When Dalziel was fundraising for her mayoral campaign this year, $40,100 came from a dinner and wine auction at the Southern Asia Restaurant in Colombo St organised by her husband, lawyer Rob Davidson.
Davidson had donated the wine, and Dalziel identified him alone as a donor at that event despite some bidders paying high prices for bottles.
The largest donor was Wei Min Lu, who paid $17,000 for wine – more than 11 times the $1500 limit that must be declared under the Act.
Dalziel said on Thursday she took Davidson’s advice on what she was required to declare. She then said she regretted not taking independent advice on her election return.
So Davidson actually *donated* the wine, even though they were paid for by other people. Dodgy.
This could be acceptable if this was someone who had never been in politics before. But Dalziel has been Christchurch’s mayor since 2013. Before that she was an MP from 1990, which included time as a minister. She should know better than this.
This needs to be investigated by the Christchurch electoral officer.
But what’s really frustrating is that dodgy donations like these are a re-occurring theme in NZ politics.
The article I linked above lists a number of examples of dodgy practices like this at a local level, citing examples such as Auckland mayor Phil Goff, a pair of candidates in Marlborough, and the new Waimakiri mayor.
On a national level the NZ First Foundation scandal is still fresh in everyone’s minds, and National aren’t squeaky clean in this area either.
NZ is one of the least corrupt nations on earth. News like this shouldn’t be constant.
What scares me is that this is probably only a fraction of the real amount of politicians that run foul of donation laws. There are probably more that don’t get caught.