Green Party donation versus party policy

The Greens have been bequeathed a $350,000 donation, their biggest ever and tens times larger than the limit proposed in their policy.

Green Party policy on donations includes:

Election Financing

  • Initiate a review of the overall operation of campaign finance rules, including rules around donations and spending caps and non-political party election activities
  • Introduce tighter limits on anonymous donations, place an annual limit of $35,000 on total donations from any single person or entity, and introduce a ban on overseas donations

The Greens tend to get smaller donations, but in 2016 the Greens received a donation of  $280,000 from the estate of Elizabeth Riddoch.

Last October Greens urge political donation reform

The Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson says New Zealand is open for corruption under the current rules around political donations.

She told Morning Report powerful businesses can gain influence with large donations.

“I think New Zealanders would be quite keen on a conversation on how we get big money out of politics,” she said.

“What we’ve seen around the world is that those with particular interests can have millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of influence on political policy.

“We’ve already seen a $100,000 donation to the National Party being questioned, from someone who is a powerful businessman.

“I want to see equal access and not just big money having undue influence over our political system.”

“New Zealanders are starting to understand we could go down a slippery slope here”.

She said a cap on donations would give Kiwis more confidence in the political system.

But now $350,000 donation to the Greens, from late party member’s estate, the largest to a major political party in almost a decade (NZ Herald)

A $350,000 donation to the Greens in December is the largest single donation to a major political party in almost a decade.

It was also the largest to the Green Party in its 30-year history.

It was made by Betty Harris on December 13 last year. She died in January 2018 and the donation was part of her will.

The Green’s general-secretary Gwen Shaw said the party was very grateful for Harris’ donation.

She had been a party member since 1999.

“She was a lovely woman; never made a fuss but just got on with whatever she thought she could do to improve the world.”

Harris lived in East Auckland and was an active supporter of her local branch, particularly when she was younger, Shaw said.

A bit of ‘do as I say, not as I do’, but money is money, ‘gratefully accepted’, despite being contrary to Green policy.

What if Greens had been successful in placing ‘an annual limit of $35,000 on total donations from any single person or entity’?

In that situation if an amount larger than $35,000 was bequeathed to a party what would happen? If the party couldn’t legally accept it, what would happen to the money? Would the estate have to redistribute it elsewhere?

 

 

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17 Comments

  1. Duker

     /  16th January 2019

    Im sure the Greens would say donating large amounts shows donors are ‘buying influence’
    However when you are dead and your estate is doing the donating there is no influence buying possible.
    Im surprised these sort of large estates isnt more common with other parties , especially national . Does national have another party entity they have that gets the deceased estate.

    We do know their regional party bosses control such fundraisers, years ago the Waitemata Trust was in the news, as it was receiving ‘donations’ from John Banks owned pubs poker machine proceeds. Even then it wasnt seen as a charitable cause’ but the Nats know how to twist the rules, which have been tightened since.

    Reply
    • David

       /  16th January 2019

      She could have asked for something in exchange for adjusting her will, either its a ban or its not.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  16th January 2019

        You know these party diehards dont work like that… probably a retired school teacher or some such who just wants ‘Green everything’
        Wasnt even on any Green Party lists.
        National would have sold a winnable spot for that sort on money- as some recorded calls indicated and split it up into below disclosure numbers to make it a nice little cover up.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  16th January 2019

          What’s a winnable spot ? If you mean a spot as an MP, you must be joking.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  16th January 2019

            Not according to JLR, two Chinese was worth more (in donations) than the (current) 2 Indians.
            Bridges didn’t contradict him and moaned about his useless Mps clogging up the party list.
            $100k donation was going to get a Chinese guy a ‘chance’ at at position on the list- over $300k would guarantee it. Most donors at that level aren’t interested as being Mps, which must be a relief for the nats

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  16th January 2019

              It wasn’t for donations as I remember it; it was for votes.

              MP, not Mp.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  16th January 2019

              Your version is a total distortion of the actual conversation, which had nothing to do with people buying their way onto the list if you read it properly.

              They were talking about the appeal of the various races (and remember it was a private conversation as far as Simon Bridges was concerned; which of us has not been indiscreet in a private conversation) not how much someone would have to spend to get on the list. Had they said that, and had it been true, they would have been in huge trouble.

              That’s not how it’s done in NZ.

  2. David

     /  16th January 2019

    I feel sorry for the Greens being hounded by the media on their rank hypocrisy, its just wall to wall coverage.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  16th January 2019

      Hounded by the media ?

      You mean Farrar running a beatup on advice of someone in the national party
      Its not like rank hypocrisy is new to them as we will find out with Waka jumping law.

      Reply
      • David

         /  16th January 2019

        The media have been totally silent because once again its the Greens and they are special, it was tongue in cheek.
        National havent used Peters law as far as we know, that will be the law the Greens said was terrible and undemocratic but voted for it anyway.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  16th January 2019

          “Greens said was terrible and undemocratic but voted for it anyway” AND said they would never use it

          Bridges wouldnt give that same assurance despite saying it was terrible and undemocratic
          they will be using it as they have just the person they want kaput

          Reply
  3. Zedd

     /  16th January 2019

    Its all a GRAND conspiracy.. I tellz ya !! LOL 😀

    Reply
  4. Trevors_elbow

     /  16th January 2019

    So the large donation by Philip Mills was a ok back a couple of years ago because he cares about the environment? Go look it up…..

    I dont care about donations as long as it’s not hidden behind a trust etc…. Phil Goff care to reveal who funded your mayoral campaign?

    Cue a stout defense from Duker…..

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  16th January 2019

      I cant help you if you arent awake when Phils donors were released , but here goes…
      “Former Prime Minister Helen Clark and rich lister Eric Watson were among the donors to Phil Goff’s successful Auckland mayoral campaign, which raised more than $700,000.
      Goff’s largest cash donation of $50,000 was made by Fu Wah, the Chinese development company building the $200 million Park Hyatt Hotel in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter.
      Phillip Mills, head of the Les Mills gym empire, donated $10,000; Bayleys chipped in $5000; and Cliff Cook, a retirement village businessman, donated $25,000.”
      And Helens donation ?
      Clark and Watson each donated $5000 to Goff, who spent $410,814 on his campaign, ”
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11764899

      Reply
  5. thespectrum

     /  16th January 2019

    $350,000 would buy you a double garage in Remuera.
    No only joking $350k would probably only buy you a garden shed in Remmers 🙂

    Reply
  6. david in aus

     /  17th January 2019

    Greens: Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.

    Reply
  1. Green Party donation versus party policy — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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