Debunking the lie that the NZ First Foundation is like National’s

Winston repeatedly claims that the Foundation is based on the National Party Foundation and operates just like it, so nothing to see here. This lie is wrong is so many regards, I thought it would be useful to document all the ways it is wrong.

  1. All donations to the National Party Foundation are treated as donations to the National Party for purposes and disclosed as party donations. The NZF Foundation donations were not.
  2. The National Party Foundation's purpose is to build up a capital fund, own the building National HQ is in, and produce future income for National. It is not to secretly pay day to day expenses of the party. In fact the National Foundation has never spent a cent as far as i know. The NZF Foundation however was paying day to day expenses on behalf of NZF including sending MPs to the races.
  3. No donations for the National Party are siphoned off into the Foundation without the knowledge of the donor. NZF donors had their donations put into the NZF Foundation without their knowledge.
  4. The National Foundation is transparent and well known with a website here. Major donors are no secret – they are listed on the wall of National House. NZF Foundation donors were apparently even hidden from the NZF Board and President and Treasurer.
  5. The National Foundation is under the control of the National Party and chaired by the Party President. The NZF Foundation is not under their board's control and many board members claim they know nothing about it.

The 1st bolded point is the key one. And this is the point on which the Electoral Commission has concluded NZ First has broken the law by not declaring donations. But the other points are also. Apart from the fact they are both called foundations, they are like chalk and cheese in terms of how they operate.

UPDATE: The Serious Office has just announced they have launched an investigation into the NZ First Foundation. Tick tock.

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