Shock horror – no law broken

February 2nd, 2012 at 12:23 pm by David Farrar

Former Labour Party General Secretary blogs:

Donations over $30,000 from the same source must be declared to the within 10 working days. overstepped the mark in declaring a total donation of $86,005 from Gallagher Industries outside the limit. I can sympathise as I missed a connection once when I was Labour’s Secretary. These days  the Electoral Commission doesn’t get involved – the penalty is a fine of up to $40,000 on summary conviction.

That’s a very serious accusation. As Mike Smith says, a late return can result in a $40,000 fine. So let’s see if National were late.

The Electoral Commission says that National received $66,705 on 20 December 2001 from the Gallagher Group Ltd. This was on top of an earlier $19,300 so exceeded the $30,000 threshold for reporting within 10 working days.

It was declared on 10 January 2012, 21 days later.

But the Electoral Act refers to working days, as quoted by Mike Smith. S210C(6) says:

A return must be filed under subsection (1) or (2) within 10 working days of the donation being received by the party secretary

Now what is a working day? Well the Electoral Act specifies that in S3:

working day means any day of the week other than—

  • (a) Saturday, Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Labour Day, the Sovereign’s birthday, and Waitangi Day; and

  • (b) a day in the period commencing with 25 December in any year and ending with 15 January in the following year

The 20th of December was a Tuesday. Friday 23rd December was the third working day and Mon Jan 16th the 4th working day. Tuesday 24 January 2012 is in fact the 10th working day after the 20th of December 2011.

So National made the deadline with a fortnight to spare.

Mike may wish to amend his post.

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15 Responses to “Shock horror – no law broken”

  1. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    Good Old NZ eh? No working days from Christmas to the 15th January.

    I must have a chat with my boss about working on non-working days.

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  2. Keeping Stock (10,406 comments) says:

    Mike may wish to amend his post.

    And then again he mightn’t. Since when did such a naive concept of telling the truth matter to the Labour Party or its pet bloggers at The Standard?

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  3. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    Don’t be a spoil sport David, this is the first morsel Labour’s had since the GST balls up.

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  4. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    KS – there’s a new Standard been set:

    [Take the rest of the week off for trying to mislead your fellow commentators. Eddie]

    (It was the Herald article that was misleading).

    I’m not expecting this standard to be even handed.

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  5. sweetd (125 comments) says:

    Pete George, yes I saw that. Pot, kettle, black. FFS, everything the standard poster’s writes tries to mislead and slant to their POV.

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  6. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    sweetd – talking of pot/kettle, this recently:

    IrishBill … Given your man’s modus operandi you’re in no position to make any claims about how any party runs.

    Pete George … Given your blog’s modus operandi what position are you in to make any claims about how anyone comments on parties?

    IrishBill … It’s my blog. Take a week off.

    It took me a good week to get over the hilarity of that.

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  7. sweetd (125 comments) says:

    Yes, you can say what you like, whether or not you have an early shower depends on if you are in the favoured group or not.

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  8. Spoon (104 comments) says:

    I think that legal definition of non-working days must be fairly wide ranging. I made a formal complaint to TV3 on the 2nd of January after they said there was “probably” going to be a 7+ quake.

    It’s now exactly a month later and no response at all. They have 20 working days to respond, but again, they only start counting from the 16th. With Waitangi Day in there this means they’re not at 20 until the 13th. Probably the 14th as I’m sure they’ll claim Auckland Anniversary.

    When you consider that the original complain could have been laid on Christmas day, that’s pretty bad. Up to 7 weeks lag.

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  9. alex Masterley (1,523 comments) says:

    People often fail to make the distinction between working days and days. Generally statutes define in the interpretation section, amongst other things, what is or isn’t a day.
    It is a pity that Mr Smith did not trouble to check the definition before he held forth. egg meet face.

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  10. Mark (496 comments) says:

    Is this clause
    (b) a day in the period commencing with 25 December in any year and ending with 15 January in the following year
    due to the fact the Electroal Commision are all on holiday at that time?

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  11. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    OIA requests are treated in the same manner….25 Dec – 15 Jan are not counted as working days.

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  12. Positan (393 comments) says:

    It’s really hard to understand why Labour’s inepts are so insistent on publicising their inadequacy.

    Surely anyone of the presumed substance necessary to hold such a key post as General Secretary, even in a crackpot outfit like the Labour Party, would not only have deeply acquainted themselves with all relevant regulations and the full import of their thrust – but also would have double-checked and ensured their understanding to be well and truly complete before attempting to level any such regulation-based accusation?

    With former office holders as demonstrably inept as their replacements, Labour’s obviously hell-bent on maintaining its hard-earned and well-deserved reputation of being a political joke.

    Whatever inspires the belief of its adherents that they’re remotely capable of acting as capable government?

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  13. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    An embarrassingly elemental mistake. Still, it’s good to know that the only dirt they can find is something from ten years ago that never happened. Didn’t they learn from the h-fee fiasco that desperation is not a good look?

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  14. Viking2 (11,553 comments) says:

    ross (1,422) Says:
    February 2nd, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    OIA requests are treated in the same manner….25 Dec – 15 Jan are not counted as working days.

    Yea, tried getting a building permit during those times.
    Closed for business.
    No wonder we are considered unproductive.

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  15. Salacious Crumb (31 comments) says:

    “Mike may wish to amend his post.”

    He represents nasty liars, why would the truth be an impediment?

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