NZSA Policy Statements
In New Zealand, the need for separation of the democratic process from business and other special-interest activity has been recognised by the introduction of a system of public funding of political parties.
As a general principle, companies must operate within the legal and regulatory system applying in the places in which they operate. Theirs is an economic role - not a political one.
If companies make a decision to make donations to political parties, they reduce the profits available for distribution to shareholders.
In addition, many shareholders may hold opposing views to those being promoted by political groups that receive company donations. Such donations by the company effectively allow management or directors to intrude upon the democratic prerogatives of shareholders.
It is legitimate for companies to attempt to influence government through lobbying and similar representational processes, but provision of funds to political parties or individual politicians taints the democratic process by creating expectations of favours in return.