The Electoral Commission has now published the

The Electoral Commission has now published the 2017 donation returns for parties. A few observations about the returns:

NZ First

Once again NZ First hasn’t disclosed the identity of a single donor. Readers will know that NZ First has filed inaccurate returns in the past.

Now you don’t need to disclose the identity of donors unless they are over $15,000. But they received $88,628 of large donations through the Electoral Commission which means the identity should not be known to NZ First either.

Frankly I’m suspicious that NZ First would not know who those donors are. They say they have no donors known to them of over $15,000 so it wouldn’t be difficult for them to work out who the donors through the EC are.

Also of interest is a $73,000 loan from an entity called the New Zealand First Foundation whose trustees are Brian Henry and Doug Woolerton. I can’t find any info online about this foundation.

Basically once again NZ First has the least transparent finances.

National

National received $49,975 from a Australian company called Go-Airlie Pty Ltd. It was refunded (not clear whether to the company or to the Electoral Commission) and there is no known address for it. An overseas company can’t donate more than $1,500 so it is strange the donation was ever made in the first place. Was it unsolicited?

The Greens had $90,000 lent to them during the year. Each loan was under $15,000 so the identity is not disclosed. I suspect the MPs had to lend the party money to finance the election campaign after the Turei disaster struck them.

Large Donors (over $15k)

National and Labour are close to each other with funding from large donors

Medium donors (over $5k to $15k)

In terms of funding from medium donors National has a huge advantage over Labour, having ten times as many medium donors.

Smaller donors (over $1.5k to $5k)

In terms of funding from medium donors National has a huge advantage over Labour, having eight times as many smaller donors.

The Greens in fact have more smaller donors than Labour.

Small donors (under $1.5k)

Donations under $1,500 are not revealed to the EC (unless anonymous or overseas) so we don’t know how much each party gets from these donors.

However it is well known National has over 30,000 members and I think the average donation is over $50 so National probably gets around $2 million a year in small donations also.