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MP David MacLeod under investigation for undeclared donations totaling nearly $180,000

David MacLeod news

David MacLeod, the National MP for New Plymouth, faces potential legal repercussions after failing to report nearly $180,000 in campaign donations, according to Otago University’s law professor Andrew Geddis.

Geddes told state media the undisclosed sum could lead to charges of corrupt or illegal practices.

MacLeod did not declare 19 campaign donations totaling $178,000 to the Electoral Commission, which he attributed to ‘an oversight’. As a consequence, National leader and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has suspended him from his roles on the Environment and Finance select committees.

Professor Geddis believes the Electoral Commission will likely forward the case to the police. “The Electoral Commission is obliged to report suspected violations unless they deem the issue too minor to warrant public interest. However, the involved sum is significant enough to necessitate police involvement,” Geddis stated.

While the Electoral Commission has yet to decide on the matter, MacLeod admitted to mistakenly omitting 18 donations received in 2022, amounting to $168,335, and a separate $10,000 donation in 2023. He said he was confused over how he missed the latter, especially as it fell within the year he believed he was reporting.

“I have always intended to disclose these donations publicly,” MacLeod said, mentioning his correspondence with the donors about public disclosure for contributions over $1,500. Despite having 44 donors, he failed to declare significant amounts due to his misunderstanding of the required reporting period.

MacLeod apologised to his constituents, the National Party, and the public. He described his removal from the select committee roles, which reduces his salary by nearly $16,000, as a fitting response.

“It’s crucial for him to prove he can still be an effective MP for New Plymouth and fulfill his parliamentary duties,” leader Luxon added.

The error was discovered by the National Party during a routine consolidation of annual accounts, prompting MacLeod to audit his 2022 and 2023 expenses and donations.

Responding to the news Opposition leader Chris Hipkins said it was “hard to overlook the declaration of over $100,000. Such a sum would be a notable event for us.”.

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3 COMMENTS

    • Apart from very few wise citizens with humanistic ideals and necessary leadership quality, the political class is made up of failed existences, corrupt lawyers, asocial parasites, deranged psychopaths, socialist suckers and arrogant goody-two-shoes with delusions of grandeur.
      I hope the former will find more recognition by a populous that unfortunately becomes increasingly dumbed down, being appeased with socialist breadcrumbs. The new generation is ‘educated’ by a generation that has never experienced real hardship. The system is awash with ‘free’ money for the inner core circles of the elite, only to be used to extort virtually ALL wealth this planet provided.
      Democracy is the tool of that system, because everybody wants things for free, not realizing that they sell their kids, really.
      Meritocracy might provide an answer for a society that has lost the way to bring up a new generation, for which parental education and functional core-families are inexperienced and therefor unknown concepts.
      The dilution of societal values by contemporary institutions like for example the police or the NZ Family Court needs to be reformed. This will only happen when people will feel their back to a wall.
      We are not far from that.

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