The Herald reported yesterday on various donations to candidates and included:
A mystery entity called Toorak Chambers also gave $3000 each to National MPs Simon Bridges, David Bennett, Todd McLay, and Lindsay Tisch.
When questioned, one of the recipients said it was linked to the National Party and referred the Herald to the party’s headquarters.
They today cleared up the mystery:
Meanwhile, the mystery of $3000 donations to several National MPs from “Toorak Chambers” has been cleared up. Toorak Chambers is an incorporated society which owns a building in Hamilton.
The “donations” were effectively a dividend from profits to the members – National’s central North Island electorate branches.
As a political party is an unincorporated society, major assets such as buildings are always vested in an incorporated society as this is a legal body corporate. So basically the “donations” are rental income. Nothing sinister at all. Toorak Chambers even has its accounts online. The constitution is also online, making it very clear it is the property arm of the CNI Region of the National Party.
Nothing wrong with the Herald reporting of Toorak Chambers. It was responsible, and once they had the full info, they published it.
No Right Turn jumped to conclusions:
National’s response to the Electoral Finance Act, or any attempt to regulate political donations, is to claim that transparency is enough. Then, in practice, they evade and undermine that transparency, using corporate fronts to shield the identity of donors. These are the actions of a dishonest, hypocritical, dirty party with something to hide.
We await the unreserved apology. I am not holding my breath.Tags: National, No Right Turn, NZ Herald, political finance