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Electoral Commission teams up with anti-National

Electoral Commission teams up with anti-National campaigners

Media release: Student Choice

6 November 2008

Student Choice is questioning the wisdom of the Electoral Commission's support for the Great New Zealand Vote Party, considering one of the other groups involved, the New Zealand Union of Student Associations (NZUSA), is a registered third party under the Electoral Finance Act and is currently campaigning against the National Party.

NZUSA's political leanings were evident yesterday in a press release, supposedly on behalf of all students, attacking the National Party's tertiary education policies. Although a number of youth wings of political parties are also involved in the Vote Party, NZUSA is unique in that they claim political neutrality, as well as being financed by member associations which are in turn compulsorily funded by students.

"Considering the Electoral Commission itself admitted that even they find the EFA confusing, we are concerned that they are compromising their neutrality by teaming up with a political lobby group," said Student Choice spokesman Mike Heine.

"In a democracy one would not expect an independent body, charged with supervising third parties' compliance with legislation, to align itself with such a partisan group as NZUSA. We doubt whether the Commission would support projects run by other third parties like Family First or the Free Speech Coalition so we ask why the Commission has seen fit to partner with NZUSA.

"Student Choice looks forward to the Electoral Commission's explanation on this matter," Mike Heine concluded.


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