The Electoral Commission has published the list of “big” donations each party received in 2008, big being over $10,000 in value. So which parties got the most big money?
- Labour got $431,917 in big donations. Their biggest individual donor was the Vela Family who gave them $100k. The unions gave $117,500 and individuals (mainly from arts/culture sector) gave $134,830. Also a total of $60,000 from corporates and lobby groups, $10,587 from Helen Clark and $9,000 anonymously through the Electoral Commission.
- ACT got $315,906 in big donations. John Boscawen gave $101,000, Alan Gibbs $200,000 and $14,906 from Virtual Bucket Ltd!
- National got less than half as much as Labour in big donations. They got $207,001. John Key put in $30,000, some other individuals $30,001, $70,000 from corporates and a lobby group, and $77,000 anonymously through the Electoral Commission.
- Greens were 4th largest for total big donations on $184,693. These were all individual donations with MPs putting in 70,725 and others $114,238.
- NZ First got (assuming this return is accurate – the last three years were not) $111,999. The Velas gave $100,000 to their favourite boy and Sir Patrick Hogan also gave his thanks with $11,999.
- The Family Party had $88,044. Destiny Church handed over $10,926, Paul Adams $41,037 and an Elias Kanaris $36,081
National’s level of “big” donations is very small. Part of that will be that some gave in 2007 (2011 will be interesting) but part is that the vast majority of National’s revenue comes from smaller donations. The members alone contribute between $1.5 and $2.0 million a year in small donations I would estimate.
Also somewhat amusingly, NZ First broke the law – again! They received a $2,190 donation from a foreigner on 22 October 2008. As it exceeds $1,000 it has to be paid to the Electoral Commission within 20 working days. They only paid it over on 12 December 2008.
Labour also received an overseas donations in excess of $1,000. They got $10,000 which they had to give up.