Trust donations legal

The nonsense from Hager and the Greens about donations through trusts to being illegal, has been rejected by the Electoral Commission. This was no surprise to people who know the law.

Labour of course says it will change the law to reveal the ultimate source of money to organisations who donate to a party. They’re welcome to try but may find it difficult to get wording which doesn’t have unforeseen consequences.

For example such a law might require a union which donates to Labour to reveal the source of all of its funding. That would be interesting. If a Maori trust donated to the Maori Party, that trust may have to reveal all the sources of its funding. If a leftwing lobby group gives money to Labour, their books need to be opened up. If Greenpeace donates to the Greens, then Greenpeace has to reveal all of its funding arguably.

And how far back will the law demand ultimate sources of funding? What if a person donates to a trust which donates to a lobby group which donates to a political party. Would the law extend all the way back to include the person who donated to the trust?

I await with interest to see exactly what the Government proposes.