Lighthouse

Team Name: 
Lighthouse Keepers

Are government appointments and honours given as rewards for political donations and candidates? We took appointments and honours data and matched it against selected donations and candidacy data, and found a few connections.

Our proof-of-concept shows what can be discovered, but it's far from complete. We only have access to 2014 candidates donation returns, thanks to the NZ Herald's crowdsourcing efforts. Data for previous elections are stuck in scanned PDFs of handwritten forms. Appointments and honours from the NZ Gazette are in an unstructured format, and extract with regex, sweat and tears. 

The real value of this project is the creation of a comprehensive and structured dataset of political connections and beneficiaries of government appointments, which will be an invaluable resource for investigative journalists.

Datasets Used: 
NZ Gazette https://gazette.govt.nz/ Electoral Commission http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/ NZ Companies Office https://www.business.govt.nz/companies/ Political donations http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11412326

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