Who’s donating? To whom? Why?
Patterns of party political donations in New Zealand under MMP
Keywords:public trust, political party funding, party donations, influence, vested interests
This article considers the data on donations to New Zealand political parties collected by the Electoral Commission. The purpose is to address who gets what, and why. Relatively small amounts are donated. A little may buy considerable influence. There is limited evidence of strong upward trends in political donations, suggesting a systemic equilibrium. The plurality of donations is received by unsuccessful parties, suggesting that money is insufficient for political success. Most donations come from individuals (mostly men) or families. Cross-political spectrum donations are mostly from businesses and to the two dominant parties, suggesting that businesses are trying to buy the ear of the major power in government.
Permission: In the interest of promoting debate and wider dissemination, the IGPS encourages use of all or part of the articles appearing in PQ, where there is no element of commercial gain. Appropriate acknowledgement of both author and source should be made in all cases. The IGPS retains copyright. Please direct requests for permission to reprint articles from this publication to firstname.lastname@example.org.