New Zealand to ban large foreign political donations

To prevent election meddling new bill bans donations from foreigners over NZ$50

(Wikipedia photo)

(Wikipedia photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – New Zealand has set a stricter political donation limit to prevent foreign countries from meddling in its elections, CNA reported on Tuesday (Dec. 3).

The New Zealand government introduced a bill that would ban donations over NZ$50 (US$32) to any political party or candidate from foreigners. New Zealand’s current regulations set the limit for foreign political contributions at NZ$1,500, but there are allegations that loopholes allow the limit to be raised to NZ$30,000, CNA reported.

New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little was quoted by The Guardian as saying, “The risk of foreign interference in elections is a growing international phenomenon and can take many forms, including donations. New Zealand is not immune from this risk.”

"Further action could be taken to counter foreign influence based on recommendations from a parliamentary committee that was looking at the issue," Little added.

New Zealand will hold its next general election in late 2020 and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will seek a second term.