Māori Party referred to police over more than $320,000 in undeclared donations

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi.
Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi. Photo credit: Getty

The Māori Party has been referred to the police for failing to disclose more than $320,000 in donations.

Any donations over $30,000 must be declared to the Electoral Commission within 10 working days of it being received.

Three large donations above that threshold were made to the Māori Party between March and October last year, but were not declared to the Commission until recently.

Former party co-leader John Tamihere donated over $158,000 between March and October last year.

The Urban Maori Authority donated over $48,879 between May and September 2020 and $120,000 was donated by Aotearoa Te Kahu Limited Partnership in July.

Late National Party declaration

The National Party also failed to declare over $30,000 in donations within the required timeframe.

The Electoral Commission returns show the National Party was late to disclose donations over $30,000 from Real Estate firm owner Garth Barfoot.

Barfoot donated over $35,000 between May and November, but the donations were not disclosed by the party until March 31.

A National Party spokesperson told Newshub they keep in regular contact with the Electoral Commission.

"We keep in regular contact with the Electoral Commission, particularly in regard to supplying information and explanations on the disclosure of donations," the spokesperson said.

"You'll need to talk to the Electoral Commission for any further comment on this matter."

The Electoral Commission told NZ Herald it asked for an explanation from the National Party and were still assessing the matter.

The Commission wouldn't automatically refer to late donations to the police, but would consider issues such as the party's past record and time frame involved.

The Māori Party has also been approached for a comment.

The Hui will be interviewing Maori Party president Che Wilson on Monday night at 8:30pm.