At a time when Chinese interference/influence is under the spotlight around the world, it is sad but hardly surprising to find Christchurch mayor Dalziel up to her neck in “under the carpet” funding from you-know-who! It is heartening on the other hand, to see the corruption being brought into the spotlight by the MSM. MH
Report from Stuff.co.nz:
It has been a week in the spotlight for the mayor of Christchurch, the city council’s electoral officer, and a modest Chinese restaurant.
As the week began, Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel was accused by election rival John Minto of “skirting around the law” over her mayoral campaign expenses.
When Dalziel was fundraising for her mayoral campaign this year, $40,100 came from a dinner and wine auction at the Southern Asia Restaurant in Colombo St organised by her husband, lawyer Rob Davidson.
Davidson had donated the wine, and Dalziel identified him alone as a donor at that event despite some bidders paying high prices for bottles.
Under the Local Electoral Act, all local authority candidates must file a return of their campaign expenses within 55 days, disclosing donors who contribute more than $1500.
After Minto’s claims, Dalziel told media she had nothing to hide but said she would check her return and make immediate adjustments if needed.
By Wednesday, electoral officer Jo Daly confirmed Dalziel had updated her election return with the names of six donors. All are Chinese businessmen with either New Zealand residency or citizenship, friends of Davidson or of the couple.
The largest donor was Wei Min Lu, who paid $17,000 for wine – more than 11 times the $1500 limit that must be declared under the Act.
Dalziel said on Thursday she took Davidson’s advice on what she was required to declare. She then said she regretted not taking independent advice on her election return.
The law sets out legal penalties – including fines and imprisonment – for any local authority candidates breaking rules covering campaign expenses and larger donations. These include failing to file returns on time, filing false returns, and otherwise failing to follow the rules of disclosure either willfully or otherwise.
Under the Act, electoral officers must investigate possible offences and report them to police.
Minto has now called for Daly to investigate not only Dalziel’s 2019 election expense declarations, but also those from 2016.
Dalziel raised money for her 2016 and 2013 mayoral campaign through other fundraising auctions with items donated by Davidson.
She listed a single donation of $25,350 by Davidson from an auction in her 2016 election return and did not include details of any donors contributing over $1500.
Daly, who was also Christchurch’s electoral officer in 2016, previously said she had no reason to believe Dalziel’s 2016 return did not comply with the legislation….READ MORE