"I don't think the way that the Electoral Finance Act was passed or necessarily its specific detail was as good as it could have been," he said.
"I think we do need to look at that again. I think we need to look at that in a way that involves all parties.
Phil Goff shows that 20:20 hindsight is indeed a wonderful gift, For the Phil Goff who called for a review of the Electoral Finance Act last Wednesday is that same Phil Goff who said this in the General Debate on 5 December last year:
If Mr Key and the National Party look a little angry at the moment and it has something to do with the Electoral Finance Bill, it is because that party and Mr Key got caught out at the last election by having been supported by narrow, sectoral religious groups and right-wing vested interests that did not have the guts to say publicly that they were supporting National.
Mr Key knew there was $1 million coming from the Exclusive Brethren. He appeared on television talking to them. He was told about it—he was emailed. Here is the email Ron Hickmott sent to Mr Key, headed “Urgent, important, and confidential”, the email that Mr Key said he never read. What did it say? It said that the Exclusive Brethren sought to launch a “very extensive election campaign” using $1 million “with the sole goal of getting party votes for National”. Mr Key knew about the Exclusive Brethren. He knew about the $1 million. He went on television and he denied that. That was untrue; that was dishonest. Why did the National Party get hundreds of thousands of dollars through trust funds? It got hundreds of thousands of dollars through trust funds because the wealthy vested interests that were buying privileges in the hope that National would get elected were not prepared to be transparent about the fact they were giving that money to the National Party. So if the National Party is angry, it is because it knows this bill restores democracy by stopping that sort of vote-buying tactic from narrow, unrepresentative religious groups and narrow, sectoral, right-wing business interests.
Ah yes; 11 months is a long time in politics!