Owen Glenn pledges $100m to New Zealand Youth

September 4th, 2011 at 1:58 pm by David Farrar

3 News reports:

Businessman says he plans to donate a $100 million to youth and education in New Zealand, but it comes with one condition.

The man who donated half a million dollars to the Labour Party prior to the 2005 general election says he is now back the National Party.

Mr Glenn says the money would be invested from primary school through to tertiary education, and beyond to help New Zealand market its products and services overseas.

He says is worried about the way forward for New Zealand when it comes to growing the country’s wealth.

The 71-year-old worries that our politicians could be bereft of ideas and meaningful policies and he also worries that New Zealanders are lacking vitality and get-up-and-go.

The ex-pat entrepreneur who once lived in a state house in South Auckland has made a fortune, ranking sixth equal in this year’s NBR Rich List.

He has also given millions to Kiwi causes, from the Christchurch quake recovery fund to university business school education.

That is a stunningly generous pledge. He made it on The Nation yesterday.
Glenn isn’t so much backing National, as he is not backing Labour and NZ First. He said he has no confidence in either of those parties. He did say he likes some of what the Greens say, thinks John Key is a good Prime Minister and that ACT have some good policies also.
Glenn was of course previously Labour’s biggest donor. And his fall out with them is because he committed an unforgivable sin – he told the truth. On oath to the Privileges Committee he told the truth about his $100,000 donation to help Winston, and he had proof with phone logs and e-mails. Peters and his lawyer were exposed at blatant and repeat liars.
Labour had a choice with the Privileges Committee. They could either vote to say that Owen Glenn was telling the truth (and his version of events was 100% supported by the evidence) or they could vote to say that Winston was telling the truth (despite the fact his version of evidence was contradicted by the evidence). They chose Winston over Owen Glenn, and alienated a man who had been their biggest supporter.
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57 Responses to “Owen Glenn pledges $100m to New Zealand Youth”

  1. Mark (496 comments) says:

    Dont understand why he supported Labour in the first place.

    Under 9 years of Labour they crushed productivity in this country and wasted nine years which we are only starting to recover from now.

    NZ under Labour went unto recession prior to the financial crash and if you looked at the productive sector of the economy that went into recession in 2005.

    All Labour ever had was the poltics of envy and division.

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  2. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    Mr Glenn is very generous and was treated in a despicable manner by Labour and NZ First, alright.

    I am puzzled, though as to how he can reconcile having been so generous to Labour previously with what he implied in the video link that his pledge was contingent on Labour not being in government (not that there is much chance that they would in 2011 anyway.)

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  3. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    @Mark: Glenn says why he supported Labour in 2005 in the interview:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Multi-millionaire-businessman-now-backs-National/tabid/419/articleID/224472/Default.aspx

    DPF: minor point. Is saying “I tell you who I won’t vote for, it would be Winston and Labour” the same as suggesting no confidence in Labour or NZ first? I’m unlikely to vote for Act this time around (have in the past) but that doesn’t mean I have no confidence in them. (I suspect you’re correct about Mr Glenn’s feelings, but one shouldn’t put words in his mouth.)

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  4. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    @Rodders: As I said in GD earlier, IMO the “only if National get in” statement was something that SP suggested rather than a definitive statement by Mr Glenn.

    [DPF: But one he agreed with]

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  5. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    I understand Owen gave money to Labour as a way of evening up the dosh available to them in comparison to what Nat and Act had. Maybe wrong.
    I have been out for a few hours so haven’t checked if the left have rubbished him again .. will go check

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  6. dime (10,100 comments) says:

    “DPF: minor point. Is saying “I tell you who I won’t vote for, it would be Winston and Labour” the same as suggesting no confidence in Labour or NZ first? ”

    It is when youve gone from being their biggest donor to “i wont for them”

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  7. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    I did like the comment re. Clark about not even knowing what she is doing.

    Owen Glenn strikes me as a chap with a lot of money and no real agenda other than trying to do some good. I would hate to have to try and box is politics from the answers he gave but clearly he wants to do some good on a case by case basis and he should be lauded for that.

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  8. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    @Lefty liberal – if you re-watch the last part of the interview Mr Glenn’s responses seem to imply that. It’s his money, of course but it does make him appear somewhat like the Vicar of Bray.

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  9. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    This 2008 post is well worth reading re Mr Glenn’s previous comments about his donations to Labour
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/02/serious_issues_regarding_owen_glenn.html

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  10. RandySavage (222 comments) says:

    Owen Glenn is a giant douchebag. Seriously anybody who has met the man will tell you that

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  11. gump (1,661 comments) says:

    I have a lot of respect for Owen Glenn. He’s an astute businessman and entirely deserving of his success.

    However it’s easy to be generous when your business affairs are operated within a notoriously secretive offshore tax haven (Monaco).

    I’d be more impressed if he domiciled his companies here in NZ and paid company tax in the usual manner.

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  12. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    Great. Would have been more impressed if he’d done it anonymously.

    “One hundred idiots make idiotic plans and carry them out. All but one justly fail. The hundredth idiot, whose plan succeeded through pure luck, is immediately convinced he’s a genius.”

    Iain M Banks

    Another reason I don’t like billionaires. (aside from jealousy of course)

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  13. RandySavage (222 comments) says:

    @Gump, men like Glenn are solely motivated by ego and sheparding wealth so dont hold your breath

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  14. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    Ha, good one Rodders. Had to look it up:

    “The Vicar of Bray is a satirical description of an individual fundamentally changing his principles to remain in ecclesiastical office as external requirements change around him.”

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  15. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    Scott ;)

    “When Royal Ann became our Queen,
    Then Church of England’s Glory,
    Another face of things was seen,
    And I became a Tory…”

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  16. kiwi in america (2,508 comments) says:

    Randy, Gump and Chris Scott
    I see the kiwi tall poppy syndrome is alive and well.

    Randy Savage your pathetic sneering jealousy is one of the reasons why entreprenuerial talent like Glenn leaves NZ and why NZ continues to slowly and inexorably slips further behind other 1st world economies like Australia, Canada and Germany. There are too many people like you who have no clue how wealth is created and so those who create it must be subject to host of provisos and riders as to how they made their millions.

    I would love to make a donation like this.

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  17. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    …men like Glenn are solely motivated by ego and sheparding wealth so dont hold your breath

    Er Randy, this donation is possibly the single biggest in NZ history. No doubt some have given equivalent over time, but not in one go. That’s pretty generous, I would have thought. $100,000,000 buys a lot of fun, it also buys a lot of good when properly applied and no doubt Glenn won’t just hand it over willy nilly.

    Notice he didn’t offer it while he was on Liarbore’s side. Perhaps he knew people like Hulun would just simply waste it so he waited till someone who knew what they were doing was in power.

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  18. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    And Randy Savage wins the award for most obvious labout party drone of the week.

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  19. Elaycee (4,404 comments) says:

    As DPF said, this is a ‘stunningly generous pledge’ from the same man who, in 2002 donated $7.5 million to the University of Auckland for the development of the Business School. This generous contribution is believed to be the largest private donation in New Zealand educational history and was driven by Glenn’s belief in the Business School’s mission and in the benefits high quality business education holds for New Zealand business and society. As a result of this gift the Business School’s complex, opened in early 2008, was named the Owen G Glenn Building. Owen Glenn followed his initial $7.5 million donation by, in 2008, donating an additional $500,000 to establish the Barry Spicer and Owen G Glenn PhD Scholarships. These scholarships received matched funding of $250,000.

    Stunning generosity it is.

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  20. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    kia – Just call it as I see it. Some are deserving of their good fortune. Others, less so. I happen to think Donald Trump is an idiot too, whereas you probably idolize him. But I admire Warren Buffett’s business acumen and sense of humour. Can’t all be jealousy.

    As Shakespeare famously wrote:

    In the stars I am above you, but be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some are fuckwits.

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  21. kiwi in america (2,508 comments) says:

    Scott Chris
    Trump is an egg but you can’t deny his success and I don’t begrudge him. Buffett has become the nice billionaire for the left – because he voted for Obama (more disgruntled now) and asks to have his taxes raised. Of course it doesn’t stop Berkshire Hathoway from trying to evade taxes and from fighting the IRS for years over its fair share. Buffett like all ‘I want higher taxes millionaires’ is welcome to donate extra tax voluntarily – something he has to date refused to do. This makes him a hypocrite in my opinion.

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  22. Elaycee (4,404 comments) says:

    “…some are fuckwits.”

    Shakespeare didn’t write that at all… the quote from Twelfth Night was: “In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them”.

    I’m sure you only added the reference to ‘fuckwits’ when you discovered your mirror…

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  23. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    Scott: “…some are fuckwits.”
    Elaycee: “Shakespeare didn’t write that at all… ”

    It was written by Shakespeare’s younger rapper cousin, known for his rather derivative works:

    http://cdn0.knowyourmeme.com/i/28590/original/originaljosephd.jpg

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  24. Elaycee (4,404 comments) says:

    “It was written by Shakespeare’s younger rapper cousin, known for his rather derivative works:”

    Of course, Adze. How did I forget that? :P

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  25. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    Elaycee – You have a very literal take on the world. Lighten up. Even if I were the troll you think I am, surely laughing at my deluded foolishness provides you some entertainment?

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  26. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    adze – Yup, Blingy Gangsta Shakespeare, who was talentless, but made a fortune selling laudanum and snuff. He had another minor hit with “If music be the food of love, pig out”

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  27. Elaycee (4,404 comments) says:

    Scott Chris – I look at some of your posts with incredulity rather than humour – mainly because of your propensity to write crap. In this case though, I think you’ve been looking a gift horse in the mouth.

    Anyone who puts their own money on the line (especially the massive amounts being pledged by Glenn), deserves to be given the kudos he deserves. But your earlier comments “Would have been more impressed if he’d done it anonymously” and “Another reason I don’t like billionaires” reek of envy. Pure, unadulterated envy that Owen Glenn has been able to accumulate considerable wealth and can now decide where and when he can put it to use in an altruistic manner.

    Glenn is a very successful, wealthy New Zealander. It didn’t happen by magic – so good on him.

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  28. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    I just hope he keeps track of where the money goes and who administers it, you wouldn’t want anyone in Government administering the money.

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  29. wikiriwhis business (4,116 comments) says:

    They call them Liarbour, Liarbour

    King of the spin

    never to win

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  30. wikiriwhis business (4,116 comments) says:

    So I’m thinking there should be a lot more kids in Sth Auks going to school with shoes…..shouldn’t there???

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  31. Elaycee (4,404 comments) says:

    “So I’m thinking there should be a lot more kids in Sth Auks going to school with shoes…..shouldn’t there???”

    Yup – agree. All it takes is a re-prioritising of the household budget – less $$ to be spent on KFC / Lotto / TAB / and more $$ on basics for the kids. For example, I just looked on line – there are 7 options for boys shoes costing less than $20 at No 1 shoe warehouse. May not be designer shoes, but they would sure be better than bare feet.

    But you can lead a horse to water…

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  32. The Gantt Guy (30 comments) says:

    @Elaycee, sounds like a fucking good reason to stop giving them cash and instead give them vouchers, eh?

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  33. Elaycee (4,404 comments) says:

    @The Gantt Guy – Yup. A WFF voucher for food. Another WFF voucher for kids clothing. None for KFC. None for piss. None for TAB. None for Lotto.

    All about priorities.

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  34. Dave Mann (1,250 comments) says:

    The guy will just be pissing his money down the toilet. Nothing will help our children while the education system is run as a branch of the department of PC conditioning.

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  35. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @wikiriwhis business

    “So I’m thinking there should be a lot more kids in Sth Auks going to school with shoes…..shouldn’t there???”

    1 packet of cigarettes – $ 16.90
    Export Gold Stb 330ml 15Pk – $ 20.00
    KFC BBQ Bacon & Cheese Combo – $ 11.10
    Total $ 48.00

    Number 1 Shoes
    Uniform II – Black leather shoes
    $ 39.99
    http://www.numberoneshoes.co.nz/products/school-shoes/uniform-ii-black.html

    Almost enough left over for a 5 pack of Red Stamp Kid’s Crew Sports Socks ($ 9.00) from the Warehouse.

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  36. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Am I the only one disturbed that under The Notional Party funding for youth and education is now dependent upon the generousity of the wealthy expats?

    Then agasin, just what one would expect from a government that spends most of the tax take paying Brownlees lunch bills!

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  37. trout (944 comments) says:

    Yes, MNIJ, you are the only one; how very singular.

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  38. nasska (11,796 comments) says:

    Dear MNIJ,

    Obviously you drew the short straw for troll duty on Kiwiblog again this weekend. What you should do is be nicer to people and have feelings for other people. You could always try thinking with your heart & show that really, deep down you like them.

    Try to somehow be famous, to get some money or get a job, because people will like you for your money. Don’t shout at people and don’t stop them from going over the rickety, rackety bridge. Let people go where they want to go.

    I wish you good luck in finding a friend.

    Best wishes from nasska.

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  39. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    MyNameIsJack

    “Am I the only one disturbed……..?”

    Hmmmm……

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  40. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Some pieces of shit are really revealing themselves on this.
    Randy Savage.. YOU are the douchebag mate.
    You even excell your mentor, MNIJackoff.
    Do these small people sicken you or make you laugh ?
    Personally they make me want to puke.
    Why would a piece of shit like Randy Savage take the time and go to the trouble
    of calling a man who offers to donate 100 million dollars to NZ youth a douchebag ?
    Because he is just a piece of shit. Thats why.
    His mother must be proud of him.

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  41. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Also
    If a piece of shit like Randy Savage did really ever meet Owen Glenn it would seem that Owen
    sniffed him out real quick.
    A small nasty hatefilled nonce article like Randy must have stood out like dogs balls to a man such as Owen.

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  42. Ross Miller (1,706 comments) says:

    Hmmmmmmm …… I don’t remember MNIJ et al saying too many nasty things about OG when he supported their once grand Labour Party. Strange that, oh dear, how sad, never mind, move on. More ‘John Key eats babies’ lies to peddle.

    Seriously though, it must be really hard as a Labour Party apologist to wake up each morning to find a new fire having to be put out.

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  43. Fisiani (1,047 comments) says:

    I knew there were a lot of good reasons to Party Vote National. Now there are 100 million more.

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  44. Clint Heine (1,571 comments) says:

    If I had that sort of money to give away, it wouldn’t be going to a country where the Tall Poppy Syndrome is so prevalent.

    I’d also be fearful that some of the lefties would get their hands on it.

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  45. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    @Clint Heine

    So, in other words, you wouldn’t make such a donation out of spite.

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  46. hj (7,063 comments) says:

    “A small nasty hatefilled nonce article like Randy must have stood out like dogs balls to a man such as Owen.”
    ……
    I quite like Owen Glen. Having said that their seems to be a suggestion here that it doesn’t matter what you do to make your money, what matters is that you are an “achiever” or big and successful. Many wealthy people haven’t created wealth, they just have more than their share of existing assets (eg land) and have been the beneficiaries of asset inflation.

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  47. mikenmild (11,699 comments) says:

    I wonder where this money will actually go. Good on him, but from the article it might be spread a bit thin:
    “Mr Glenn says the money would be invested from primary school through to tertiary education, and beyond to help New Zealand market its products and services overseas.”
    I hope it’s concentrated a bit more, maybe a boost to low-decile schools in South Auckland for example.

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  48. tvb (4,501 comments) says:

    Owen Glenn is a very generous man who cares deeply about this country. I would prefer if he paid tax in this country instead of living as a tax exile in Monaco. The Labour Party treated him shabbily and I am sure that has been noted by all big business donors.

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  49. david (2,563 comments) says:

    mikenmild, what a petty, small-minded comment ” … I hope it’s concentrated a bit more, maybe a boost to low-decile schools in South Auckland for example.” Typical leftie, always thinks he can spend other people’s money for them better than they can themselves.

    How about giving Mr Glenn credit for enough intelligence to design the conditions around his donation without your agenda getting in the road? You are everything that is wrong with the Left and astonishingly can’t see it.

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  50. kiwi in america (2,508 comments) says:

    tvb
    The cumulative cost to the NZ Treasury of the lost taxes on wealthy entreprenuers like Glenn, Gibbs, Richwhite and Fay and hundreds of others with a lower profile would run into hundreds of millions of dollars. The welfare benefits that Randy Savage and MyNameIsJack are so anxious to pay without any strings attached are funded from the taxes on profitable businesses. If more are driven offshore by such ‘rich prick’ attitudes and other more overt hostility, it means a poorer NZ – less ability for a government of any stripe to spend money on health, education, roads and deserving beneficiaries. Taxes on the remaining productive sector must stay high as must borrowings just to maintain the standard of living.

    Slowly inexorably we slip further behind the Australias, Canadas and USs of this world in terms of growth in GDP. The collective wealth of a nation is not the taxes of its government but the profits from successful businesses and the taxes on the wages of the people these businesses employ. The salaries of government workers comes from the taxes on the profits of private sector businesses.

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  51. tvb (4,501 comments) says:

    I would favor we allow the rich to pay a lump sum in income tax say $250,00 p.a. and they can keep the rest. That should attract home the tax exiles and others to pay tax. But this is off topic. Maybe Owen Glenn should be asked if he would locate here under such a scheme.

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  52. burt (8,310 comments) says:

    National must not forget this man’s generosity comes with a significant barb. It requires they don’t sell him down the river for their self serving ends. Pretty fair and reasonable if you ask me – but too much fort Labour. Can National handle the truth !

    Big thanks (again) to Owen Glenn.

    I was going to say give that man a DB, but perhaps I should say – give that man Minister of Transport !

    (Oh, and don’t let Winston be Minister of Racing again).

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  53. KevinH (1,236 comments) says:

    Owen Glenn has to his credit, put his money where his mouth is, regardless of which political party has been government. His generous donations in the past have focussed on aspirational visions for New Zealand, especially youth, and his pledge on The Nation is a continuation of that theme.
    Mr Glenn indicated on the Nation, that he was supportive of National and ACT because he saw merit in their youth policies that promoted further training, an opportunity Mr Glenn believes makes the difference in a competitive market.

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  54. RRM (10,009 comments) says:

    Fuck’s sake.
    For the record, this leftie is embarrassed by some of the comments on this thread.

    The man wants to GIVE AWAY $100 MILLION OF HIS OWN MONEY to contribute to the betterment of NZ education, and nobodies are calling him a douchebag, hypocrite, idiot etc.

    Heaven forbid that someone who knows through personal experience how to make it to the top might want to dip his oar in and suggest how the country might operate things. It’s far better that professional haters and complainers like Sue Bradford write all the policy.

    Obviously it’s not good enough to commit a huge-scale act of philanthropy; no, you have to do it under the banner of the “correct” political movement if you want any respect from the pond life.

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  55. Elaycee (4,404 comments) says:

    RRM – “Obviously it’s not good enough to commit a huge-scale act of philanthropy; no, you have to do it under the banner of the “correct” political movement if you want any respect from the pond life.”

    Well put. :)

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  56. backster (2,184 comments) says:

    I also salute him as a generous benefactor of our country. I seem to recall he was also first cab off the ranks to donate a million to the Christchurch Earthquake.

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  57. wikiriwhis business (4,116 comments) says:

    How much will really go into the community. Will never be audited or explained. and the MSM will never follow up on it.

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