The mystery of NZ First and their mystery donation is multi-layered. And while the media concentrate on the big issue of was it Owen Gelnn, and if not who was it, there are other aspects to also look at.
The term deposit
Whale Oil reminds us that Winston Peters in October said the party had the money to pay back the $158,000 but was waiting for their term deposit to mature in November. Dail Jones has said:
We had a board meeting on the 17th of December before which I paid the cheque to Starship because the money came in in the previous week. I remember it distinctly because I was looking for the money to pay the cheque.
This strongly suggests they did not have the money on term deposit, and that they were waiting for this mystery donation. And if it is a mystery donation, how did they know to be expecting it?
The bank couldn’t tell me
Dail Jones has told the media he asked the bank where the up to $100,000 allegedly anonymous donation had come from, and that they could not tell him.
Cactus Kate (who knows a great deal about banks and financial transactions) says that if this is the case the bank has broken the law in accepting this mystery donation, or that Dail Jones is telling porkies. She quotes at length from the Financial Transactions Reporting Act 1996, and how the size of the donation especially would trigger reporting obligations. She even has a pdf of the NZ Police best practice guide for verifying your customer.
Whale Oil also says that what Jones claims is impossible, and he has many years experience in rolling out a banking system for a NZ bank.
Who was it?
Winston Peters is reported as denying categorically that Owen Glenn has donated to New Zealand First. One presumes this also involves any scenario where Glenn donates to someone else to donate etc etc. In the absence of any proof to the contrary, one of course accepts the statement at face value that it was not Glenn (even though Glenn himself has refused to deny it, but has denied offering to donate to the Maori Party, and has stated on the record he has donated to more than one party).
Now if Peters knows categorically the anonymous donor is not Owen Glenn, he must know who it is, and they must reveal it to the Electoral Commission.
The Press reports on the rumours it was Glenn who donated, and Peters’ resolute denial of this. The Press claims that “several sources yesterday indicated the money had come from Glenn”. Maybe it was an interest free loan, not a donation 🙂
Tracy Watkins in the Dom Post covers the $1 million offer to Sir Howard also.
Oh yes plus all the media seem to be laughing loudly at Labour’s desperate attempt to create a scandal by alleging John Key has donated money to National. He has, but never more than $10,000. Wow we – an MP donating money to his own party.