Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cash for Honours Kiwi-Style

It seems that the New Zealand Labour Party has been learning at the feet of their UK counterparts. Kiwiblog has a report on a Cash for Honours scandal in which the ruling Labour administration has fiddled their own electoral rules to their own benefit. Sound familiar?

Owen Glenn was born in the UK, spent his childhood here and has not lived in NZ since 1966. His company does not pay tax in NZ (in fact it pays little tax full stop). He has given at least $500,000 to Labour - their biggest donor by a magnitude. And one also has to look at what Labour have just done with the Electoral Finance Act, specifically Section 32(1). They had a proposed clause which would ban donations from anyone not living in NZ who is not on the NZ electoral roll. And as detailed
in Parliament
(and here also), Labour suddenly realised this would stop Owen Glenn from continuing to donate and they quickly recessed the Committee to “consult” and after the break then change the clause so expats such as Owen Glenn can still donate unlimited amounts even though he is ineligible to enrol or vote, not having lived here since 1966. Now Owen Glenn has been a generous donor to Auckland University. He has donated $8 million, and funded 10% of their new business school building, which they named after him. So since leaving here in 1996, he has done two significant things. Donate 10% of the cost of a business school to Auckland University and pay for over 25% of Labour’s 2005 campaign. I somehow doubt the weighting given by the Cabinet Honours Committee for those two donations were in that order 100%/0%.


Little Black Sambo said...

"Labour". At least the Kiwis spell it right.

wonkotsane said...

No, the correct spelling is "Liebour".