The Electoral Commission has just published the donations returns of parties for 2007. Up until December the old Electoral Act applied. Only donations to a party of over $10,000 get disclosed.
The totals for each party are:
- Maori Party $70,000
- Labour $1,030,446.39
- National 704,100
- Greens $181,046.23
- United Future $0
- Progressive $0
- ACT – not received as at 5 pm
- NZ First – not received as at 5 pm
Now who were the disclosed donors to each. In order:
Susan Cullen donated $70,000. Susan (who I have met) is probably best known for her work with Te Wananga o Aotearoa and according to the Herald is worth $30 million.
Do you remember how Mike “confused” Williams told us fundraising to repay the $800,000 was going so well, and in fact having to pay the money had given people the incentive to raise more money.
Well in fact they have effectively levied their MPs to bail them out. Looks proportional to salary. Clark gave $29,099.04 and 42 MPs gave a total of $661,568.40 which is an average of $15,035.65. So the MPs personally paid for around 80% the money the Auditor-General identified as illegally spent.
Other Individual donors were Chhour Lim Nam for $25,000. Steven Wong for $19,000 and Thomas Wang $14,188. Chhour appears to be involved in the Cambodian community, Wong is President of the Chinese Association, runs a potato chip manufacturer and was a potential Labour candidate in 2002. Wong also gave $23,000 in 2006. Wang is an Auckland businessman also.
Corporate donors were Toll NZ for $25,000, Fletcher Building for $20,000, Griffin Property for $20,000 and Westpac for $15,000.
But here is the big story. Despite spending all year railing against anonymous donations, and pledging they will stop them – they were at the same time accepting $150,000 from one anonymous donor and $50,000 from another. (and another $30,000 I missed earlier so that is $230,000)
But really the hypocrisy of spending all year railing against anonymous donations and then pocketing the largest anonymous donation a party has received since 1999 is breath taking.
Their donation return is not yet public. It may have just come in today (the due date). I am very very interested in that return.
Corporate donors are DMH Developments for $50,000, Fletcher Building for $20,000, Toll NZ for $25,000 and Westpac for $15,000. One individual donated $41,000 – Susan Zhou.
Two anonymous donations – $25,000 and $15,000.
Finally there were three Trust donations – $424,100 from the infamous Waitemata Trust, $69,000 from the Ruahine Trust and $20,000 from the Nationalist Trust. These are presumably the final donations from the Trusts, as the Electoral Finance Act (one of the few good parts of it, and not a part that was in the original Bill) removes any point in donating through a Trust. Generally the trust donations will be a collation of several or many individual donations the Trust has received – Waitameta could represent 21 $20,000 donations or seven $60,000 donations etc. Of course no one knows bar the Trustees, so it is good this will be the last return where one won’t know at least the size of any donations over $10,000.
I actually thought National would have received more donations than this, considering it was logical that some people would donate before the law changed.
The Green MPs had to dig deep also. Their six MPs donated an average of $19,812.71 for a total of $118,876.20. Jeanette gave most at $34,045.28.
Also big donations from Stuart Bramhall for $30,500, Christopher Marshall $18,670 and Cliff Mason for $13,000.
Bramhall is the contact for the New Plymouth Greens. Cliff Mason is a Pathologist who stood for the Greens in 1999.Tags: anonymous donations, Electoral Act, Electoral Commission, Electoral Finance Act, political donations