Two more National donors

NZ Herald reports:

Chinese New Zealand businesses, including one formerly owned by the businessman spearheading Shanghai Pengxin’s bid for the Crafar dairy farms, have boosted the Party’s coffers by more than $100,000 in recent days.

Recent filings to the Electoral Commission show National received $50,000 on November 22 from Citi Financial Group, a Queen St foreign exchange and financial planning firm owned by Yan Yang and Qiang Wei.

The same day, the party got a $1600 donation from Oravida NZ, which also gave $55,000 on November 30.

Oravida’s directors are Jing Huang, Julia Jiyan Xu and wealthy but reclusive businessman Deyi Shi.

In September last year when it was called Kiwi Dairy, Oravida was bought from Terry Lee, a businessman associated with Shanghai Pengxin, which has applied for Overseas Investment Office approval to buy the Crafar farms.

It is good the disclosure regime is working. Transparency is important and media should report large donations

Turning to the Oravida donation, the key word is former owner. Terry Lee has not owned the company for 14 months, and the new owners have nothing to do with the Crafar farms bid as far as I know. Some people get very excited about former owners, assuming it means they are still in a position of influence with their former company, and/or wanting to advantage them. The prime example of this is how some go on about Steven Joyce being a former owner of the radio stations now owned by Mediaworks. What many do not realise is it was a hostile takeover, and shall we say no love lost there between the former and current owner.

So as far as I know there is no actual link to the Crafar farm bid. Ironically if someone associated with the bid for the Crafar farms did donate a large amount to National, my belief is that it would actually harm their chances as even if the OIO recommended approval, Ministers would be very wary of making a decision that could be perceived as influenced by the donation.

Incidentally what is a Chinese New Zealand business? Both businesses are New Zealand businesses. Oravida has three directors – two of whom live in NZ and one in New York. The ultimate shareholders all appear to be based in New Zealand also. CFG director and shareholders all appear to be New Zealanders also.

There is a difference between a business owned by Chinese living in China and Chinese living in New Zealand. Chinese living in China are foreigners. Chinese living (permanently) in New Zealand are Kiwis.

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