Monday, September 15, 2008

Election funding: the Road Transport Trust on their donation

Last week, we learned that the Electoral Finance Act was working as intended, by forcing the National party to reveal a large donation from the Road Transport Forum. I had a few questions about the donation, so I emailed the Road Transport Forum's Tony Friedlander. Here is his response:

Thank you for your enquiry and your comments about transparency.

The Road Transport Trust's name was chosen so our industry's identity would be obvious and we fully expect the donations to various political parties to be disclosed in the normal way.

The Trust is making donations to a range of political parties across the political spectrum in support of the democratic process. The amount donated to each party is determined by the Trustees who have regard for the wishes of contributing companies.

The following are answers to your questions in the order they were raised:

  1. The Road Transport Trust was set up to obtain voluntary contributions from transport companies across New Zealand rather than have all members contribute through their subscriptions to the Road Transport Forum.
  2. All aspects of the Electoral Finance Act have been complied with.
  3. No contribution to the Trust from any individual company have exceeded $10,000.

I hope this answers the questions you have raised.

It does indeed. And its nice that we had the chance to ask them before the election, rather than having to wait until long after the votes are counted.