Businessman shells out to counter Kim Dotcom cash

Last updated 05:00 21/06/2014

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A businessman has given $175,000 to the Conservative Party, and intends to donate more - partly because he is infuriated by Kim Dotcom's attempt to buy political influence.

Laurence Day, a former National Party supporter and donor, is the only substantial donor to the Conservatives apart from party leader Colin Craig. Craig has donated nearly $2.5m to the party since 2011.

Kim Dotcom's political activities "really got up my nose," Day told The Dominion Post this week.

"There's a guy who has a single axe to grind because he tried to, I feel, bribe his way into New Zealand by buying politicians and that didn't work, they went doggo on him.

"And now he's all-out to get rid of [John] Banks and [John] Key and he's prepared to throw $3 million at it . . ."

Day switched to the Conservatives because of their policy of making referendums binding on the government if backed by two-thirds of voters.

Binding referendums would make the country more democratic and act as a brake on parliamentary excess, Day said.

Craig welcomed Day's donation as "fantastic", but warned that he himself would not be able to donate so much to his party this election as in 2011.

He had mined most of his savings and he "wasn't in Dotcom's league," he said.

Internet leader Laila Harre has, however, defended Dotcom's $3.25m donation to the Internet Party, saying the German tycoon was giving a gift to progressive politics.

No Internet Party MP would take part in a future government's decision on Dotcom's extradition to the United States, she said.

Meanwhile, Les Mills International chief executive Phillip Mills has given $65,000 to Labour and $60,000 to the Greens and has attacked the "stupid, economically shortsighted and environmentally blind" Government.

He accuses the Key Government of pretending to be green but doing the bidding of Big Oil and Big Coal.

Climate change was the definitive issue of the age, he said, and "if we don't deal with this, then nothing else is going to matter."

A Dominion Post Insight feature today also reveals the major donors to political parties in the last three years, and reveals some of the details of the wealthy, low-profile Chinese donors to the National Party.

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