4 May 2009

Main parties declare lower total of large donations

3:17 pm on 4 May 2009

The main political parties have declared significantly reduced totals for big donations received in the 2008 election year, compared with returns filed in 2005.

The Electoral Commission has released details of the large donations political parties were obliged to declare in 2008.

The National Party declared $207,000, which includes $30,000 from the leader John Key. In 2005, National declared about $1.8 million in donations.

For the Labour Party, the total of about $420,000 declared for last year also fell from about $931,000 in 2005.

Parties must must declare donations of over $10,000 and the name and address of the donor.

Donations of less than $10,000 can be made anonymously, but must be declared if the total amount donated is from the same person, and tops the $10,000 limit.

Smaller parties

ACT declared $315,906.25 and the Green Party $184,962.94 - the largest totals of donations among the smaller parties.

The two biggest donors to the ACT party were its list MP John Boscawen, who gave $101,000, and businessman Alan Gibbs, who donated $200,000 to the party last year.

Those giving $10,000 to the Green Party included the MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons, Metiria Turei, Sue Bradford, Keith Locke and Sue Kedgley.

New Zealand First's declaration contains the already well-publicised donation of $100,000 from a company owned by the Vela brothers who have racing industry connections, as well as $12,000 from Cambridge Stud founder Sir Patrick Hogan.