Aug 4, 2008

Where Does The NZ First Money Come From?

Over at Kiwiblog David Farrar has undertaken an interesting analysis of declared donations and expenditure by NZ political parties. It shows that NZ First is in a very different situation to any other party. Most have a fairly close correlation between declared donations and expenditure - but the difference is stark for NZ First. Over the Farrar:

Since 1997 they have declared $827K of expenses but declared only $45,000 of large donations - a ratio of 5% - just 1/7th of the next lowest party ACT at 35%.
So what conclusions can one draw from this? Well remember the data is not complete. But there would seem to be two main conclusions one can draw - but competing conclusions. They are:
That NZ First is the only party that has never ever attracted large donors. That they are entirely funded by small donors and have had only one quarter as many large donations as the miniscule Progressive Party and one sixteeneth as many large donations as the Alliance.
That since 1997 NZ First has had a deliberate strategy of concealing large donations by means such as having had them broken up into smaller parcels, or channelling them through associated trusts who do not pass them onto the party but spend them at the discretion of the unknown trustees.
I will leave it to readers to decide which conclusion they think is most likely.