Friday, August 20, 2010

What does this look like to you?

A wealthy overseas investor wants to buy a large company in New Zealand. However, due to overseas investment laws, the bid is uncertain. At the same time, one of their friends to donate $200,000 to the governing party.

Regardless of whether this is an attempt to buy an exemption from the Overseas Investment Act, or a fortuitous coincidence, it looks bad. The mere fact that a donation has been made, at this time, calls the entire process into question, and both Chou and the National Party into disrepute. And if the government ultimately decides that Crafar Farms can be sold, the decision will be indelibly tainted with a perception of corrupt influence that will be impossible to dispel.