4 May 2012

MPs agree anonymous donations have a place

12:15 pm on 4 May 2012

Political parties broadly agree there is still a place for anonymous donations in local body and general elections.

At the heart of the controversy surrounding ACT leader John Banks is the question of whether he declared donations to his 2010 Auckland mayoral campaign as anonymous, when he was aware of their source.

Labour Party justice spokesperson Charles Chauvel says there is a good reason for having anonymous donations.

"Say you've got a public servant or a teacher or somebody who by their profession is required to be outwardly politically neutral living in a small community and they want to support a particular political candidate - that's their democratic right."

The Green Party would like to see a cap of $500 on all anonymous donations.

Other parties say it would not be possible to collect small amounts at local meetings as they do now if people had to declare their donations.

Prime Minister John Key says the rules for local body elections are not as strict as those governing general elections and there is a case for a law change.