The Māori Party has been referred to the police by the Electoral Commission after failing to declare almost $330,000 in donations to the Commission.
Any donations of over $30,000 received within a 12-month period have to declared to the Commission within 10 working days.
But three large donations to the Māori Party from 2020 were not declared until March and April 2021, well outside of that period.
Those donations were a cumulative $158,000 from John Tamihere, $120,000 from Aotearoa Te Kahu, and $49,000 from the National Urban Māori Authority.
There’s two issues here. The first is timeliness. The law states large donations must be declared within 10 working days. This allows the public prior to voting to know who is a major donor of a party. Not disclosing until months after an election almost $330,000 of donations is a serious breach and those responsible should be fined reasonably heavily.
The donation from John Tamihere is not controversial. Often party leaders donate to their parties.
The National Urban Maori Authority is a collective of local Maori authorities. Those who fund NUMA may be surprised that it in turn is funding a political party.
The real mystery is AOTEAROA TE KAHU LIMITED PARTNERSHIP. Go to the register of limited partnerships and you find they act on behalf of AOTEAROA TE KAHU GP LIMITED.
So this leaves the question who actually controls and funds Aotearoa Te Kahu and made the decision to donate $120,000 to the Maori Party?