Has Labour made false returns like John Banks?

The Herald reports:

says it has no record of receiving money from the businessman and National Party donor surrounded in controversy.

The Herald yesterday revealed that – who received citizenship after lobbying from National minister Maurice Williamson – also paid $15,000 at a Labour Party auction in 2007 for a book signed by Helen Clark, the Prime Minister at the time.

Labour leader David Cunliffe yesterday also said Liu may have made another donation through the purchase of a bottle of wine. However, he was only aware of Liu’s potential donations through media reports.

Labour general secretary Tim Barnett said a check of the party’s records showed no donation from Liu under his name.

Well why not? Is Labour denying the donations?

However he said it was possible he made donations via a company or family trust, which was allowed under electoral finance rules at the time, or that donations were made at the local electorate level, details of which were not recorded by the party’s central administration.

The 2007 return doesn’t show any donations from a family trust, and the company donations are large known companies.

If it was made at a local electorate level, then the party is still responsible for disclosure. The head office gets notified of any significant donations.

If it was made to a candidate’s campaign, the the candidate has to disclose, and the threshold back then was $1,000.

Former Labour Government Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker, who attended a dinner in China as a guest of Liu in 2007, yesterday said it was possible Liu made a donation through the purchase of one of several auctioned bottles of wine.

So how much was the donation, and who was it made to in Labour, and why wasn’t it disclosed?

If it was over $1,000 to a candidate or $10,000 to the party – then they are legally obliged to report the donation.

John Banks has just been found guilty of submitting a false election return.  Labour’s 2007 return looks very suspect unless they can answer the question of who was the donation made to in Labour, and was it declared – and if so, under what name.

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