This is one of the few laudable aspects of the Electoral Finance Act, that significant donors are identified. It helps removes the suspicion around political financing. Transparency is a good thing.
However it is worth remembering this is not why the Electoral Finance Bill was introduced to Parliament. Helen Clark stripped the draft bill of almost any provisions changing the law around donations. It was only after there was a public outcry that such provisions were put in, and even then the law was written to protect Labour’s anonymous donors by still allowing $240,000 of anonymous donations per election.
I was one of those who submitted to Parliament in favour of not allowing anonymous donations over $10,000. Labour’s law still allow anonymous donations of $36,000 at a time and a combination of anonymous and undisclosed donations allows someone to donate $66,000 in an electoral cycle and not be identified publicly.
So it is good to see some greater transparency due to the EFA, but that is despite Labour not because of them. They had no such provisions if the EFB which Cabinet signed off on.Tags: ACT, Alan Gibbs, Electoral Finance Act, Electoral Finance Bill, Helen Clark, political donations