Money from a NZ First-linked slush fund was reportedly spent for campaign purposes and kept secret from party officials and MPs; and the Minister of Finance is set to be given new powers to block foreigners from buying key infrastructure, military technology or major media companies.
* The New Zealand Herald
In the New Zealand Herald, money from a NZ First-linked slush fund was reportedly spent for campaign purposes and kept secret from party officials and MPs.It’s claimed $38,000 of money donated to the New Zealand First Foundation went toward NZ First’s campaign headquarters. Financial records seen by Stuff show the money covered expenses such as rent, furniture, swipe cards and the purchase of a shredder – with none of the spending declared to the Electoral Commission.
In other news, the Minister of Finance is set to be given new powers to block foreigners from buying key infrastructure, military technology or major media companies.Associate Finance Minister David Parker outlined the second round of changes to the Overseas Investment Office on Tuesday, which would also create new tests for investors wishing to export water, following public concern prior to the election.
In business news, the worst is over and an economic recovery is likely to be under way, say Westpac economists in their latest quarterly outlook.It was grim winter for business with GDP growth slowing, business confidence plummeting and trade war fears on the rise.
* The Dominion Post
In the Dominion Post,NZ First officials and MPs were kept in the dark while $38,000 was spent on campaign headquarters and staff overtime by the party’s political slush fund, the New Zealand First Foundation.Expenses records for the foundation seen by Stuff show it collected more than $500,000 in donations from April 2017 to March 2019 that could be in breach of electoral donation laws, particularly if the foundation was paying party expenses.
In other news, Wellington City councillors can pop the champagne – today they will vote on giving themselves a hefty pay rise after the Remuneration Authority allocated more dosh to spend on salaries.Voting in the pay packet will be one of the first things the newly formed council gets done after new members give their maiden speeches today.
In business news, a hospitality business has found some customers are buying more alcohol after it took liquor bottles off its shelves.La Bella Italia restaurant and specialty shop owner Antonio Cacace says alcohol licensing laws have had the opposite effect of their intended purpose – while his sales of wine and limoncello have dropped, customers are buying alcohol in greater quantities on average.
In The Press, design work for a new $35 million Court Theatre in central Christchurch will start next year, in a step forward for the long-delayed rebuild anchor project.The Christchurch City Council has called for expressions of interest from architects to design a new Court Theatre on the corner of Gloucester and Colombo streets.
In other news, the firearms buy-back comes to an end a month from today, but the police say the amnesty for returning banned guns will continue into next year and beyond.That is music to the ears of gun owners, but they say the government should go further and extend the buy-back period as well.
In business news,Stan Semenoff Logging is fighting a $532,878 road user charges bill after it was caught overloading its trucks. The Northland transport company SSL is seeking to overturn a District Court judgement dismissing its appeal over the charges which are due for payment by January 10 and the case is set down for hearing in the High Court next month.