Labour rorting Taxpayers too

Prior to last years election I looked into Labour’s own secret trust arrangements in particular with regard to the large number of electorate offices they have that are being funded directly from parliamentary services to their direct benefit. I will repost it below.

It is particularly interesting considering the vast amount of time and interest that is being paid to Simon William English, former state tenant of Karori and now also to the Greens. Interesting because of the ways that ALL parties in the parliament appear to structure their affairs to financially benefit/enrich either themselves or individual MPs. Today we will look at how the Labour Party is financially enriching itself at the expense of the taxpayer. It again raises the questions as to why shouldn’t Parliamentary Services be open to the OIA so we as taxpayers can examine the financial interests of parties and MPs that to this day remain hidden.

Labour Party Properties Incorporated (LPP) appears to be an Incorporated Society set up to own Labours substantial property assets. So while they cry poor they in fact have millions of dollars of property.

According to the filed annual accounts they have declared no income and no expenditure for at least the last two years. The LPP also owns the following properties as nominee on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.

  • Lyon Memorial Hall, ANZAC Street, Takapuna
  • 7 Fulton Cresent, Otara (CV $230,000)
  • 1/332 Massey Road, Mangere (CV $280,000)
  • Social Hall, Domain Avenue, Temuka (CV $105,000)
  • 4 Regent Road, Dunedin (CV $440,000)
  • Fraser Body House, 160 Willis Street, Wellington (CV $630,000)
  • 203 Warren Street North, Hastings (CV $255,000)
  • 651 Ferry Road, Christchurch (CV $130,000)
  • 1 Pharazyn Street, Fielding (CV $380,000)
  • 300 Great North Road, Te Atatu (CV $405,000)
  • 147 Mt Smart Road, Onehunga, Auckland (CV $470,000)

As 31 August 2007 The records show at 31 August 2007 the liabilities to be in the order of $465,434 for loans/mortgages and $22,248 for leases.The Lease is for the Mt Albert property and the Society also acts as guarantor for the overdraft of the Labour Party.

These assets value at current CV?s at over $3,225,000. I don?t have the CV of some of the takapuna property but? local Commercial Real Estate agents estimates that the value is a minimum of $2 million giving the LPP an asset base of $5,255,000.

This isn?t the full story though because most of those properties are in fact the local parliamentary office of an MP.

Take Fulton Crescent, Otara. That house is half of a duplex state house of the type prevalent in South Auckland. Ironically when Labour bangs on in parliament about National giving state house tenants the ability to buy the state house they live in they have it appears taken advantage themselves of such a scheme. Not only that they have made a pretty penny out of it as well having purchased the property for $58,000. This property is also the office of one Ross Robertson MP.

Similarly 332 Massey Road, Mangere is the Labour Party office that Su?a William Sio works out of. Rick Barker?s office is 203 Warren Street, Hastings, Chris Carter?s is 300 Gt North Road, Henderson.

Now this makes the whole shooting match very intersting indeed. Because as you saw above the Society hasn?t had any income nor has it had any expenses. Yet it owns over $4 million of assets. Those assets are all property and incur at a minimum rates that are charged to the owner of the property which as we know not only from the accounts but also from the Title information I have that LPP owns them. Not only that it appears that a good deal of them are also leased to Parliamentary Services, for what we can only imagine because Parliament protects its own and PS is not subject to OIA requests. So there could be cosy above market lease details that we will never know about. The point is the lease/rents for these properties don?t show up anywhere in the accounts.

As the accounts also show LPP is intricately linked to the Labour Party as currently the properties secure, as at 31 August 2007, the Labour Party Overdraft and another $465,000 of lending as well as a lease of $22,000.

The situation appears even more murky when you add in the details gleaned by Insolent Prick way back in 2006 where Labour also has a selection of private trusts and incorporated societies that receive beneficial tax status, and hold that property on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.

A selection of Labour?s property assets includes:

  • Dannevirke Labour $15,700
  • Greymouth Labour Branch $40,000
  • NZ Labour Party Clubrooms Inc $140,000
  • Picton Branch $11,000
  • Thames Branch $83,000
  • Dunedin South $770,000

This added to the LPP assets gives a nice tidy asset base of $6,284,700. Remember this is the same Labour Party that took almost three years to pay back the $800k they nicked and also the same Labour Party that cries poor and wants state funding of political parties.

There is certainly more question than answers about LPP and the other secret trusts that Labour operates., but some of the questions that need answering are;

  1. Where is the income from the rentals of 12 commercial premises?
  2. What is the rent being paid by Parliamentary Services for these properties?
  3. How do we know that the rent is market rent?
  4. Where are the not inconsiderable expenses of operating 12 commercial properties?
  5. What else is Labour hiding?
  6. How can an unincorporated society (The Labour Party) legally have an overdraft?
  7. Where is the GST expense on the rent received? Surely PS pays GST on the rental?
  8. Is the Society actually registered for GST?

I repeat my call for an Independent Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate all political parties and to end defacto state funding of political parties through rorts in Parliamentary Sevices. Another good idea would be to open Parliamentary Services up to inquiry via the Official Information Act.