Feb 25, 2008

Pork Barrel Politics: 1996 Revisited

Yesterday we quoted from the great leader Winston Peters himself:

Big businesses, their advisers, lobbyists, law firms and merchant banks shell out cash to the candidates and often fund a number of them. After the election of course, it is payback time. There are huge contracts to be won and brimming pork barrels to be emptied. There are jobs for the boys and girls.

Today we would like to ask some questions about 1996. Readers might like to refer to the NZ First donor list for 1996.

In reading this list you will note an unusual concentration of conservative Maori interests and fisheries interests listed as donors:

Independent Fisheries
Talleys Fisheries
Tamatea Fisheries
T O'Regan

Questions for journalists to follow up:

Were these donations made before or after NZ First gave Labour the cold shoulder? Were there ever any discussions between these donors and NZ First over which way NZ First would swing in the post election Government forming process?

Was there any link with the Fisheries Act that also went through in 1996?

After the election was there any payback in terms of quota allocation? What happened at payback time - to quote the great leader?

Asking the donors would be the best place to start. It would also be interesting to know whether these donations were completely spontaneous or were the donors approached by Winston Peters or NZ First?