$500K donation from Hamilton couple nudges Conservatives ahead of Internet Mana
UPDATE / July 8: The Conservatives have received another big donation, the latest Electoral Commission disclosure statement reveals. Hamilton couple Laurence and Katrina Day gave the party $500,000 on June 26. The Days also donated $75,000 in March this year and $100,000 in April 2013. The Days have been behind several private business schools. Mr Day is a shareholder in recently listed Intueri Education Group.
Mr Craig also tipped in more of his own fortune, donating his party another $50,000 on June 24.
The donations means the Conservatives ($3.3 million) have now edged ahead of Internet Mana ($3.25 million) in terms of money raised since the last election.
However, in Internet-Mana's case, all of its funds have come from a series of donations from founder Kim Dotcom, and are earmarked for the September 20 election. In the Conservatives' case, $1.6 million was used to retire debt from its 2011 campaign.
The only other major donation reported was $110,000 from Rorohara Farms Limited to the Maori Party. The Otahuhu, Auckland-based company is owned by Mainfreight chairman Bruce Plested.
Meanwhile, public submissions have closed on the "Vote" logo the Conservatives want to appear next to their name on voting papers. The submissions are now being put to the party for feedback before the Commission makes its final ruling.
Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom takes time out in Queenstown (@KimDotcom, July 7)
Colin Craig donates $100K to own party
June 16: The latest major donor disclosure statement by the Electoral Commission reveals Colin Craig donated $100,000 to his own party on June 9.
The donation was the latest in a flurry of self-raising, which has also seen Mr Craig give the Conservatives $30,000 (on May 28) , $25,000 (May 13), and $550,000 (March 25).
All-told, Mr Craig — who told NBR ONLINE readers during an Ask Me Anything session that he and his wife have property holdings worth around $5 million — has donated $2.75 million to his party. His largest single donation was $1.62 million to clear Conservative debts accumulated during the November 2011 election campaign.
Under the Electoral Act (1993), political parties are required to report all donations over $30,000, which are in turn made public by the Commission.
The latest update includes a $50,000 donation to National by former NBR publisher Barry Colman; previously publicised donations by Les Mills CEO Phillip Mills to Labour ($65,000) and the Greens ($60,000); and Kim Dotcom's three donations to his Internet Party totalling $3.25 million.
The bulk of Mr Dotcom's fortune is frozen pending his possible extradition to the US, where he faces copyright violation, money laundering and racketeering charges brought by the US Department of Justice. Internet Party CEO Vikram Kumar told NBR that the millions the accused pirate is using to bankroll the Internet Party are drawn from a family trust. Mr Dotcom has also offered a $US5 million bounty for whistleblower information that will help him in his case brought by the DOJ, or the civil suits he faces from music and movie industry groups.
Conservatives propose "Vote" logo
Today also the Electoral Commission reveal proposed logos by Internet Mana and the Conservative Party.
The former is straightforward; the latter — simply "Vote" in white against a blue background — had the social media mob scratching their heads. Some wondered if slower-witted voters could take it as an instruction and tick the box beside the Conservative Party.
The logos will appear on ballot papers. The Commission has asked for public feedback before registering the proposed designs.
The Internet Party and Mana's partnership agreement expires six weeks after the September 20 election, at which point the parties could potentially split and revert to their old logos.