A friend sent me an article from the West Coast Times [PDF], dated 8 June 2007, about a pre-election trip by John Key to the west Coast, which reveals that National received at least one donation from the mining industry in the last election cycle. While on the coast, Key attended a fundraising dinner. The article notes:
The fundraiser dinner attracted 167 people who had paid $50 each to attend and further funds were being raised with the raffling of a $1000 gold nugget donated by Birchfields Ross Mining.(Emphasis added).
So, when John Key said at his press conference the other day that he didn't know whether National received donations from the mining industry before the last election, because he didn't handle that stuff, he was lying. A mining company made a donation (and a valuable raffle prize is a donation), and Key was there when National received the benefit from it.
Which raises two questions: who else in the mining industry gave money to National? And is Birchfields Ross wanting to dig in national parks? Perhaps some journalists might want to start asking some questions, rather than focusing on trivial scandals about people pissing on trees?
And this, BTW, is why parties should be forced to disclose all donations.