Road Lobby Biggest Nats Donor


The Greens say the Road Transport Forum was the largest single election year donor to the National Party, donating $30,000 to the party, and more to individual MPs.

So the Greens transport spokesperson Gareth Hughes is running a bake sale outside Britomart at noon today “to help Auckland buy back the National Party from the road and truck lobby.”
“Given the large financial contributions, it’s no surprise Transport Minister Steven Joyce is pouring billions into uneconomic motorways, yet failing to fund Auckland’s CBD Rail Loop,” said Mr Hughes.

“Aucklanders can demand that the Transport Minister give priority to the CBD Rail Loop, a far more important project for true economic development than the Puhoi to Wellsford Holiday Highway. Does Auckland need to fundraise to influence Government transport policy for the projects it needs, such as the CBD loop? The business case for the Rail Loop has been published and stacks up better than more than half of the Roads of National-Party Significance. The CBD Rail Loop will transform the Auckland rail network, leading to a doubling of services into the city and laying the basis for route expansions to the airport and beyond.”

Britomart tunnel: turn it into the CBD loop

Mr Hughes invites people to “come buy a cupcake and tell our Government that transport projects should be prioritised based on their economic merits, not favours for donors.”




  1. Cam says:

    That’s the way, keep hammering them with this.

  2. ingolfson says:

    Who’s going to get the money from the bake sale - is it going to be donated to the Nats? ;-)

  3. joust says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if I could have a new highway built past my new bach and keep some truck drivers happy at the same time? Transport Minister, sounds like a good job, perhaps the truck drivers could fund my campaign!

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alastair Jamieson. Alastair Jamieson said: RT @AKTtweets: Greens MP runs cake stall outside Britomart to complain about road lobby funding Nats #Greens #auckland [...]

  5. Matt says:

    I would like to say that I’m surprised, but, well, I’m not.
    I am, however, dismayed that buying off MPs is so cheap. Though, that said, a whip-around should be able to raise more than $30k in order to counter the RTF’s influence.

    Does, however, prove that calling Joyce the Minister for the RTF is right on the money, as it were.

    And now I think I’m off to Britomart to buy me some political influence, err, cupcakes.

  6. George D says:

    It’s partly money, partly just stupid prejudice from National. Still, it’s worth uncovering the corruption.

  7. hobbit says:

    Hardly corruption, it’s just like unions using their members money to back Labour - or worse, buying themselves into the party.

  8. greenwelly says:

    The RTF also gave 20K to Labour in the run up to the last election,

  9. Matt says:

    greenwelly, that’s not surprising. However, a) Labour aren’t in power, and b) Labour funded a lot of rail work in addition to all their roads. National have done less than nothing for rail in Auckland by taking away the fuel tax and forcing us to pay back a loan without charging the largest group of beneficiaries: road users.

    The Latin phrase “cui bono” (To whose benefit?) springs to mind. The RTF throw $30k plus change at National, and suddenly we’ve got a Minister for Trucking. You can’t say that Labour play the same game, after they upped RUC with zero notice, to the great outrage of a trucking industry that was used to being able to bank RUC miles with lots of advance notice of price increases.

  10. Matt says:

    hobbit, no, it’s not corruption. But it is unseemly. We associate such blatant donor-favouritism with the worst aspects of US-style politics-for-sale behaviour. It’s this kind of thing that has prompted the transparency changes to political donation law in NZ.

  11. ingolfson says:

    No, it’s obviously not corruption - it’s legal, and (relatively) overboard. It should be allowed as long as illegal donations are cracked down on.

    The sum does seem actually quite small - so we can assume that either there’s more money elsewhere, or just a meeting of minds.

    I suspect its just Nats being Nats - they don’t have to be PAID to dislike rail and prefer road. In their view, that’s just being realistic instead of airy fairy visionary. Of course, our current government takes that attitude, and then turbocharges it!

  12. Matt says:

    It’s pretty obvious the return on investment is so much better for the road lobby when they’re sweetening up the pollies, than when they’re actually building roads.

  13. Sam says:

    Good to hear every hour thismorning in the Newztalk ZB news about Gareth Hughes cake stall… it even included a relatively detailed explanation of the issue too!

  14. Kurt says:

    Gee, who would ever of guessed!

    I’m surprised its that low though given the efforts the minister of transport has gone to to promote more grid locked roads.

  15. Malcolm says:

    Not surprising in the slightest. Lets just be glad this isn’t America. Imagine how much money they would have been able to donate then!

    The Greens are consistently the only party that seems have any sense on transport issues. Glad I voted for them last time.

  16. jarbury says:

    Good cupcakes too!

  17. DanC says:

    How bizzare. I wonder if the switched on gardener could sway the government by an electoral donation to legalise pot? Be good for business not so good for the community.

  18. bob says:

    Good issue for the Greens to highlight, but hardly surprising. It’s well known that both Labour and Nats and ACT all route the bulk of their political donations through anonymous trusts. The Waitemata Trust, for the Nats.

    This is a consequence of allowing anonymous donations, which both Labour and Nats still support (to their benefit). So I would expect RTF and other pro-roads lobbyists are channeling far more than $30,000. After all, Labour and Nats each spend several millions in election campaigns - where do you think that comes from?

    This IS the face of NZ corruption - buying political parties, who install your chums on agency Boards to ensure the ‘right’ policies are funded…

  19. ingolfson says:

    Bob - past shenigans aside, this seems to be lillegal now, see below article.

  20. Andrew says:

    Revealed yesterday - three even bigger donations, one by a car sales yard.

    “BMW car yard Team McMillan, based in Newmarket, Auckland, contributed $50,000.” - Newstalk ZB

  21. damian says:

    Told you guys so……its all about vested interests not cold had facts…


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