Donations to political parties have been in the spotlight in the wake of multiple Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigations.
The SFO has laid criminal charges against former National MP Jami-Lee Ross and three members of the NZ Chinese community in respect of National Party donations. It has also commenced an investigation into donations made to the Labour Party at the 2017 election.
The SFO had said it expected to report prior to the September 19 election on a separate investigation into the New Zealand First Foundation.
Though the election has been pushed out to October 17, at the time this report was filed, it had yet to eventuate.
Some 27 per cent of respondents to the Herald's CEO election survey favour public funding of elections.
"Public funding reduces the risk of cheating, but the rules are currently clear, and (if) the players involved knowingly flouted the rules (they) should be punished accordingly," said Ballance Agri-Nutrients CEO Mark Wynne.
Foodstuffs North Island CEO Chris Quin said his group had ceased any corporate funding given the various potential issues.
Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns was also in favour of public funding saying "there can be no justification for political donations."
"The fishing and racing industries highlights why funding of political parties should be severely curtailed in New Zealand," said Simplicity's Sam Stubbs.
"If New Zealand wishes to remain the lowest corruption nation on earth it is essential," added an aviation boss.
A larger proportion — 48 per cent — were against the introduction of full public funding.
"I really don't like the outcomes of the current system, but I like the notion of public funding of political parties even less — especially given that is likely to entrench the status quo permanently," said a property management boss.
"And I like the US system of PACs even less. I don't think we have a better answer yet, and maybe that's what we need to look at."
NZ Initiative chair Roger Partridge said taxpayers should not fund political parties.
"Political parties should simply comply with the law."
This sentiment was echoed by several bosses who said there is no problem with the way parties are funded.
"Just get the political parties to follow and obey the rules we have in place," said Terry Copeland of Federated Farmers.
Foreign interference in New Zealand elections
Some 36 per cent of survey respondents to the 2020 Mood of the Boardroom survey are concerned at the possibility of foreign interference in NZ elections.
"Beca's Greg Lowe said international players have interests in the political debate in NZ, just as we do with our major trading partners.
"We would all like policies that are friendly to our national interests, but foreign interests in our political debate need to be very transparent."
"It's happening elsewhere, we won't be immune," said a banker.
A funds firm boss was among the 55 per cent who were not concerned: "Elections are always subject to influence from many sources, some of them domestic as well. Influence will happen, however the NZ system to expose this, I have reasonable confidence in. Maybe I am naive!"
"I am sure there will be foreign and domestic 'interference', and I am sure the fourth estate will do its job," said Precinct Properties' Craig Stobo.
Some 9 per cent of respondents said they were unsure on this issue.
The prospect of foreign interference at the 2017 general election was investigated by Parliament's Justice Committee.
Government members said they were concerned about the circumstances surrounding the involvement of a former Minister in the previous National Government in the procuring of a $150,000 donation from the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry (NZ) Ltd that was received by the National Party and declared on May 17 2017.
"We do not believe the National Party or a former Minister in the previous Government has met the spirit or intent of the Electoral Act's restrictions on foreign donations.
"We further note the apparent foreign interference in New Zealand's democracy whereby a Minister has involved himself in the procurement of donations through discussions with a foreign national that has direct interests in the policy area that the Minister has responsibility for.
National replied that the donation had been disclosed.