Me Thinks They Doth Protest Too Much
“Something obviously is rotten in the state of party funding when National protests so much about an inquiry into anonymous donations and, at the same time, Labour protests too little,” New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said today.
“These two parties have shared the largesse in a cosy little arrangement that has only come to light through the presence in Parliament of other parties. And it is interesting to see the likes of Geoff Thompson and Michael Cox squirming as they run for cover. Cox received tidy placements from the National machine to ‘take me out’”.
“Neither is this a new problem for either party. In the mid 1980s National’s Council suspended branch official Margaret Quin for daring to ask what had happened to money donated to the party. She then sued and received a sizeable out of court settlement. We know because we have the file,” Mr Peters said.
“We have long called for greater transparency in party funding and pointed out that a certain business elite was extraordinarily active in buying policy from both the old parties. The fact that Fay’s contribution to National in 1996 was about half of the sum paid in 1993 is indicative that an each way bet was taken and Labour got the rest. In 1999 when the writing was on the wall for National the money flowed to Labour. It still is. It is time that this undue influence was exposed and transparency was brought to these transactions,” Mr. Peters concluded.