3 May 2019

National Party donations dwarf Labour's by more than $500k

4:14 pm on 3 May 2019

The National Party raked in more than $740,000 in donations last year, dwarfing Labour's haul.

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The latest political party donation figures have been published by the Electoral Commission. Photo: 123RF

The latest figures, published by the Electoral Commission, reveal Labour pulled in just $173,343 in 2018. That included a fortnightly donation from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern totalling almost $19,000.

Most of National and Labour's donations came from people giving less than $15,000 dollars, so their names don't have to be disclosed.

Donations under $1500 are not revealed to the Electoral Commission (unless anonymous or overseas) and so are not included in the latest numbers.

Among the larger donations include $50,000 from retired High Court judge Robert Smellie to the Labour Party and $25,000 from businessman Sir Owen Glenn to National.

National also received more than $19,000 from Anurag Rasela, $25,500 from Graham Drummond, and $25,000 from RCL Henley Downs.

The Green Party was the second largest beneficiary, receiving more than $600,000 last year. The vast chunk of that - more than $350,000 - came from the estate of one of their members who died. Another $185,000 was tithed by the party's eight MPs.

ACT received $145,000 in donations and New Zealand First pulled in about $88,000.

NZ First also received a loan of almost $77,000 from an entity called the NZ First foundation, administered by lawyer Brian Henry.

Three parties outside of Parliament also received donations. The Opportunities Party (TOP) received $87,843 including a $50,000 donation from its founder Gareth Morgan.

The New Conservatives received $20,000 and the Maori Party received $2000.

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