Donation disclosure thresholds

March 8th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

For the excitable out there, let me explain the three different sorts of donations and the thresholds.

  1. A donation or a gift to an MP personally must be disclosed if over $500. That is because it benefits them personally.
  2. A donation to an electorate candidate over $1,500 must be disclosed. The spending limit during the regulated period is $25,700 so any donation over 5.8% of their spending cap gets disclosed.
  3. A donation to a political party over $15,000 must be disclosed. The spending limit during the regulated period for a party that contests all 71 electorates is $2,915,700 so any donation over 0.5% of their spending cap gets disclosed

The reasons we have disclosure is to guard against purchasing undue influence. Personal donations to an MP directly benefit them, hence the low threshold. A donation of say $5,000 to a political party represents probably around 0.1% of their election year expenditure, so isn’t significant. That is why the threshold is $15,000 (I think a case can be made for it to be $10,000 as it used to be), not $500.

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13 Responses to “Donation disclosure thresholds”

  1. burt (8,036 comments) says:

    4. If you are a Labour Party MP there is no requirement to disclose anything you’d rather not.
    5. Move on.

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  2. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    A glass of milk is worth 50c.

    I think Judith should be forced to declare it! :)

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  3. stigie (1,005 comments) says:

    Judith is stalking you Johnboy !~

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  4. BeaB (2,084 comments) says:

    On TV3′s Nation Gower tried desperately to assert a fundraising dinner for the National Party at Antoines was the same as personal donations solicited for himself by Cunliffe.

    Gower boringly pressed John Key to reveal the names of the dinner guests as though party fundraising was the same thing as personal gifts.

    It makes you despair of our media who can’t even think logically from A to B.

    And then we had that ridiculously bouncy academic Bryce Edwards (another of those middle-aged men with a silly hairdo) who couldn’t even get his facts straight but Michelle Boag wasn’t allowed to correct him.

    Of course she is another uppity woman like Judith Collins. In the meantime we can all share the womanly feelings of Lianne Dalziel who told John Campbell she had to take off her Italian leather boots so they didn’t get wet in the flooding.

    Another thought – I am sure if asked the dinner guests would all happily say they were Spartacus, unlike the secret donors to Cunliffe who are too embarrassed/shady/dodgy to own up.

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  5. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus…Thanks BeaB for proving it! :)

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  6. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    The obese German criminal is certainly top of the list for donating to “Tojo”. He is now getting desperate, Wimpy Wussel can’t do much, and will never be in a position to do so.

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  7. goldnkiwi (1,179 comments) says:

    I imagine that based on anecdotal evidence ie John Banks, that if Dotcom had donated the sum would have been more than the whole, or at least more than the sum ascribed to ‘two’ remaining unnamed benefactors.

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  8. Psycho Milt (2,368 comments) says:

    Explaining is losing.

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  9. mjw (352 comments) says:

    How many of these dinners have there been? Who has paid? Are they still going on? Was there disclosure for people or companies who breached the threshold by buying a whole table and inviting guests?

    There are so many questions … but only one answer. The poor little NZ public doesn’t need to worry it’s pretty head over them, because the PM says they are ok.

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  10. srylands (392 comments) says:

    “How many of these dinners have there been? Who has paid?”

    You are being hysterical and showing an inability to think clearly. Dinners have been used as fundraisers forever. The framework in the Electoral Act governing disclosures is clear. I suggest you read it.

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  11. mjw (352 comments) says:

    Srylands,

    Yes, the electoral act is fascinating. Did you know that people who live outside NZ, who are not NZ voters, or companies that are incorporated overseas may not make a contribution exceeding $1,500? That’s less than the price of a single dinner ticket, isn’t it?

    I do wonder who went to those dinners, who bought the tickets, and whether anybody paid for $15,000 worth of tickets. But the PM doesn’t think we need to know, does he. What is he hiding?

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  12. Yoza (1,678 comments) says:

    srylands (268 comments) says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    You are being hysterical and showing an inability to think clearly. Dinners have been used as fundraisers forever.

    The trouble being, these do not appear to be fundraising dinners, rather, this has the appearance of an event designed specifically to launder donations that would otherwise be required to be declared. If the media is going to go after Cunliffe for $20,000 worth of donations it seems reasonable that they should go after Key for $160,000 worth of donations, regardless of how the money was laundered through Antoine’s.

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  13. burt (8,036 comments) says:

    You’ve all forgotten the point here. Labour didn’t change the law on donations for Labour, they changed it for everyone else. It doesn’t apply to then, it’s different when Labour do it. And it’s always different when the unions do it !

    Yoza makes the point, leave Labour alone it’s only $20,000 so only $18,500 over the limit right – Key did it too but worse through a restaurant…

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