'That's obviously just wrong' - Simon Bridges supports ban on foreign political donations

Simon Bridges supports a ban on foreign political donations to avoid influencing New Zealand's political process.

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The National Party Leader wants immigrants and citizens to be involved in politics, but to ban foreign powers influencing New Zealand’s political process. Source: Breakfast

MPs will consider banning foreign donations to political parties after the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) warned that foreign governments want to influence New Zealand politicians.

The SIS also warned the Justice Select Committee that foreign-language news media could be used to persuade expatriate communities to put pressure on MPs. The committee is considering foreign interference as part of an inquiry into recent general and local elections.

The National Party Leader told TVNZ1's Breakfast today he supported the ban because foreign powers influencing New Zealand politics was "obviously wrong".

"Immigrants that come to NZ, residents, citizens, we want them to be involved in politics actually, so this is not what this is about," he said.

"I think it has to be about genuine foreign influence, if you like, foreign powers, foreign interests influencing New Zealand's political process - that's obviously just wrong."

The issue "has its complications" but for the most part it is entirely illegal, Mr Bridges added.

"There are things you've got to clear up and make it completely illegal. I think the justice committee which is going through this, it's got National, Labour, etcetera, members on it, that's the right place to deal with it."