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$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.

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Comments and questions
18

So all it takes these days to buy a seat is to be vaguely right of centre, and the sitting PM will fall over himself to offer up an uncontested electorate for you. Disgraceful.

Welcome to the shambles created when "we" voted in MMP.

@Anonymous, so what sort of voting system would you prefer? Surely not the undemocratic, unrepresentative FPP system? MMP has its flaws but it is far better than FPP. We need to rethink the whole voting system IMO.

MMP despite its controversiality is still 100% better than no escape from a nat government. That is why it came in, and the majority of NZers wanted it because they were so sick and tired of being walked over by national and their cronies. National are more sophisticated in their approach these days but they are still selling NZers down the river mate. If you didn't vote for MMP I can understand your frustration: with it in place, national may (will probably) lose the next election.

Conservative's proposed logo is a dubious ploy at best. They need to add CONSERVATIVE to it so people know who to avoid.

Has Dotcom paid his debts to the trades people ?

I have tweeted to asking the same question. He does not reply. We don't know how much these guys are worth. They just trying to buy their seats as MPs with their money or pondering their wealth.

One wonders why these people who donate so much , if they are business owners , do not contribute more to their workers instead of feathering government parties . Is it a case of , I give you if you give me.

Good to see Mr Craig using his own money, instead of money from dodgy migrants like the other parties.

It is costing Craig a pretty penny per vote!

I recall the sums done on the campaign spending of a past election. The Greens got most votes per dollar spent on campaigning and the ACT Party got the least. Now as a Green Party member I may be a bit biased here but if we can get votes without trying too hard means that we have a keen support base.

If NZers vote this party in, they deserve everything they will get. The conservatives seem to me to endorse the worst parts of the 1950s; why take a huge step backwards when we should move forward to becoming a more enlightened society? anyway we all know that the conservatives are only there to replace ACT as the greater of two evils so that national, by comparison, can make their pro-corporate policies *appear* centerist and sane.

Your statement " becoming a more enlightened society?" is very subjective. If you consider increased political lies, corruption and bribery as enlightening then you are deluded indeed.

Also, isn't telling people who to vote for on election day illegal? Doesn't this logo breach that requirement? Quite shamelessly?

No actually. The colour denotes the party. Makes a change from election billboard copies of voting papers with the tick already placed on the "preferred" candidate.

To Fiori Uchitel, well its clear you aren't voting Conservative but to say they represent the worse of the 1950's is clearly ridiculous & uniformed. I've been to hear Colin Craig twice & I've found him to be refreshingly honest. Unfortunately you & the many on the liberal left get your info on Mr Craig from the many corrupt leftist news sources that flourish in NZ, none of which is true.

It is also refreshing to see a politician funded by himself, like it originally use to be, where people donated their time & money to serve the people. Mr Craig is up front with everything & everyone, no deals have been done with any Party. Are those on the left so scared that they have to print lies to the ill informed masses in NZ. In response to Fiori Uchitel, the 1950's represented some of the best years this country has ever experienced, we were certainly a lot safer back then.

Agreed...In the '50s and 60's you could do a deal on a hand shake and generally take people at 'face-value'.
Fiori Uchitel I would suspect is one of the loony left who believe in change for the sake of change..."because they know best and are enlightened.." Deluded would be a more accurate label.
MMP is holding this country back. It is likened to running a company (NZ INC) with a bunch of people sitting at the boardroom table attempting to 'score points' to be relevant & important, in a game they have no right to be playing.
Just listen to and watch a question & answer session in Parliament!!
Ms Uchitel, we must have strong leadership and MMP does not contribute anything other than game-playing pettiness at the tax payers expense.
As the owner of a successful company who just happens to know a little about managing people (egos), I would sack the minor 'hanger-on' parties and get back to FPP. If 60% of the population is too dammed lazy and ignorant to vote, then so be it.

I actually love election year. It's always interesting. Yes u are correct, that is a subjective term. 'Loony left' is also quite subjective. Of course it all depends on where your head is, and what you want out of life. Anyway, good luck on election day, no irony. I just hope NZers actually read the party manifestos before voting. And FPP is an anachronism in this so multi-cultural multi-racial society; MMP is best because it prevents systemic injustices to vulnerable and small groups in NZ who matter just as much as you and me and the things that we want to get and see happen.