web analytics


Written By: - Date published: 12:24 pm, April 16th, 2009 - 26 comments
Categories: election funding, labour - Tags: , , , ,

We should expect National as the political arm of business to surround itself with dirty money and conflicts of interest. As a self-proclaimed social democratic party Labour has no such excuse.


– What is Labour’s education spokesperson Chris Carter doing accepting election donations from a private college?

– Why is Shane Jones accepting money from possibly the most reactionary business family in New Zealand, the Talleys?

– And why was Labour’s then climate change minister David Parker accepting money from the Road Transport Forum?

One of the biggest problems of the last Labour government was that it kow-towed far too much to business at the expense of a lot of people who voted for them. It’s time Labour cut the cord with the business lobby and reconnected with its grassroots.

26 comments on “Questions”

  1. bobo 1

    This is bad.. Labour could be a long time in opposition if this is a growing trend, because the media spotlight doesn’t shine as bright on opposition MPs generally could they be getting sloppy already with the departure of Clark ?

    • Tane 1.1

      These donations were accepted under Clark. That’s not saying she knew of or approved them, but it’s not a Clark-era vs Goff-era issue.

      [captcha: $2,055,827 surplus]

      • bobo 1.1.1

        Any idea why the links have come out now surely the media would have been all over this when they were in government. Not that the media do much indepth digging unless its given to them on a plate.

  2. Johnty Rhodes 2

    bent fucking socialists, all greedy wankers.
    I am going to re-register dickhead and come back on, this is my 5th alias.

    [Tane: I’m going to have to let this comment through for its sheer “wtf?” value.]

    • jerry 2.1

      You should sore up the WTF comments and post them all up in a couple of months……sometimes I can’t help reading them and laughing out loud despite their complete bizarreness.

  3. Stephen 3

    ‘WTF – win!’

  4. Back to more serious things.

    This is what happens when you do not have state funding of political parties and the sooner that this is implemented the better.

    Politics is no longer the mass movement that it was back in the 1970s, TV and take out food have meant that any sort of community group has almost inevitably gone into decline.

    And the expectations on political parties are much higher. Running a party is no longer something that an enthusiastic amateur can do.

    So running a party has become more and more expensive. And campaigns are not cheap. You can no longer book 5 school halls and hope to by holding public meetings contact a significant number of your electors. They stay home in front of the idiot box and in any event MMP electorates are that much bigger.

    That is why all of the MPs have active fundraising activities. And money being offered without strings attached is of course accepted.

    By all means we should avoid developing a system where privilege and access can be bought. But we will need state funding to do so.

    • Rex Widerstrom 4.1

      This is what happens when you do not have state funding of political parties and the sooner that this is implemented the better.

      Think for a minute about what you’re saying here, micky. That our politicians are so corruptible, venal and power-hungry that they cannot be trusted to accept money from anyone because inevitably that money will buy the loyalty and integrity that rightly belongs to the people of New Zealand.

      So the people of New Zealand must reach into their far-from-bottomless pockets and offer our own, bigger, gratuities to buy that loyalty back.

      I’d argue instead that it’s time we completely re-engineered the way we select candidates and then elect them as MPs. That we establish an independent Commissioner of Parliamentary Standards based on the original UK model (not the emasculated one the politicians changed it to when too many of them were getting caught). And that we institute a harsh and punitive response to anyone who offers themselves for public office and then is found to have prostituted that office for personal gain – even if that gain is purely re-election.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        Hi Rex

        What I am saying is that a major party needs $2m and a MP $20k to run an effective campaign and donations currently constitute a significant proportion of these amounts.

        There is nothing illegal with the Transport Forum or Fletchers making donations. These have occurred for a long time and National in particular has benefited from this largesse.

        The worry is that donations may be linked to future expectations. The perception is not good and the best way to ensure that inappropriate pressure is not applied is to remove the need to rely on these donations.

        To achieve this state funding will be required. It is nothing unusual, Australia and Canada and even the US (!) have forms of state funding.

        Many kiwis already dig deep into their pockets. With state funding more will but it will be a lesser amount. My calculation is that it would probably be about $2 per citizen per election year. For that cost they reduce the effect of big business on the political process and I think it is cheap at the price.

        • Pascal's bookie

          All we need is a mechanism whereby each citizen directs where their 2$ goes and there goes most of the objections around public funding. Tick a box at enrollment time.

          • Felix

            I like this for several reasons – one of them being that MPs should be you know, doing, like, actual MP work for us and not running around collecting money for any reason.

            I don’t see how it prevents them from taking backhanders though.

          • ripp0

            Hi PB,

            You mean like tick and charge later, or tick to enroll..??

            The former could be passable though I’d guess a barcode or something had account data on it.. and I’m far from sure about any privacy issues arising therefrom..

            The latter, I could see lower enrollments unless a really strong public educational job had been done prior..

            or were we tongue-in-cheek here.. 😉

          • Pascal's bookie


            Nah, tick which pollie’s you want to get your already paid (via tax) share of the public funding.

            Have the tick separate, or detachable, from enrollment details to help with the privacy details. Or could mebbe have party membership as an optional extra to encourage the participation.

            The basic idea is to have public funding, without politicians deciding who gets funded how much.

            Outlaw other donations, especially from non natural persons.

          • jerry

            What about funding from the unions to political parties – surely that should still be allowable.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            All we need is a mechanism whereby each citizen directs where their 2$ goes…

            Bill & Ben must love you right now… 😛

          • Pascal's bookie

            jerry, I can’t see why they should be any different. At a guess I’d say they’d be happier not to feel they have to fund political parties. Care to explain?

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Hi micky… Yeah I accept what you’re saying and I accept that a) it’s not a lot of money in the scheme of things and b) it’s the quickest fix.

          But even if we were to adopt your suggestions I’d still like to see NZ also adopt mine. It’s just not good enough that we’re electing, to the highest court in the land, people whom we cannot trust to resist “fear nor favour”.

          And Felix makes the excellent point above that it wouldn’t stop politicians accepting additional money, under the table, from external sources.

          Additionally I’d ask whether you don’t in fact mean a candidate needs $20,000 to run an effective campaign? Or are we giving the incumbents a bigger advantage than they already have?

          If it’s candidates (and it seems the only fair answer is that it is) then mention of Australia is very relevant because Pauline Hanson is just the best-known of a large number of fruitcakes who stand for election and get paid per vote received. If, like her, you can get enough people to support you to get that figure up, but not enough to actually get chosen, you can be paid the equivalent of an MP’s salary while not doing their job (or indeed any work for the public at all). In Hanson’s case she received, I think, some $400,000 over the course of her personal campaigning (as distinct from monies paid to One Nation).

  5. senzafine 5

    For once Tane, I agree with everything you’ve said. Except perhaps the Dirty Money slur, but thats simply a matter of opinion!

    • lyndon 5.1

      Well, Friedlander said they gave MPs money so “[Forum] members in that area can go and talk to them about issues that affect our industry”.

      I suppose legally the question is whether the MPs see it that way, but it looks corrupt in that
      – if it’s not special access it should be free, and
      – if it is, they shouldn’t be selling it anyway.

      [hence – dirty money]

  6. I thought I had visited a different blog for a moment when I first read the post. I think tane is spot on and these dodgy donations are reprehensible.. Irrespective of whether it was a blue team or red team MP getting them.
    The inevitable call for public funding of parties is sickening. Pay us from the public purse or we will take backhanders from lobby groups?? Ummmm OK!

  7. Roger 7

    I don’t particularly like the idea that private donors might have some influence on policy. But if you don’t want private donations – presumably you want taxpayer-subsidies for political parties? How is the polling going on that?

  8. John E. 8

    What is going on here?

    Did any of these candidates exceed their spending limit? If Labour candidates do not accept donations, and National candidates do – when do we next expect to see a change in government?

    I am surprised that the group of National MPs with quite high donors was not mentioned here. I can’t remember who they all were, but donations from business of some $40,000 spring to mind. Think about it – what is the point of funding an individual candidate unless you think the INDIVIDUAL can do something for you in return. Perhaps these electorate MPs do more for favoured constituents than other MPs do. This would be the interesting or scandalous story if there was one.

  9. marco 9

    Just saw on the news and Worth is trouble again. It must be time for that muppet to fall on his sword, he is getting beyond a joke and hopefully Key shows some guts and axes him tomorrow.

  10. Trevor Mallard 10

    I also received a donation from the forum. I made it clear that the person who delivered the cheque, who is a major employer in Hutt South, had always had, and would continue to have easy access to me. As a major supporter of the development of rail network I don’t always agree with Tony Friedlander but local transport guys have a range of views – those with smaller trucks know that it will be better for them for the railhead for big containers to be in Wellington rather than Palmerston North. This requires enlarging tunnels so that the wagons with the big new shipping containers can fit through.

    We do need to move to state funding as in Aussie or parts of US system but it is not worth pretending the Nats are not going to raise more on top of that.

    $5k useful donation but because Hutt South pretty well organised and donation was late it effectively went into the 2011 camapign account. We of course did the right thing and put it into our levy in advance account with head office.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

No feed items found.

  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better access to books for blind and low vision citizens on World Braille Day
    "Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Today the Marrakesh Treaty and the associated amendments to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to send further firefighter support to Australia
    The New Zealand Government is sending a further 22 firefighters to help fight the Australian fires. “The devastation caused by these fires is taking a substantial toll on our Australian neighbours and we will continue to do what we can to assist as they deal with this extremely dynamic, dangerous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Reducing the cost of education
    Twenty-two more schools have opted into the Government’s policy of providing $150 per child to schools who don’t ask parents for donations– bringing the total number of schools in the policy to 1,585. The Ministry of Education has accepted late opt ins past the November 14 deadline from schools that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Road deaths lower in 2019, but still more work to do
    “As we enter the new decade, my thoughts are with the families, friends and communities of the 353 people who lost their lives in road crashes last year. While the number of deaths is lower than in 2018 (377), this is still a staggering loss of life,” Duty Minister Iain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year 2020 Honours recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated the diverse group of New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to the country and their communities in the New Year 2020 Honours List.   The list of 180 honours recipients includes three Dames and three Knights Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Justice Minister congratulates first Māori Supreme Court judge on New Year’s Honour
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has congratulated The Honourable Justice Joe Williams for receiving a knighthood for services to the state. Sir Joe Williams has been appointed as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year 2020 Honours List. “Sir Joe Williams has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Year honours for top sportspeople
    Twenty-one of New Zealand’s top sportspeople, coaches and leaders in the sporting community have been recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours List. The Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has been made a Dame Companion and the former All Blacks Steve Hansen has been made a Knight Companion of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Leading architect of Zero Carbon Bill honoured
    It’s great to see ordinary New Zealanders doing extraordinary things, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw today said in response to the news that Lisa McLaren is included in the New Year 2020 Honours List for her exceptional work leading the campaign for the Zero Carbon Bill. Lisa McLaren was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Social entrepreneurs and innovation leads Pacific contribution
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year 2020 Honours List highlights the valuable contribution Pacific social entrepreneurs and innovators make to New Zealand, the Pacific region and the world. “The standout common factor that underlines their contribution to Aotearoa is the value they place in their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Service to birds and bush recognised in New Year Honours
    Decades of dedication to Aotearoa’s unique birds, landscapes, and native eels is recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours List said Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “I’m delighted that the decades of dedication to conservation, and fantastic leadership in giving nature a helping hand is being acknowledged,” said Eugenie Sage. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer Economic Partnership with Singapore comes into force on 1 January
    New Zealanders will start to see the benefits of the upgraded Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) with Singapore from 1 January 2020, when the agreement comes into force. Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker said the agreement would open more opportunities for New Zealand companies looking to do business with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago