National MP David MacLeod’s donations referred to police

By rnz.co.nz and is republished with permission

The Electoral Commission has handed investigation of National MP for New Plymouth David MacLeod’s failure to report $178,394 in donations to police.

In a statement on Friday, the Commission said MacLeod’s original candidate return for the 2023 General Election on 13 February 2024 disclosed $29,268 in donations from seven separate donors.

David MacLeod Photo: RNZ

“On 20 May 2024, the Commission received an amended return. The total donations disclosed in the amended return are $207,662 from 24 separate donors.”

MacLeod – a backbench MP – unveiled the “inadvertent error” last month, and was stood down immediately from his roles on the Environment and Finance select committees.

He said he thought the return he was filing was for the 2023 year only, so left out 18 donation he had received when he became a candidate the previous year.

He also failed to disclose a $10,000 donation from 2023, which he said was a mistake he could not explain.

He said he “always fully intended for these donations to be made public” and had never tried to hide them, having written to all donors indicating amounts over $1500 would be disclosed.

The Commission confirmed the matter had been referred to police. It previously said this would be done “if in our view there has been a breach of the Electoral Act”.

“As this matter is now with the Police, the Electoral Commission will not be commenting further.”

Police will now investigate whether laws were broken, and consider any possible prosecution.

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