seem even more scary special when a woman.Im just interested to see what happens.Id say Key might be crossing his fingers that the brethren behave themselves.

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