Simon Bridges not concerned about Serious Fraud Office poring over party's donations

National Party leader Simon Bridges says he's received hundreds of messages and near-universal praise for ruling out working with NZ First leader Winston Peters after the 2020 election.

The party has also seen a spike in donations from his move, but donations could be a sore spot for National this election year.

Bridges was knocking back a celebratory beer in National-friendly Havelock North on Monday, after he received praise from locals for his call to rule out Peters as a potential coalition partner.

While his move had the added benefit of topping up the National Party's coffers, donations aren't just a boon for the party this election year - they're a bane.

The Serious Fraud Office has charged four people over National Party donations, following allegations that $100,000 from businessman Zhang Yikun was broken up into smaller funds.

Donations under $15,000 are anonymous, and all parties received them.

In 2018, National was ranked way out in front with anonymous donations, receiving $646,506 in that year alone. Labour came in second, having been donated $104,553.

Anonymous donations ramp up exponentially in election years. During the 2017 election, Labour pulled in $1.6 million in donations. National gained nearly twice that with $3.5 million.

But Bridges was confident that courts poring over the party's donations this election year wouldn't bring any issues.

The Government had an opportunity to make donation laws more transparent, but instead chose small, inconsequential tweaks to foreign donations.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said they have strict protocols in place, but it's about finding a balance so they aren't declaring little things like a raffle ticket.

Bridges said National "plays by the rules" and they want to have a best practice approach, so they're always open to change.

A review of electoral law has been signalled for 2021, but with so many vested interests in the Parliament, don't expect a mad rush by politicians to clamp down on anonymous donations.