Ardern on political donations

Jacinda Ardern has been interviewed on RNZ this morning on political donations.

Zhang Yikun has attended a Labour fundraiser, in Sept 2017, Ms Ardern acknowledges. “If he’s made any donations that’s declarable, we would’ve declared it.”

“I make a point of not being involved in donations to the party.” Ms Ardern says she’s met Zhang Yikun at a number of events but doesn’t know him personally.

Parties would be mad to not comply carefully with current rules over donations. Despite claims by Jami-lee Ross there is no evidence that they don’t comply.

“We do not have a practice of splitting donations to avoid them being declared,” Ms Ardern says. “I would love an environment where we didn’t have to go out & fundraise & seek donations.”

Ms Ardern could introduce state-funding of parties to scrap political donations, but her question is if there’s mandate. “It would be much easier political environment if we didn’t have campaigning, fundraising, but that would mean it’d go back on the public purse.

The Greens have jumped on their state-funding crusade again, but there seems little inclination from Labour or National for any significant changes to how donations are regulated and managed.

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22 Comments

  1. Those who practise circumnavigation of the rules around donations would soon find a way to do the same with new rules.

    Reply
  2. Ray

     /  October 23, 2018

    That’s very wise of you Robert.

    Reply
  3. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  October 23, 2018

    I do not favour state-funding of political parties… as that seems to be a buy-in for parties to remain in existence.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 23, 2018

      Stuff em. The only ones keen to do this are those most of the public wouldn’t donate to in a million years. A ban on anonymous donations and channelling them through an independent authority with power to investigate sources would suit me better. Why should the public not know who donates to political parties? What are the donors afraid of or trying to hide?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 23, 2018

        I can’t see that it’s anyone’s business. I know some of the donors to Act, but wouldn’t broadcast their names.People may not want to look like swankpots. They may have their own reasons for not wanting it to be known. Charities don’t tell everyone who’s made donations.

        I was sent a rather fancy pen by Plunket today, and a letter thanking me for considering donating to them, How not to do it.

        Reply
  4. Trevors_elbow

     /  October 23, 2018

    No State funding of Parties. Compete on ideas to raise cash. Tighten the rules if necessary. But NO State funding of political parties…

    Reply
  5. Ex Mfat

     /  October 23, 2018

    Adern avoids the issue which is foreign interference in our domestic politics. Donations are part of this. “Candidatures for cash” anyone?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 23, 2018

      This is true. And some corporations are possibly attempts by the US government to influence policy as well.

      Reply
  6. Ray

     /  October 23, 2018

    Maybe instead of worrying where the money comes from (though that is a legitimate worry) we should look at where this quite enormous amount of money goes?
    My bet is the media and various advertising companies hoover it up.
    And when we see rich men unable to get their own parties into Parliament despite spending small fortunes, maybe it is time for a cost/benefit analysis.

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  October 23, 2018

      Simon wanted the $100,000 to go on attack ads in his call with JLR. Whether the party enabled it is another thing, but it is all grist for the media mill isn’t it?

      Reply
  7. PartisanZ

     /  October 23, 2018

    The individuals, associations, unions, businesses and corporations (let alone nations) who are doing all this donating … who are buying all this influence and hence usurping democracy … could all be that much richer and pay just a small portion of those additional riches in tax to pay for political parties … including those outside Parliament (as suggested by Palmer & Butler) …

    Like a UBI for political parties … allowing them to function based much more on values and ethics translated into policy …

    Jeez … I’m trying really hard to find a downside …?

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  October 23, 2018

      People donate to parties who reflect their values and whose policies they support.
      Many entities donate across the political spectrum as a service to democracy.
      National and the Greens are excellent fundraisers. Labour was too until Mike Williams departed.
      There is no evidence of “buying influence” in any party other than NZ First who are very open about it in their actions, and vociferous about it in their denials.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 23, 2018

        There is no evidence of “buying influence” in any party other than NZ First who are very open about it in their actions, and vociferous about it in their denials….too funny…

        whose in Nats ‘candidate college’ these days…

        Bring back knighthoods…I’m dying but the chequebook is open…good onya ..Dougie.

        Reply

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