Well, she never saw that coming

Marama Davidson

Foot in mouth disease is such a dreadful affliction for anyone to suffer. Opening the mouth to change feet only provides temporary relief until the next utterance turns around and smacks you in the face. We mere mortals fear the contagion but imagine the horror of this diagnosis when you are a politician an MP.

In October 2018, Ms Davidson was on her high horse about campaign funding and how dangerous it was for political parties to receive large donations. Quote.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she wants to hear from New Zealanders around issues with donations but believed the current system is robust.

But Ms Davidson said under current rules donors can corrupt the political system.

She told Morning Report powerful businesses can gain influence with large donations.

“I think New Zealanders would be quite keen on a conversation on how we get big money out of politics,” she said.

“What we’ve seen around the world is that those with particular interests can have millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of influence on political policy.

“For example, a global pattern around ‘Big Oil’ getting their big money into politics and influencing action on climate change.”

Ms Davidson said the Green Party is suggesting a cap on donations at $35,000 and to remove anonymity for any donation above $1000.

“We’ve already seen a $100,000 donation to the National Party being questioned, from someone who is a powerful businessman.

“I want to see equal access and not just big money having undue influence over our political system.”

She said a cap on donations would give Kiwis more confidence in the political system. End quote.


Roll out the evil ‘Big oil’, wicked capitalist bogeyman, yadda yadda yadda.

Just a couple of months later, Davidson is left with a dilemma. Does she stand by her words, stand up for her principles and refuse a large donation or does she bank it and spend it?

Naturally, being a party of principle, the Greens are going to return the $350,000 donation that was left to them as a bequest and ask the executors of the estate to just give them $35,000 and to distribute the remaining $315,000 equally among the other four beneficiaries of the will.

We applaud them for this stance. Strong convictions are wonderful and sometimes expensive to hold and maintain.

Wait, what … Quote.

A $350,000 donation to the Greens in December is the largest single donation to a major political party in almost a decade.

It was also the largest to the Green Party in its 30-year history.

The donation was by far the largest in 2018, with an $80,000 donation to the National Party in April coming in a distant second place.

In fact, the donation was the largest made to any one of the major political parties since 2011, when the Electoral Commission first started publishing donation details.

It was made by Betty Harris on December 13 last year. She died in January 2018 and the donation was part of her will.

The Green’s general-secretary Gwen Shaw said the party was very grateful for Harris’ donation.

[…] She left a one-fifth portion of her estate to the Green Party. Other benefactors of Harris’ will were the Fred Hollows Foundation, Forest & Bird, SAFE, and Amnesty. End quote.

A Newspaper

Did Gwen not get the memo?