Gibbs donates $100,000 to ACT

April 28th, 2008 at 10:52 am by David Farrar

have announced today that they have received a $100,000 donation from .

This is one of the few laudable aspects of the , 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 was introduced to Parliament. 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.

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39 Responses to “Gibbs donates $100,000 to ACT”

  1. James W (271 comments) says:

    Interesting to see the party announced it, rather than leaving it to the Electoral Commission to do later on.

    They are being very upfront about it, which leads me to think they would have announced it regardless of the new Electoral Finance Act requirements.

    Good news nonetheless. I wonder if National will be concerned that one of their backers from 2005 has now so publicly endorsed Act. I wonder how many others will follow, or have followed.

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  2. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    The requirement to make immediate returns for large donations (>$20,000) was in the Electoral Finance Bill as introduced.

    [DPF: Oh yes, but they could still be anonymous or done through a Trust?]

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  3. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Good for ACT, and smart media handling too. Far better they be upfront about a big donation than risk all sorts of ongoing media about trying to hide donations.

    It also sends a subtle signal to centre-right free market voters that ACT is still in business. The reasonable coverage they’ll get will probably be worth around $20,000 of paid advertising, plus also help convince other big donors to contribute as well.

    However, I don’t think Gibbs was ever as National supportive as James W above suggested. I was under the impression that Gibbs was very much an ACT supporters and always was. Certainly, Gibbs is rich enough that giving $100,000 to ACT wouldn’t be a case of either/or. He could easily give another $100,000 to National, or whichever other party he thinks he would want to support.

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  4. Frank (320 comments) says:

    ACT almost disappeared at the last election because the media was predicting that a vote for the ACT Party was a lost vote.

    The Chief Electoral Officer and the Electoral Commission allowed the media to get away with this. So potential ACT Party votes went to National. Only Rodney’s Epsom seat saved ACT

    Act this time round are in a position to be in a position of strength. Transparency is a key word and they have yet to show this admirable quality when it comes to the Political Scene

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  5. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    just another “rich prick”

    wonder if he will lose car sales now :P can leftists afford new cars? maybe he will lose a govt fleet deal!

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  6. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    Another example of the law of unintended consequences.

    This is a brilliant move for ACT – not just the funding but the absolutely open announcement.

    Labour will be trying desperately to sneek through its union support as dribs and drabs but run the risk that if they are caught out (and they will be) that their subterfuge will be compared with the open integrity of both Act and Alan Gibbs.

    And this DPF post reminds the readers that Labour actually tried to remove the requirement for this kind of announcement from the EFA so they would not have to disclose their own donors.

    So the open announcement is already paying dividends, especially if bloggers click on the ScoopIt button.

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  7. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Party Vote ACT

    Constituient Vote National

    Tick the boxes

    Easy

    Result Socialists Greens Luigi first goners

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  8. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    DPF – yes they could, but even the existence of this information before the election – National just got another Trust donation, Labour just got another anonymous donation – would have been good. We might not have known who it was from, but questions could have been asked (and repeated donation from trusts wouldn’t have been a good look). Plus, anyone who donated openly – like Mr Gibbs – would have been outed pre-election.

    [DPF: True, but of course they could time them to be donated in the last week or so of the campaign. I do note that in the 1st quarter of 2008 there were no donation disclosures]

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  9. polemic (460 comments) says:

    I would have to concede that ACT are seriously getting their ‘act” together and National now needs to think tactically and guarantee to Act that they wont stand actively against Hide in Epsom.
    Then they will A) Guarantee a support partner for them selves and B) Ensure that Act party votes are not wasted.

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  10. Johnboy (16,529 comments) says:

    Come on guys be fair some Labour supporters are being upfront with disclosure didnt Owen Glenn say he wouldnt donate to Labour this time as he preferred being associated only with winners?

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  11. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I have no idea if OG said that or not, but he did loan them 100k to get a proper fundraising program going, so they might just get their massive donations from someone else, or just more small-medium donations than before…

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  12. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    lol why did i get a negative karma?

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  13. Zarchoff (100 comments) says:

    Frank, how do you justify the comment “Transparency is a key word and they have yet to show this admirable quality when it comes to the Political Scene” ????

    Surely ACT has done just that!

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  14. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    ACT are the rare honourable guys on the block in NZ politics…….

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  15. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Act anounces $100,000 donations and Labour forgets to mention them.

    Worth knowing.

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  16. Paul Marsden (998 comments) says:

    Its hard to imagine any well-heeled individual making a large donation to Labour, this time around.

    Who the hell wants to be associated with a loser..??

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  17. Johnboy (16,529 comments) says:

    “Who the hell wants to be associated with a loser..??”

    That must be why Mike Williams can’t get a directorship on a REAL company.

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  18. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    And good on Alan Gibbs. That is his democratic right. Just imo and a pity there are very few, if any, Green supporters who have a spare $100K – I’d have to mortgage my house to that extent to make a donation of that size, but probably chicken-feed to him.

    But as s DPF has said, at least it is now transparent.

    And, DPF, I agree with you re “I was one of those who submitted to Parliament in favour of not allowing anonymous donations over $10,000.”

    As, I think, the Green Party did, albeit with minor difference over the figure.

    But from what I’ve seen, we will still seriously disagree over “third-party” issues. There we may have to differ, because trying to write legislation to differentiate between what is a genuine third party advocate and what is the proxy for a political party is near on impossible. So I will still support reasonable, and registered, limits in third party election expenses.

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  19. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    And good on you, toad, for taking a realistic perspective. What the Greens lack in money they probably make up for in person-power, I’d imagine. I’m certainly not about to be swayed by the sight of Sir Rog in an “I only date Act supporters” t-shirt :-D

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  20. James W (271 comments) says:

    “I’m certainly not about to be swayed by the sight of Sir Rog in an “I only date Act supporters” t-shirt”

    Perhaps not, but I think I could be swayed by Act’s candidate in Auckland Central last election!
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/column/story.cfm?c_id=702&ObjectID=10345724

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  21. ghostwhowalks3 (368 comments) says:

    Whats the bet Gibbs in his spanish hacienda has the robot switch ACTivated for Roger Douglas.
    The $100,000 is just appearance money.
    Most likely there is another $250,000 going to some attack group to keep Winnie and or the Greens or Maori party out of the picture.
    And Wishart cant come cheap, all his pack of lies his being funded by Gibbs and Co.
    Don Brash arrived as National party leader with his cushions stuffed with Gibbs money ( thats why ACT did so poorly last time with a fraction of its usual $2 mill.

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  22. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    Ghost

    “Whats the bet Gibbs in his spanish hacienda has the robot switch ACTivated for Roger Douglas.
    The $100,000 is just appearance money.
    Most likely there is another $250,000 going to some attack group to keep Winnie and or the Greens or Maori party out of the picture”

    You are probably correct, and guess what, when it all comes out after the election they will simply change the law to make what was once illegal, legal…sound familiar?

    In other words……he who lives by the sword……

    BTW..can you tell me what is the difference between Owen Glenn giving 100k to dear corrupt leader and Gibbs giving the same amount to ACT?

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  23. Johnboy (16,529 comments) says:

    So the battle lines are drawn then ghostly. Helen in her Mt. Eden Villa is as we speak flogging off her other five properties so she can match the “rich pricks” dollar for dollar in the election funding. Small price to pay for someone who was born to rule even if we low-lifes don’t appreciate the sacrifices she has made for her beloved New Zealand. How much are you putting in by the way?

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  24. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    BB said: BTW..can you tell me what is the difference between Owen Glenn giving 100k to dear corrupt leader and Gibbs giving the same amount to ACT?

    Probably only that the law was different at the respective times. Owen Glenn’s had to be sniffed out, because the law allowed it to be hidden at that stage. Under the current law, Alan Gibbs’ has to be transparent.

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  25. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    BB said: Most likely there is another $250,000 going to some attack group to keep Winnie and or the Greens or Maori party out of the picture”

    And that is now illegal, BB, unless the advertisers declare themselves. Which, despite my reservations on the EFA, is one of the good things about it. Proxy advertising for political parties will be transparent. If there is another $250K (and it can’t legally be form just one source at that amount), at least we will know where the bulk of it comes from.

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  26. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    toad

    I bet Gibbs does not get a gong or is offered a seat at the cabinet table for his 100k

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  27. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    It was illegal last time toad, your mates Labour just changed the rules to make their illegal act legal and you bloody well went along with them!

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  28. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    BB, I’m not here to advocate for the Labour Party, so forget the attempts at suggesting collusion – I’ve got no mates there. A couple of their MPs were once my drinking buddies, but that’s now many years ago when we actually shared some values. I come on this blog to advocate for the Green Party, not to be an apologist for Labour.

    When Labour stuff up, I will say Labour stuffed up, just as I would for any other political party, including those of either right, left, libertarian, authoritarian, sustainable, unsustainable persuasion (or those like NZF and UF who have no political principles at all). I’ll criticise them. I’ll even admit to the Greens stuffing up on occasion – Metiria Turei and Sue Kedgley have both (slightly) embarrassed themselves with mistakes in questions in Parliament in the last 3 weeks.

    But with the EFA, I think Labour stuffed up with the detail, rather than the principles. And it cost Mark Burton his Cabinet post, although neither Helen Clark or he will ever admit it. It was an appallingly drafted Bill, but the Greens did their best to improve it, rather than oppose it, because it had meritorious principles. But it is still not what anyone (including, I suspect, the Labour Party, actually want).

    So, in Parliamentary legislative terms, I would advocate amendment, rather than repeal – and sooner rather than later.

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  29. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    I am not talking about the EFA, I am talking about retrospective legislation that you helped pass making illegal activity legal.

    There is NO justification for that.

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  30. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    BB, every political party (apart from the Jim Anderton’s Progressives and the Maori Party) technically breached the law, according to the Auditor-General’s report.

    But they had been advised by the Parliamentary Service re the rules, and followed that advice. Admittedly, Labour and NZF may have taken an excessively liberal interpretation of the Parliamentary Service advice to their own political ends, but every Party (other than NZF) has agreed to pay the allegedly spent money back and has done so.

    And it was still only the Auditor-General’s legal opinion upon this was based. It was an opinion that I, for one, thought was open to serious legal challenge. But in the interests of moving on, no Party decided to challenge it, and all but one have paid the money back.

    The retrospective legislation was a technicality, required to validate Government expenditure. This happens all the time when mistakes have been made when officials consider Government funds have been properly appropriated and it is later discovered they have not. Both National-led and Labour-led Governments have passed this sort of legislation over many decades.

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  31. James W (271 comments) says:

    “BB, every political party (apart from the Jim Anderton’s Progressives and the Maori Party) technically breached the law, according to the Auditor-General’s report.”

    toad,

    The Maori Party did as well. About $50 from memory :)

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  32. ghostwhowalks3 (368 comments) says:

    Big bruv Helen bought her house just off Dominion Rd in 1979, when it wast such a flash part of town- still isn’t, as its close by boarding houses
    The Houses in wellington ( she has been an MP since 82) and Christchurch ( used when Peter Davis worked at Canterbury University) have been personal residences.
    The home in Britain was a very recent inheritance. There is only one investment property in Rodney District.

    WE all know Key had 3 homes demolished or shifted to create his palace in Parnell, like some Russian oligarch.
    Then there is the TWO holiday homes. Only the home in wellington could be considered as a personal residence. There are apparently other properties as well.
    The famous rural property in Peak Rd Waimaku, where he lied about living there on his enrolment form may have been sold
    For other reasons he is a prick, but make your own mind up if hes rich

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  33. clintheine (1,570 comments) says:

    GWW. Naa, you’re just jealous. How dare John Key make a success of himself, get married, have a family and then take a pay cut so that he could try and improve NZ. Your justification and fawning over Clark just makes me ill.

    No wonder Kiwis are leaving enmasse in record numbers when there are people like you pointing their poisonous fingers at those who succeed.

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  34. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    Ghost

    You are an idiot, an idiot the refuses to see the similarities between dear corrupt leader and John Key.

    I note that you call him a prick, why is this?, I would wager that your faux dislike of the man is ideologically based, I have never met Key or (thank god) Clark but from my point of view one comes across as a sincere well mannered man who cares about people and the other comes across as a corrupt liar who will do “whatever it takes”.

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  35. ghostwhowalks3 (368 comments) says:

    Take a pay cut !!

    Dont make me laugh.

    He quit and was unemployed until becoming a MP.( like the kiwis he sacked when he got promoted to a job in Sydney)

    Under the Wall St system its up or out. And he had reached his glass ceiling

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  36. ghostwhowalks3 (368 comments) says:

    Corrupt liar ?
    I remind you of the emails he ‘didnt read’, of the enrolment form with the statuary declaration that you must have lived at the address for ‘at least a month’
    The Herald journalists to whom he denied something he had said on tape( amoung others)

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  37. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    Ghost

    How do you feel about the numerous lies of dear corrupt leader?, if you are genuine and not a mindless socialist you would have to be outraged at the endless lies dear corrupt leader has told the people of NZ.

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  38. ghostwhowalks3 (368 comments) says:

    Bruv , name one

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  39. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    GWW

    Oh you silly person…

    Lies about Doone, lies about signed painting, lies about smacking, lies about speeding, lies about the theft of 880k, lies about GE corn..want more?

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