A New Zealand political party's general secretary has pleaded guilty after failing to properly declare more than $200,000 in donations.
Police charged New Zealand People's Party general secretary Anil Kumar Sharma with breaching the Electoral Act after he failed to correctly file details of significant donations with the Electoral Commission.
The charges were filed in the Auckland District Court last month, the Herald revealed, before Sharma later pleaded guilty.
He will be sentenced next year.
The Electoral Act requires a party secretary to file a return for every party donation exceeding $30,000, including when aggregated with all previous donations from the donor in the past 12 months.
A return must be filed within 10 working days of the donation being received by the party secretary, the law requires.
Four of the five donations, totalling $206,000, were made before last year's general election and had expiry dates for notice of the donation being given between August 21 and September 26 - the day before the election.
The largest single donation was $52,000.
A $36,000 donation to the party was made after the election and had an expiry date of November 1.
After the Herald published details of the charges, Party leader and founder Roshan Nauhria told the newspaper the party had "made a mistake".
"The money was all paid through banking systems, there was no cash or anything," he said.
"We made a mistake ... it's not that we've committed any wrongdoing."
He said the public wasn't affected by the late notice and said it was "not a serious offence of any kind".
"There's nothing wrong, the return was filed late," he said.
"I don't see any problem there.
"I don't think anything will happen," he said of the case.
In June, Nauhria said late disclosure of donations he made to the party was due to a rookie error.
He had donated $260,000 in 18 separate donations to his party between July and October last year but the sum was not disclosed until the party lodged its annual return earlier this year.
Nauhria stood as a candidate and finished third in the 2016 Mt Roskill byelection, which was triggered when Phil Goff was elected as Auckland's mayor.
The New Zealand People's Party was formed in 2015 and in last year's elections gained just under 1890 votes.
Nauhria has said he intended to keep the party going for the 2020 election.
The People's Party target voter base is mainly migrant voters and its focus was law and order following a spate of aggravated dairy robberies and taxi driver muggings.
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has previously called the party "a National Party front".