Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Act line-up attracts Gibbs' money

Alan Gibbs. Photo / Dean Purcell
Alan Gibbs. Photo / Dean Purcell

Multimillionaire Alan Gibbs has donated $100,000 to Act's election war chest in a clear sign his allegiance to the party in its new form remains strong.

Act disclosed the $100,000 donation this week - and also a $10,000 sum he gave on May 12, a fortnight after Don Brash toppled Rodney Hide for the leadership.

Mr Gibbs has known Dr Brash for 50 years. However, he was also a good friend of Mr Hide and donated $200,000 to Act in 2008.

The new Act line-up does not include any of the sitting MPs or faces of Act, although Catherine Isaac is a former party president.

Parties must disclose donations of more than $30,000 within 10 days. Before January this year, that disclosure limit was $20,000.

The Gibbs money takes Act's tally of big donations this term to $312,855, compared with National's $530,000 - of which $300,000 came from Aucklander Susan Chou, who donated that amount in three separate lots over the past two years.

Ms Chou and her husband, Zhaowu Shen, have business interests in NZ, Hong Kong and Vietnam and are long-time supporters of former National Cabinet minister Pansy Wong.

Labour took in $100,500 in major donations in the present term.

Donations of more than $15,000 must be disclosed in post-election and annual returns.

Meanwhile, there was some embarrassment for Act after its rivals noticed its website policy page was filled with Latin words and names of different cuts of meat.

The news of Act's "meaty manifesto" began to trend on Twitter, including meat-related puns and jokes about corned beef being listed given Dr Brash's fondness of it.

A spokesman for the party said the paragraphs were used by designers during a redesign of the website as fillers until the appropriate policies were put in place.

He said that page was not due to be "live" until today.

Deep pockets

Donations since 2009

National: $530,000
Donors: Susan Chou ($300,000), Todd Corporation ($50,000), Graeme Douglas ($25,000), Team McMillan ($50,000), Antoines Restaurant ($105,000).

Act: $312,855
Donors: Alan Gibbs ($110,000), John Boscawen ($52,335), Christopher and Banks Private Equity (John Banks' company) ($50,000), Southland businessman Louis Crimp ($100,520).

Labour: $100,500
Donors: Todd Corporation ($50,000), Mike Smith ($25,000) and Meatworkers' Union ($25,500).

Green Party: $21,000
Donor: Dr Stuart Bramhall.

(Tally is of donations of more than $20,000 until January 1, 2011, and more than $30,000 since then.)

- NZ Herald

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