18 Dec 2019

Christchurch mayor releases names of donors

6:52 pm on 18 December 2019

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel's lack of transparency has been labelled an "insult to ratepayers" after some of her large donors were publicly named today.

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Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel (file photo) Photo: RNZ / Maja Burry

Ms Dalziel had not released the names of the donors from an auction of items belonging to her husband, which raised $40,000 for her mayoral campaign.

The names were released today after pressure from unsuccessful mayoral candidate John Minto, who now wants an inquiry into the donations.

Christchurch mayoral candidate John Minto

John Minto Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

The updated donors list showed Ms Dalziel received six donations greater than $1500 from the auction, including one which totalled $17,850 from a person named Wei Min Lu.

All donors above $1500 must be identified according to the Electoral Act.

The other donors who gave above $1500 in the auction were Yong Chen ($3920), Zhe Cheng Tan ($2800), Jiang Ping Wang ($2350), Grandland Investment Ltd ($2950) and Yang Xia Wu ($1750).

Mr Minto said the non-disclosure was an insult to ratepayers.

"Well I think it's clear that the first expenses [and donations] return she filed makes a mockery of democracy, this is a very experienced politician, she knows the rules down to the last details," he said.

"Electoral law is there for a very special reason, so that people know who is bank rolling campaigns for public office."

Ms Dalziel previously told RNZ that she was confident the non-disclosure was within the law.

Mr Minto did not immediately call on Ms Dalziel to resign, but said if she resigned today, "a lot of people would feel that is appropriate".

RNZ has requested comment from Ms Dalziel.

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