Tag Archive: NZ First Foundation

Corrupt on one hand, corrupt on the other

I’m late to the party about whatever the hell is going on with the NZ First Foundation. But in the long of the short of it, no matter which way you look at it, dodgy stuff is almost certainly going on.

Last time I blogged about this, it appeared that the NZ First Foundation was only giving NZ First loans, meaning they just skirted around electoral laws. But as Graeme Edgeler states, nope, that doesn’t just skirt around electoral laws.

Edgeler says that if the foundation has been used to pay NZ First’s bills, those payments would be considered donations.

The loans were used to pay NZ First’s bills, such as advertising and payments to the IRD. Hence, donation. And these were all large donations over fifteen thousand dollars.

And there’s still confusion as to what the foundation is – is it part of the party? Is it separate? But regardless, it’s probably illegal. Again, Edgeler can state this far better than I, so I’ll let him.

“If the foundation and party are separate, it is likely a corrupt or illegal practice occurred because donations from the foundation were not declared,” he said.

“If the foundation is part of NZ First, then the party secretary has likely committed offenses around declaring donations or failing to keep records.

Just a reminder: NZ is supposed to be the second least corrupt nation on earth. This should not be acceptable here, this is not ok. Donations must be declared.

The good news is that the electoral commission is investigating. The better news is that police might do their own investigation, with Act MP and leader David Seymour stating that he may go to the police.

Worse news: silence from the Labour and the Greens. You can give them the benefit of the doubt and say they aren’t going to comment until after the results of the electoral commission investigation. But the sad fact is that they wouldn’t be in power without NZ First, and hence will most likely not comment because they need it to stay that way.

God, the results of the commission’s investigation can not come soon enough.

NZ First gamed the system

NZ First has been getting large loans from the NZ First Foundation. Problem: it’s all anonymous.

If these were donations, then this wouldn’t be a problem. If you donate to an organization that would then use that donation to give money to a political party, then the law would require that you wear that donation. But not so with loans – those can remain anonymous.

NZ First does not seem to know or care about this. Their party secretary only admitted to being aware of the foundation’s existence until after documents proving that she had signed off on loans to the party from the foundation were provided to her.

In fact, everyone is super secretive about it. Only two trustees of the foundation are known, and both when questioned were defensive and refused to comment.

In my opinion, this shows some pretty blatant contempt for NZ’s democracy. The worst part? It’s legal. Loans don’t face the same level of scrutiny as donations. As a country, we’ve done so well to either remove or be transparent about corporate influence in politics, but here we have NZ First disregarding democracy and transparency.

This loophole where loans can remain anonymous while donations cannot must be fixed, ASAP. NZ First cannot be allowed to game the system.

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