Insurance companies which stood to gain from the privatisation of ACC could have made donations to National's election campaign and no one would ever know, Labour MP David Parker said in Parliament today.

Mr Parker did not say the insurance companies had donated, his point was that because most donations don't have to be disclosed it wasn't possible to know one way or the other.

He was speaking during the first reading debate on the Electoral (Administration) Bill, which puts the agencies responsible for running elections under a single authority.

Mr Parker said Labour and National both spent $2.2 million on their campaigns during last year's election.

Labour disclosed the source of donations worth a total $422,000 and National $130,000.

The level at which donations have to be disclosed is $10,000. Any donations below that remain anonymous.

Mr Parker argued the threshold should be $1000.

"Before the election, Merrill Lynch said if ACC was privatised...there would be $2 billion of ACC levies up for grabs and $200 million of additional profit could be earned by Australian insurers," he said.

"We all know that the private insurers stand to gain from the privatisation of ACC. There's no doubt about that. But what we don't know is whether those same private insurers were contributing to the National Party.

"I can never prove that they were, but it is wrong for our democracy to be tainted by that accusation.

"It is also wrong if it didn't happen and yet our election process is tainted by the implication that it may have."

Mr Parker said the lack of transparency around donations was "a glaring problem" in the electoral system.

- NZPA