Transparency of Political Party Funding Essential

Transparency International New Zealand
Media Release

Transparency of political party funding is essential to provide clarity about who is influencing decision making.

The lack of transparency is putting New Zealand’s reputation for strong integrity at serious risk. It erodes trust in our elected representatives, degrades our financial well-being, and impacts on our society and how it works together.

Allegations published by NZ First Foundation dodging electoral rules? Records suggest breaches are particularly harmful. This latest story has gone around the world in 80 seconds – it’s a very bad look.

“Transparency International New Zealand has been raising the red flag about political party funding for over 16 years,” says Suzanne Snively, Chair, Transparency International New Zealand. Our Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment  strongly recommended a complete review of the funding of political parties and candidates’ campaigns.”

We re-emphasized this need in our Building Accountability: National Integrity System Assessment 2018 Update,” adds Liz Brown, National Integrity System Assessment Project Director

Political parties everywhere receive the majority of their funding from a few major funders. All to often they prefer to hide these sources from public scrutiny. They may engage in questionable practices such as setting up private foundations too maintain anonymity of the sources and amounts of contributions.

Political Party funding reform must prevent behaviours intended to shield major funders and include financial transparency throughout the political process.

The challenges of moving to a more transparent political party funding system are complex. It will take strong public and cross-party political will to address this. But it has to be done to maintain our integrity as a nation.

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