Rich lister Sir Owen Glenn has donated $50,000 to National and Labour - and offered money to New Zealand First but was told it wasn't wanted.

Electoral Commission returns show Sir Owen's company Go Bloodstock New Zealand Limited gave $50,000 to the National Party on September 21, and just two days before the election.

Labour Party general secretary Andrew Kirton confirmed the same amount had been donated to Labour. Kirton told the Herald he had filed a return with the commission today.

And a spokeswoman for NZ First leader Winston Peters confirmed money had been offered to the party by Sir Owen, but was declined.

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In 2008 Peters famously held up a "NO" placard at a media conference, in answer to whether he had received a donation from Sir Owen.

Winston Peters during a media conference at Parliament in 2008, where he denied Owen Glenn had given money to New Zealand First. New Zealand Herald Photograph by Mark Mitchell
Winston Peters during a media conference at Parliament in 2008, where he denied Owen Glenn had given money to New Zealand First. New Zealand Herald Photograph by Mark Mitchell

He was later censured by Parliament for "knowingly providing false or misleading information on a return of pecuniary interests". The matter related to $100,000 donated by Sir Owen and paid to Peters' lawyer to fund Peters' legal costs of challenging the election of Bob Clarkson in Tauranga in 2005.

Sir Owen was estimated to be worth $400 million in the 2016 NBR Rich List and made his fortune in freight and logistics, largely in Europe and the US.

His philanthropy included starting an inquiry into domestic abuse that struggled after revelations surfaced that Sir Owen had been accused of assaulting a woman in Hawaii in 2002. He pleaded no contest to the charges at the time and later described the alleged assault as attempted extortion and "pure fraud".

Maori Party president donates thousands

The Electoral Commission returns also show Maori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan gave $43,000 to the party in the lead-up to the election.

The party won't return to Parliament after co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell lost the Waiariki seat to Labour's Tamati Coffey.

The Maori Party has also declared donations from Susan Cullen (a total of $82,511) and Tamati Cairns ($30,000).

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Cullen is a previous Maori Party candidate and the daughter of former Te Wananga o Aotearoa head Rongo Wetere. In 2005 Cullen released details of multi-million dollar contracts her companies had with the wananga, ahead of an auditor-general investigation that found inadequate management of conflicts of interest.