Political party donation returns published

By Kate Shuttleworth

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig continues to be the biggest single donor, investing more than $1.6 million into his party last year. Photo /  Richard Robinson
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig continues to be the biggest single donor, investing more than $1.6 million into his party last year. Photo / Richard Robinson

The Labour Party will not be prosecuted over failing to file a return for a bequest of more than $430,000, despite it being declared outside the disclosure period.

The Electoral Commission has today published the 2012 donation returns from registered political parties. Conservative Party leader Colin Craig continues to be the biggest single donor, investing more than $1.6 million into his party last year.

The donation returns also showed Labour breached the electoral law by failing to file a return for the bequest within the 10-day period.

The party received donations totalling $430,259 from the late Brian James Dalley in four payments between April and July last year.

Mr Dalley died on September 12, 2011 - he was a property investor and wrote a book on what people should look for when buying rental properties.

The Electoral Act states donations over $15,000 only have to be disclosed once a year, while a return needed to be filed within 10 working days for any donation over $30,000.

A party secretary can be fined up to $40,000 for not filing a return if they don't have a reasonable excuse.

The commission said it had enquired into the breach but do not intend to take the matter further.

A spokeswoman for the commission said Labour explained the donation was the first bequest received by the party for some years and the party's general secretary Tim Barnett and his predecessor had not been aware the bequest needed to be treated like a donation for the purposes of the Electoral Act.

The Labour Party has changed its financial processes to provide for the management of bequests and subsequently filed a late return for the donation.

***

Other donations declared:

- Act Party: John Boscawen $24,000

- Conservative Party: Colin Craig $1,618,600

- Social Credit Party: Murray Gouk estate $25,000

- Greens Party: MPs totalling $233,487

- National Party: Chris Parkin $16,850

- National Party: James Crisp Ltd $17,850

- National Party: Roncon Pacific Hotel Mgmt $22,000

- National Party: Scholar Hotel $24,000

- National Party: Graeme Douglas $25,000

- National Party: Cyril Smith $29,950

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 23 Aug 2014 22:56:39 Processing Time: 489ms