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Velas Give Labour And NZ First Last Minute Donations

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Nov 11 NZPA - Labour and NZ First have disclosed they received large donations from the wealthy Vela family within 10-days of the election.

Both parties received donations of $100,000, while the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union also gave the Labour Party $60,000, the New Zealand Herald reported today.

The larger donations came via Resource Finance, a company set up by brothers Peter and Philip Vela, and went to NZ First on October 28 and Labour three days later.

They were disclosed to the Electoral Commission within the statutory 10-day period -- in Labour's case two days after the election.

Labour president Mike Williams said Peter Vela had contacted him to offer the donation and that there were no conditions.

Mr Vela said yesterday he had previously supported the Labour Party and was entitled to make donations.

"We are still a democracy and people still do have the basic democratic right to give how much they like, when they like and how they like to whom they like," he told the newspaper.

The Vela family were behind historic donations to NZ First that were not declared and got party leader Winston Peters into hot water in Parliament.

NZ First was investigated for potential wrongdoings over undeclared donations, but later cleared by police, the Electoral Commission and the Serious Fraud Office.

After more than two decades in Parliament, Mr Peters was trounced in his Tauranga electorate by National newcomer Simon Bridges after election results were released on Saturday and his party fell short of the 5 percent threshold required to hold seats in Parliament.

NZPA WGT co kk

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