Labour's Napier MP Stuart Nash gave $4000 to his mate Kelvin Davis for the election campaign, but ended up collecting $27,000 less than him.

The candidate donations have been released by the Electoral Commission, and total about $5.2 million in donations to National Party candidates, and about $4 million to Labour Party candidates.

Nash said he wanted to support a local printing business and a friend, and so he had his and Davis' election hoardings done in Napier at a cost of about $4000 each.

"Kelvin is one of my best mates in caucus. And I've been getting my hoardings done at a local business in Napier, so I offered to do some for him as well. So I paid for his and he got them for free," Nash said.


Davis won the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, beating Mana candidate Hone Harawira by 4807 votes despite the accommodation that Harawira had from the Maori Party, which did not run a candidate.

Among Harawira's backers was Vodafone Warriors general manager Dave Curran, who gave his campaign $4000.

Davis was given a total of $50,404 in donations, $27,000 more than Nash raised for his own campaign - but Nash laughed off any suggestion that he would ask for his money back.

Among other candidate donations are $10,000 given by Hollywood movie star Cliff Curtis to Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, while songwriter Neil Finn gave $3000 to Green Party candidate Chloe Swarbrick.

Artists featured prominently in the donations, with Nash himself receiving $2000 from Dick Frizzell.

Several gave money to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Mt Albert campaign, including $15,700 from garden-scape painter Karl Maughan, $4100 from sculptor Greer Twiss, $8400 from painter and printmaker Stanley Palmer, $3200 from painter John Reynolds, and $6200 from painter and composer Michael Smither.

Businessman Sir Robert Jones donated $5000 to each to Labour's New Lynn MP Deborah Russell, and National's Mt Albert candidate Melissa Lee.

National's Tauranga MP Simon Bridges received $96,000 in candidate donations, mostly from Tauranga-based companies including $5000 from the local Pak'nSave, and $31,000 from companies connected to businessman Paul Adams.


Fishery company Talley's Group gave $49,000 to 10 politicians, including $10,000 to New Zealand First MP Shane Jones, who used to chair Te Ohu Kaimoana (the Maori Fisheries Commission).

The sums are not definitive totals, as candidates only have to disclose donations over $1500 to the Electoral Commission.

Candidate donations are separate from donations to political parties. Final results on party donations over $30,000 are expected at the start of April.

Donations disclosed so far show that Gareth Morgan gave $2.13m to The Opportunities Party.

The National Party received $771,736, including $150,000 from the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry, and Labour received $639,600, including $100,000 donation from retired High Court judge Robert Smellie QC.