Electoral law wrongdoing “doesn’t amount to much” – yet

If there is an end game, it won’t come this week. And if it won’t come this week, the political shocks for National may just keep coming.

Bridges admitted as much. “I think he has been recording me, and potentially many other members of Parliament, for a very long time.”

If Ross doesn’t crash and burn he could drag this out, just out of spite because his political (and employment) future looks very shaky.

Ross said on Tuesday: “The Electoral Act clearly states knowingly filing a false return is a corrupt practice. I know Simon filed a false return because Todd McClay and I spotted that false name in his return in January and suggested it needed to be tidied up.

“Simon Bridges knows exactly what Cathedral Club is. It was a name he used to hide a donation from a close friend of his. He claimed it was a clerical error. I call BS on that.”

The Herald further uncovered evidence showing Bridges knew what the Cathedral Club had been – because he attended dinners with Ross back in 2006. A photograph from one dinner shows Bhatnagar, Bridges and Ross together.

But if the donation was meant to be to the National Party – and not to Bridges personally – then what of it?

Ross says mistake or not, Bridges signed it and would have done so knowing the name would have meant Bhatnagar.

Geddis? Yes but no, says the law professor.

There is a possible argument of a “technical” breach but it would be extremely unlikely to hold water.

The Electoral Commission has an unofficial grace period, he believes, during which those who submit returns are afforded an opportunity to get the information right.

Leave a comment


  1. Blazer

     /  18th October 2018

    what a …’team’!

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  18th October 2018

    People are often ‘caught’ (pr caught short) with these laws, like Kenneth Wang who thought that he was giving someone a free mention on his billboards (a Chinese National candidate) and found that he wasn’t, as by law she had to pay half. As there is a limit on how much they can spend on a campaign, and hers was now down by whatever this cost was, he was not very popular there.There was nothing he could do.

    Someone else didn’t declare a gift of some kind of food (barbecue or afternoon tea, something like that) for a do for their campaign, as they didn’t know that they had to. I wouldn’t have thought of this as a donation, either, as it wasn’t money.

  3. High Flying Duck

     /  18th October 2018

    So Zhang says he didn’t even make a donation now! This just keeps getting weirder.

    Speaking from China on Thursday, Tong said Zhang was very “disappointed” his name had been dragged into the political scandal in New Zealand.

    He would not go into details of the pair’s discussions, but said Zhang had made no “personal contribution” to the donation.

    “Zhang is not the alleged donator of the funds,” Tong said.


    there is wiggle room in the “no “personal contribution” part – company? Associate? But on the face of it it is a clear denial by the alleged donor.

    And in breaking news – our good friend JLR is releasing a text message soon.

    Hopefully it will confirm the second gunman on the grassy knoll. I mean the butler in the drawing room with the wrench. Or something.

  1. Electoral law wrongdoing “doesn’t amount to much” – yet — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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