There are many ways you can donate money, goods, or services to a party or candidate. You will be identified as a donor if you donate over a certain amount. If you donate anonymously, limits and rules apply.
The threshold for reporting donations
If you donate over $5,000 to a party or $1,500 to a candidate, they must report your name, address, and the value of the donation in their return. This could be a single donation, or donations adding up to the threshold figure.
Parties must file a return annually on 30 April. Candidates must file a return after an election.
If you donate over $20,000 to a party between 1 January of election year and the day before the election, the party must report your name, address, and the value of your donation to us within 10 working days.
You can donate anonymously
You can make an anonymous donation of up to a certain amount.
Anonymous donations up to $1,500
You can make an anonymous donation of up to $1,500 to a party or a candidate. Candidates and parties are not allowed to retain anonymous donations above this amount, unless they are ‘protected from disclosure’ — see below. Otherwise, if a candidate or party receives an anonymous donation, they may keep up to $1,500 of that donation. They must pass to us any money above that figure, within 20 working days.
Anonymous donations of more than $1,500 — donations protected from disclosure
If you are a 'New Zealand person' and want to make a donation to a party of more than $1,500 and do not want your identity to be disclosed to the party, you can make a ‘donation protected from disclosure’. You pay the money to the Electoral Commission, we put it together with any other donations protected from disclosure, and we pay it to the party in regular payments.
A ‘New Zealand person’ is someone who is not defined as an ‘overseas person’ in the Electoral Act.
An ‘overseas person’ is anyone who:
- resides outside New Zealand and is not a New Zealand citizen or registered as an elector
- is a body corporate incorporated outside of New Zealand
- is an unincorporated body that has its head office or principal place of business outside of New Zealand.
The maximum for donations protected from disclosure
Using this method, as an individual or organisation, you can donate up to $56,028 to any one political party, between two successive elections. You can donate to more than one political party in this way, up to the $56,028 limit for each. If a donation will take you over your limit, we will return the excess to you.
Your donation can include contributions from other New Zealand persons, but overseas persons are not allowed to contribute to your donation.
Between two successive elections, parties can receive up to $373,520 in donations protected from disclosure. If a donation will take a party over their limit, we will return the excess to the donor.
You cannot tell anyone you’ve made a donation protected from disclosure
It’s illegal to indicate or suggest to anyone that you:
- are going to make a donation protected from disclosure
- have made a donation protected from disclosure.
An overseas person can make a donation of up to $50 to a party or a candidate. Candidates and parties are not allowed to retain overseas donations above this amount. If a candidate or party receives an overseas donation, they may keep up to $50 of that donation. The candidate or party must return any extra amount to the overseas person, or if that isn’t possible, to us within 20 working days.
How to make a donation protected from disclosure
To find out about making a donation protected from disclosure email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Electronic bank transfers are now accepted
With the passage of the Electoral Amendment Bill into law, from 1 January 2023 electronic bank transactions are permitted for donations protected from disclosure. If you wish to make a donation protected from disclosure, please complete the form below and send it to email@example.com. Any queries about the process can be directed to the same address for a confidential discussion of the process.
Making a donation protected from disclosure (PDF, 209kb)
Full rules for reporting party donations and loans
Full details about reporting donations and loans and return forms can be found on the Party Portal.