NZ First gets some hefty donations from National donors

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, August 15th, 2023 - 30 comments
Categories: election 2023, national, nz first, winston peters - Tags:

As I have commented previously National and Act have built up impressively large war chests this year.

Clearly the wealthy amongst us want to preserve their privilege.  Even Labour’s fairly middle of the road incrementalism is to them a threat.  One wonders at the response a full throated Jeremy Corbyn style return to socialism type Government would cause them.

But recently there is a new party that is in favour.  Another party that is not even in Parliament which has attracted some pretty major donations.

Can I present to you New Zealand First’s very recent filings of donations over $30,000.

There are other donations this year from people who appear to normally be National or Act supporters including the following:

  • $50,000 from Wyborn on June 23.
  • $50,000 from AJR Finance Ltd on 8 May.
  • $50,000 from John Bayley on 27 April.
  • A further $20,000 from Dave Muller on 1 May.
  • $50,000 from Trevor Farmer on 13 April.
  • A further $50,000 from Wyborn on 3 April.
  • The estate of Hugh Barr has also made significant donations although clearly pursuant to a will and not necessarily part of recent activity.

Who are these paragons of virtue willing to fund a party that has more than a whiff of anti vaxxer about it?

Max Rashbrooke has this to say about one of the donors.

The column Rashbrooke referred to said this:

There’s little confidence Luxon can secure the necessary votes for a National-Act coalition. To the contrary, National’s vote usually falls during an election campaign, even with a popular leader like Key. Luxon’s negative net favourability is not just a problem in itself, but indicates that when people get to know him, they are more likely to dislike than to like him.

The big idea now is to get behind NZ First, including Shane Jones in Northland.

Links between NZ First and the business figures Winston Peters used to condemn grew through lobbying activity to get him and Jones to block Robertson’s capital gains tax and force Jacinda Ardern to rule it out for as long as she remained Prime Minister.

Those links, and the money and advisers that come with them, plus bad blood after the 2017-20 coalition and NZ First’s need to play the field to remain credible long-term as the centrist kingmaker, make backing National this time a dead cert.

Peters would again become Foreign Minister, while the party leadership would pass to Jones, to assure its continuity when Peters retires.

NZ First’s new strategists, including some who have been successful in national politics since the 1970s and are familiar with Northland, point to its vote being split among incumbent Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime, Democracy NZ’s Matt King, Act’s Mark Cameron, National’s Grant McCallum and the Greens’ Reina Penney.

Crucial, they think, will be the 10,000 or so voters who switched from Peters in 2017 to Prime in 2020. If Jones wins them back instead of McCallum, NZ First is back – and Luxon becomes Prime Minister.

Trevor Farmer is also well known for his largesse to right wing parties.  John Bayley is a director of Bayley Corporation Ltd which has made significant donations to National in the past.  Time prevents me from commenting in detail about the others.

This has the same feel as the recent Auckland mayoral campaign where large amounts of money sloshed around various right wing candidates until matters were resolved by withdrawals and what appears to be some sort of accommodation between the contestants.  And it is no surprise that Christopher Luxon is refusing to rule out an accommodation with NZ First.

Winston has done Labour a deal by stating it will not support Labour.

Clearly we are looking at a three headed monster on the right with National, Act and NZ First facing the possibility of some sort of accommodation between the parties.

Talk about a coalition of chaos …

30 comments on “NZ First gets some hefty donations from National donors ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    Shane Jones. Ugh. Gotta wonder who would vote for him? There must be more Left voters up there.

    I still see ACT's antipathy towards Winston/NZ First as the circuit breaker halting a NActFrst chaos monster.

    Cmon Left !

  2. SPC 2

    It's a National strategy to enable NZF to block a NACT coalition government.

    Their goal a National led government with c and s from the other 2. That is how they governed 2008-2017.

    • DS 2.1

      In 2008-2017, ACT was a vassal party. Now ACT and NZ First could quite possibly get 20% of the vote between them. That's real power.

  3. Blazer 3

    NZ Firsts policies will have alot of appeal to swinging voters-A sample of a 29 point policy manifesto.

    New Zealand First will commit to a 20-year agreement with Tiwai Point, with a 10-year review, for a fair electricity cost for the smelter based on the cost of supply and a respectable margin….

    We support moving the Ports of Auckland operations to Northport and establishing a Naval base in the area.

    We will take GST off basic foods including fresh food, vegetables, meat, dairy, and fish.

    We will establish a dedicated gang prison to minimise prison recruitment of non gang members.

    • KJT 3.1

      Don't see NZF getting any of that into practice in coalition to NACT.

      I can see that the prospect of NZF being a "handbrake" on the nutters in ACT could appeal to some.

    • weka 3.2

      I stripped out all the formatting code from your comment (because it was a bit of a mess), in the interests of redability, and replaced it with the simple <blockquote > tag. That's the on that looks like a " in the edit box, the best one to use for copypasta.

    • alwyn 3.3

      The final item you quote, about a dedicated prison for all gang members might be a bit hard to achieve. All the gang members in a single prison? I wish Puckish Rogue was still commenting. As a Corrections Officer he might be able to give an informed comment on what it would be like.

      • Hunter Thompson II 3.3.1

        A gang prison would probably result in a gang HQ. a sort of national communications centre (prisoners are allowed cellphones, apparently) so they can run their drug empires from their cells.

        I favour solitary confinement. Read the book "Papillon" for some background on that approach.

  4. miravox 4

    Clearly we are looking at a three headed monster on the right with National, Act and NZ First facing the possibility of some sort of accommodation between the parties.

    Any word on National gifting Epsom to David Seyour this time around (he's going to win it anyway)? It complicates things that Seymour absolutely rules out Peters and Brooke van Velden making a play for Tamaki. Maybe some National voters will beleive ACT is less flakey than NZ First? If so, they clearly, they haven't looked at ACT's backbenchers.

    It won't just be a coalition of chaos, it's a melding of inexperience, hippocracy, conspiracies, contradicting ideologies and fundamentalist religion.

    If that's not a good reason to go vote for someone else, we're in big trouble.

  5. Hell will freeze over b4 Winston has anything to do with ACT.

    • DS 5.1

      There's a chap with horns and wings purchasing ice-skates as we talk.

      The 2023 incarnation of Winston Peters has utterly abandoned any residual opposition to neoliberalism. He straight-out doesn't care about economics any more (indeed, one would have thought Covid border closure a great excuse for Think Big 2.0. But Winston did not go there).

      This incarnation of Winston is Culture War, Conspiracy Theories, and Crushing the Woke. It's his foray into genuine far-rightism.

      ACT meanwhile are no longer the party of the business community and campus libertarians. They're the party of farmers, especially in the South Island.

      ACT and Winston still appeal to different voter bases (ACT is well-off rural areas in the South. NZF is downtrodden rural areas in the upper North). But they can certainly work together, egos aside. Maori are in for a rough three years with those two.

      • You_Fool 5.1.1

        Oh sweet summer child… winston is as Winston has always been… all about Winston and he will agree with anything that gives him power

        • DS

          In this case, he thinks he can get power via jumping in with the Rightist Nutters. He ain't going to turn up his nose at ACT.

          • SPC

            If Peters gives c and s to a NACT government, his legacy is dead.

            If Peters joins a coalition involving ACT, his legacy is dead.

            He and Dunne have kept the right and the left out of government coalition (one exception 1999-2002 – and the Herald led neo-liberal middle class resistance in the winter of discontent 2000 and then demanded in a 2005 editorial that Greens be kept out of government – Labour-NZF coalition 2005-2008).

            • Ngungukai

              Hell will have to freeze over before he gets into bed with Seymour Butt and the ACT Party.

      • Daniel Tither 5.1.2

        I have heard plenty of criticism toward the neoliberalist leanings of National and ACT this year from NZFirst.

        NZFirst are also proposing investment into more infrastructure (Tiwai Point, Marsden Point, ports, roading, etc.). Some infrastructure can be said to have been neglected by both Labour and National governments (Labour are still more than happy to waste money of course).

        There is nothing "far right" about Winston's positions, but there may be something "far left" about some attitudes in this country. Maybe you've spent so much time in a modern English speaking countries (where society and culture are in decay thanks to constant destructive left wing influences) that what is abnormal now appears normal.

        I don't think ACT have changed as much as you've described, but you're probably right that they've picked up wider support from more sectors, including some from the agricultural sector, but not exclusively.

        Between National, ACT and NZF, there will be areas of common ground. One of the key areas of commonality this year is their mutual opposition to co-governance to varying degrees.

        There will be some social and economic differences. But that should make for a more interesting centre-right government in my view.

        • weka

          DS said,

          This incarnation of Winston is Culture War, Conspiracy Theories, and Crushing the Woke. It's his foray into genuine far-rightism.

          That doesn't mean NZF are far right. It means that Peters/NZF are now courting the far right via the growing a political force in NZ that covers as DS said, conspiracy theorists, anti-wokeists, and the hard core culture war mongers. The connections between that and the far right are very clear. Anyone voting for NZF on the basis that some of their policies are centre right, really shouldn't be ignoring this aspect of what Peters is doing.

          I recommend reading this if you haven't already, plus the link in it to Mitchell's piece on Stuff,


          • Ad

            Far better they were represented in Parliament than not represented at all; the alternative is a growing disenfranchised underclass. And we now know what happens when they don't get listened to in Parliament. And no that's not a threat, it's a basic democratic function.

            • weka

              I agree. As much as Peters fucked MMP and will continue to do so as long as he can, I still believe that increasing representation is key to getting through this mess.

              I also think it's imperative that we name the bullshit Peters is doing so that lefties thinking he's a better vote than Labour might come to their senses.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          "Maybe you've spent so much time in a modern English speaking countries (where society and culture are in decay thanks to constant destructive left wing influences) that what is abnormal now appears normal."

          So when were they at their best? From whence are we in decay and is it left or right wing policies that have led us there.

          In the 1960's when we had full employment, universal state assistance such as family benefit and sufficient state housing to house the poor and the working class as well as high home ownership rates – but it was legal to beat and rape your wife, hit children and homosexuality was discriminated against.

          In the 1970's when experiments were being run on people at Lake Alice and we locked up our disabled citizens..

          In the neo-liberal 80's when masses of hard working people lost their jobs, much state assistance was abolished, state assets that generated an income for sold off at a pittance meaning the states main source of revenue became the tax payer and that income now went into the private sector but at least you could buy 20 different brands of baked beans at the supermarket. Abuse was rife in state run and church run institutions and business rorting resulted in the 1987 sharemarket crash.

          Or the 2,000's where we built our economy on increasing debt and mass immigration to suppress wages and have cash inflow and created a massive shortage of housing leading to the current homelessness and poverty.

  6. Mr Nobody 6

    Are you sure these people are Traditional ACT/National Supporters? None of them have made donations to either of those parties since based on the information at the below Electorial Commission links or is there some other source?

    Donations Exceeding 20K
    Donations Exceeding 30K

    I must admit I found it interesting looking at the information and seeing that while Companies, Unions and Trusts make up 44% of its donations and only 40% for the Green Party they only make up 8% for the National Party and 15% for the Act Party.

  7. Mike the Lefty 7

    The puzzle to this all is that Seymour and Peters APPEAR to withdraw in horror at the suggestion they could work work together along with National.

    But, of course, appearances can be deceptive.

  8. weka 8

    this is probably the most depressing thing I've read all year (barring climate).

    Any thoughts on strategy in response?

  9. Ad 9

    If only Labour had any major donors. Let alone as many as NZFirst.

  10. Incognito 10

    The NZ First Foundation is still under a cloud.

    In December 2022 the Court of Appeal assigned a one-day hearing date of 5 September 2023.

  11. joe90 11

    $50,000 from Wyborn on June 23.


    $50,000 from Trevor Farmer on 13 April.

    A further $50,000 from Wyborn on 3 April.

    Receipts in the thread.



    Mark Wyborn and Trevor Farmer applied for consent to take 71 million litres of water a day out of the Waikato River for their 26,000ha dairy farm. The Ministry for the Environment declined their application. Since then, they have donated $750,000 to National, ACT and NZ First.

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