Billy Te Kahika may have broken Electoral Commission election campaign spending rules

Controversy continues to follow Billy Te Kahika, the conspiratorial leader of the New Zealand Public Party, who appears to have spent-up too large on the election campaign. 

The Electoral Commission has just released details of donations and expenses and Te Kahika tops the big spenders - dishing out just over $30,000.  The problem is that's nearly $2,000 over the limit. 

The Electoral Commission's website states that the expense limit for electorate candidates during the regulated period - August 18 to October 16 last year - was $28,200 including GST.

The Electoral Commission has asked for a 'please explain'. A spokesperson told Newshub Te Kahika informed them he's made an error but they're waiting for evidence. 

"We will be discussing this further with him."

Spending over the limit is an offence. It can be an illegal practice if candidates can't prove they took all reasonable steps to stay within the expense limit, or a corrupt practice if the candidate knew the payment exceeded the limit.

Te Kahika is the only candidate who appears to have gone over the limit. 

The release of details also shows that the candidate who received the highest donations during the election campaign was former New Zealand First MP Shane Jones, who received just over $87,000 in donations. 

Te Kahika announced earlier this week he had abandoned his political aspirations and shut down his party, saying he will focus instead on his activism.

The top highest amount of donations

  1. NZ First's Shane Jones:  $87,099
  2. National's Jake Bezzant: $77,228
  3. Labour's Anna Lorck: $77,000
  4. National's Christopher Luxon: $73,050
  5. National's Lawrence Yule: $64,242