Secret donations: the real concern

Winston Peters, leader of the xenophobic New Zealand First party – and, ironically, the Foreign Minister as well – has been caught accepting secret donations from various rich businessmen, in particular Owen Glenn, a New Zealand millionaire based in the tax haven microstate, Monaco.

Peters has been slithering around the issue, first denying it, then saying he “only just found out about it”, then claiming there is a “big difference” between NZ First getting secret donations and other parties getting secret donations.

In typical capitalist parliamentarian fashion, both Helen Clark and John Key have pulled their punches when it comes to denouncing Winston Peters, in the hope they’ll get his support in the next coalition government.

It is interesting to note that at the same time as they were backing the anti-democratic Electoral Finance Act, which stipulates that all donations and campaigning costs must be accounted for, they were accepting secret donations themselves!

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Spark Audio: The Electoral Finance Act

The following talks from a Workers Party forum in Christchurch are now available for download.

John Edmundson – Background to the Electoral Finance Act

Tim Bowron – Left Opposition to the Electoral Finance Act

The Electoral Finance Act: a draconian and over-the-top law that will be used against unionists and radical leftists

The Electoral Finance Act sounds like a pretty boring piece of legislation, yet it sparked one of the biggest disagreements in New Zealand politics last year. Does it really have much to do with workers’ concerns? And will it advance the interests of workers? The Spark talked to Bryce Edwards, a lecturer in Politics at the University of Otago.

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