2010 donation returns

Al registered parties had to file their 2010 donations return with the Electoral Commission by 30 April 2011. The returns won’t be up on the Elections NZ website until next week, but they are open for inspection at their offices so I headed on down today to check them out.

Three parties have not filed returns, and are in breach of the law. The New World Order Party and The Workers Party. Technically also the New Citizen Party, but they onlyregistered in November 2010.

Parties have to disclose any donations over $10,000 (plus overseas and anon donations etc). Nil returns were filed by United Future, ALCP, Libz, Alliance, Kiwi, Democrats and Winston First. Of course we know that a nil return for Winston First can actually mean they’ve had hundreds of thousands of donations.


One donation of $19,000 from Margaret Alldred, who is also the Party’s Administration Manager.


They’ve disclosed $$13,000 from the “Wigram Progressive Party”. This suggests that Jim’s local organisation was not a formal part of the overall party, and he kept the funds close to him locally.

Maori Party

Pita Sharples has donated $19,171.50, in fortnightly payments. Interesting that no other MP has donated over $10,000.


In addition to the already disclosed $25,120 from former party secretary Mike Smith (donations over $20,000 are disclosed as they are made, and don’t wait just for the annual return), they also had $16,500 from Ann Robinson and $15,100 from Karl Maughan.

I presume Ann Robinson is the glass sculptor of that name, and Karl Maughan the painter. I suspect they did not make a cash donation, but donated art works that were auctioned off for the amounts disclosed.


All nine MPs had to pay a tithe, which totalled $136,786.64. This is an average per MP of around $15,200.


National had total donations of $397,820.50. All but $17,820.50 of this had been previously disclosed (and I had blogged them previously). The $17,820.50 comes from Garth Barfoot, presumably the director of Barfoot & Thompson real estate agents.

These disclosed donations are only of the large ones over $10,000 in value. They may represent a small or large portion of a party’s overall funding. For example National raises around $4m over three years just from relatively small membership donations.

The new electoral finance law passed by National, will have some extra transparency around donations made in 2011 and afterwards. As well as disclosing the individual large donations (those over $15,000), parties will also have to disclose the number and total value of donations from $1,501 to $5,000 and from $5,001 to $15,000. But we will not see these until April 2012.

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