There should be no doubt that NZ First goes out of its way to hide the identity of its donors. The NZ First Foundation, like the Spencer Trust, was set up to hide the identity of its donors from the public, and probably from the party organisation also.
Anyone who thinks this is not the intention is naive. Just take a look through the donation records since 1997.
Since 1997 the Greens (a similar sized party) has declared 193 donations that were over the disclosure limit of the time.
By comparison, NZ First has disclosed just nine donations over 22 years. In fact since 2008 they have not disclosed a single donor, except two MPs.
The failure to declare donations is not a mistake, or a bug. It is intentional. It is in their culture and their DNA. This is not an administrative issue – this is clearly deliberate. We already have the previous proof of the false donation returns in 2005 to 2007 due to the Spencer Trust and the lies told over the Owen Glenn donation.
Here’s the number of donations declared from 1997 to 2007 (The EC has summaries for that period) for each party:
- Labour 159
- National 86
- ACT 42
- Alliance 29
- Progressive 13
- Democrats 11
- United Future 5
- Maori 5
- NZ First 4
NZ First was the third largest party for much of that time. Does anyone really think they had fewer disclosable donations than United Future?
So again the current scandal is not some anomaly. The party has a culture and history of non disclosure, well beyond any other party past or present.