Labour's Trevor Mallard represents a middle-income Hutt South electorate but his campaign last year was funded by $11,000 in donations from two richlisters - Sir Robert Jones and Sir Bob's managing director Greg Loveridge.

Mr Mallard's colleague Clayton Cosgrove also tapped into the richlist, getting $10,000 from the company of racing and fishing magnates Peter and Philip Vela.

The revelation comes as The New Zealand Herald today launches an experiment in crowdsourcing following the release of donations and expenses' returns for candidates at the 2014 general election.

This is an enormous potential dataset and the Herald has uploaded nearly 900 documents to its own microsite, Money in Politics, allowing members of the public to interact with and analyse the data.



The release of candidate returns shows it was not only Labour MPs benefiting from millionaire's row - Prime Minister John Key, himself on the NBR's Richlist, got $10,000 from Chris Huljich through Christopher and Banks, the company Mr Huljich set up with former Act leader John Banks.

The company had also donated $60,000 to the National Party just before the election.

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Mr Banks stood down as a director and shareholder of the private equity firm in 2012 after he was elected back into Parliament.

Mr Cosgrove also received a $7000 donations from Christchurch construction company, Dormer Construction, toward his campaign. Dormer Construction is owned by brothers Mike and Pete Dormer, who also donated to Mr Cosgrove's 2011 campaign.

Mr Cosgrove has described Mike Dormer as a close family friend.

In 2011, he rejected suggestions the donation was inappropriate because another Dormer company, Independent Fisheries, was in a legal stoush to develop land on the outskirts of Christchurch.


The Vela family's worth was estimated at $210 million in the last richlist.

The Vela brothers also donated $100,000 each to Labour and New Zealand First in 2008.

Donations from the Vela brothers to NZ First dating back to 1999 were also at the centre of controversy around undisclosed donations.

The 2014 returns show Mr Mallard received $6,000 from Sir Robert and $5000 from Greg Loveridge, the managing director of Sir Bob's company Robt Jones Holdings.

Mr Loveridge, 40, was a former advisor to Mallard when Labour was in Government. He gave the donation through his company GRL Holdings.

Last year, NBR estimated his worth at $52 million.

Sir Bob, who was a guest at Mr Mallard's wedding earlier this year, is a personal friend of Mr Mallard's.

He wrote in the Herald last year that he voted for National but gave his electorate vote to Mr Mallard.

Mana leader Hone Harawira declared a total of $80,000 from the Internet Party and $25,000 from his own electorate branch.

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