Lani Hagaman, Heartland Bank among latest big-note political donors

Lani Hagaman

The latest Electoral Commission disclosures of donations above $30,000 all go to the National Party. They are:

  • Lani Hagaman: $57,615
  • Heartland Bank: $57,400
  • Lane Capital: $50,000

And although his name has yet to appear on the $30K+ donation list, Xero boss and $550 million NBR Rich Lister Rod Drury made his preferred prime minister plain to his 40,000 followers on social media, tweeting:

Mr Drury also posted a link to a new promotional video from National that tells its leader's life-story. It comes at a time when media trainer Brian Edwards says Mr English "needs to harden up, to and stop playing the gentleman farmer."

The latest donors
Lani Hagaman is the widow of tourism pioneer Earl Hagaman, who died in May aged 92. The Rich List couple was embroiled in a long-running defamation action against Andrew Little during his time as Labour Party leader, which was stalemated by hung jury decision in June.

Lane Capital is owned by $320 million NBR Rich Lister Gary Lane, the former owner of Lanes Biscuits, Hansells and Healtheries. Mr Lane's current interests include a majority ownership of US-registered Antipodean Pharmaceuticals, and a stake in Auckland super yacht builder Alloy Yachts.

Heartland Bank was created in 2012 through the merger of Canterbury Building Society, Southern Cross Building Society, Marac Finance and PGG Wrightson Finance. See NBR's latest Heartland Bank coverage here.

Other big-note donations across all parties in the past two months include:

  • Dairy Workers Union to Labour: $120,000
  • Rorohara Farms (co-owned by Mainfreight chairman and $400m NBR Rich Lister Bruce Plested) to the Maori Party: $50,000
  • Maritime Union to Labour: $40,500
  • E Tu Union to Labour: $120,000
  • Gareth Morgan to TOP: $1.4 million
  • Auckland artist Stanley Palmer to Labour: $39,100)*
  • Wellington artist Karl Maughan to Labour: $60,000
  • NBR Rich Lister Barry Colman to National: $56,000
  • Alpha Laboratories (owned by Geum Soon Shim) to National: $112,000
  • Carrus Corporation (owned by Rich Lister and Tauranga property developer Paul Adams) to National: $50,000
  • Bruce Plested to the Maori Party: $100,000**
  • E Tu union to the Greens: $30,000
  • Retired High Court judge Robert Smellie, QC, to Labour: $100,000
  • Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry (directors: Lang Lin and Meng Qing) to National: $150,000
  • Alan Gibbs to ACT: $100,000

Labour is also boasting it has raised $500,000 since Jacinda Ardern became leader on August 1, mostly in small donations according to campaign manager Andrew Kirton. Other parties have been shy of giving a specific update.

Beyond whatever they raise through their own efforts, each party has been allocated taxpayer funding for electoral ads, broadly tied to its level of support, with National getting $1.3 million and Labour just over $1 million (see other totals here).


* Stanley Palmer says he was not aware his name had been put forward by Labour as a donor. It seems his name was used to funnel donations by un-named others during an art auction. Painter Karl Maughan says the same.


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25 Comments & Questions

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The prospects of a UN or Union ran NZ is as prehistoric and dangerous as the currently Union ran education system!

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Mongolian horse riders more appropriate for you?

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This part of elections should be banned.
I should not know who is financing who....anymore than I should know the names behind the money.
It is a not hidden form of corruption but it also could and does entice others to match the amounts and so get their names in the paper or on TV.
It also in its own way hinders the political party from making independent decision that affect all those who offer nothing in the ay of money apart from that impost on them by the taxpayer money provided to each party without their say or consult.
Their is always the risk the one with the most money could sway or swing an election their way simply by the amount of money they can throw about with advertising in all its many forms.

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Absolutely disgraceful that a Bank donates to a political party

With a range of customers they should be neutral and what mandate do they have from their shareholders

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Absolutely disgraceful a union donates to a political party.

With a range of subscribers (conned) they should be focused on the interests of the subscribers not on gaining power to control or create new bad regulation or social circumstances as a means to generate more revenue or subscribers.

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Same with the Unions, what mandate do they have from their members to spend their subscriptions in this way?

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Precisely.

The only real difference between corporations seeking to preserve their self interest and unions is Unions survive by totally avoiding catering to the interests of their subscribers (vultures and rotting springs to mind).

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Absolutely disgraceful that a Union donates to a political party.

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Absolutely disgraceful that Labour seems to have washed donation money clean through other donors by auctioning off artworks way above estimated prices.

Seems National has done the same.

No one is clean here, so no use trying to pull punches with select party's, Scribe!

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I actually agree with you

But I have an issue with a Bank donating outside of that argument
There is no correlation to the party or its customers

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There is a strong correlation. Most banks have already calculated the damage to property values and mortgage affordability should Taxcinda Tarabin inflict tax after tax after tax upon NZ.

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Totally agree - are they going to increase fees to pay for the donation???

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It's interesting to see where our union fees are going, and that they have so much spare money to throw around. Maybe it's time union fees started to come down, instead of going up all the time.

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Ivan you don't have to be a member of a union, suggest if you don't want them spending your money this way, resign. Or of course if you are not a member of a union then they are not spending your money at all.

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Hello, I call myself Anon, and I specialise in the bloody obvious. For your information I have worked in a lot of jobs over the years, and if you try and be the odd one out that doesn't join the union, when all your workmates are. You are going to be hated, and that's not something you are going to want to put yourself through everyday. Still I probably don't need to tell you that, do I. You knowing everything and all.

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What utter rubbish, demonise unions but applaud the manufacturers association and other business suppoerters that would prefer we were all on zero hour contracts. The manufacturers association is a union for the rich!!! So no difference so why are the people that got us 40 hour week, sick leave etc demons everyone forgets what it was like before, just look at the sweat shops across Asia

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You seem to be all over the place with your strange comments. Have you actually read what you wrote? Nobody mentioned the manufacturers association. Time for a lie down maybe.

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Party donations should be illegal and not tax deductable.

The playing field is hardly level. Democracy is sick as a dog as it is, without the support of wealthy vested interests.

It would be different if growth was evenly distributed and shared, but its clearly not.

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Political party donations are not tax deduct able.

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Will be voting National but happy to put in a snarky comment here about Allan Hubbard et al.
Heartland better be donating.

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There's no evidence of a political program anymore in NZ as there aren't genuine politics.
There's the media telling you that Jacinda versus English is the epic clash of ideology when we know both parties are more or less neoliberals. I mean, they both exist to preserve the interests of this relatively autonomous class of overseas owned banks, its the same the world over where there's this Fukuyamaist idea that if we could just tweak neoliberal democracy, everything's going to be fine forever; that somehow, this is like the final political form and voters only need to be bribed by concessions or find a distinctive differentiation to subjugate a race or class to fix the blame for economic woes, George Orwell said that some ideas are so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them, for no ordinary man could be such a fool this election and the obvious bribery for votes proves Mr Orwell wrong

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Since the big political parties are getting quite a lot of donations, why do they need tax payers hard earn money distributed via the Election Commission.

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It's a tough issue. Looking at the likes of the USA and the damage the Citizens United supreme court case has done hand-in-hand with rife regulatory capture and what Kiwis would consider corruption of congress and senate, public funding of electoral coverage starts to look more desirable than unlimited collecting of donations by all and sundry. I wouldn't consider public funding desirable...but the example of the USA suggests it could be the lesser of two evils.

Alternatively, maybe some very strict ways to address corruption and the buying of votes?

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Shouldnt there be a more current picture of Lani

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This photo was used in this year's Rich List. I believe it is a photo supplied by the family.

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