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2013 donation returns: the surprising truth

The Electoral Commission has published the 2013 annual donation returns from registered parties.

In terms of large (over $15,000 donations) the parties that received them were in order:

  1. Greens $261,807
  2. National $164,603
  3. Conservatives $190,000
  4. ACT $25,000

That is fascinating. The Greens received the most in large donations, and Labour received nothing (in 2013) over $15,000.

In terms of medium sized donations ($1,500 to $15,000) the totals received were:

  1. National $865,900
  2. Labour $478,555
  3. Greens $124,905
  4. ACT $108,895
  5. Maori $73,473
  6. Mana $28,374
  7. Conservatives $6,506
  8. NZ First $2,000

NZ First says they received only one donation above $1,500. Hmmn.

ACT’s large donor was a Lani Hagaman. She and her husband are property investors.

The Conservatives had $90,000 from Colin Craig and $100,000 from Laurence and Katrina Day. Laurence I think is a Director of Quantum Education.

Most of the Green Party donations are from MPs who paid between $15,500 and $20,000 each. Also got $20,000 from a Jane Juneau who is a New Plymouth photographer.

National had five large donors (and 185 medium sized ones). The five large ones were:

  1. Xiao Miao Fan $63,500
  2. Oravida $30,000
  3. Cyril Smith $29,950
  4. Gallagher Group $24,152
  5. Graeme Douglas $17,000

Worth noting that the value of the five large donors is quite modest compared to the medium sized donors. They represent just 15% of total donations over $1,500. Also I’d estimate National receives probably $1 million or so on top of that through membership fess and donations that are under $1,500 individually, so the five large donors are probably just 5% to 8% of total income for National.

Political commentator David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.

Comments and questions

Based on the large donor totals as quoted, it looks like the Conservative Party should be no. 2 on your list David, not National.

So the Greens party puts a 'tax' on getting a good list ranking.

Do the unions not donate to Labour? Why aren't they on the list?

Good point. In fact shouldn't union fees themselves be regarded as a donation to the Labour Party given that the Labour Party is the political wing of the union movement?

The Union "donations" are in kind - free labour, parallel campaigns, use of vehicles, etc. So while they are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars combined they are not included as a donation.

So the next time a Labour polly visits a school or factory, will the media be asking the same questions as when a National polly visits a diary company?