United Future No Longer A Party In Parliament's Eyes
Speaker David Carter has ruled United Future is no longer recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes.
At the beginning of the sitting day, Carter said he was following up on his earlier decision to temporarily recognise United Future to allow it to sort out its status after it was deregistered by the Electoral Commission due to a lack of membership.
Carter said he did not want to interfere in the process of an independent agency, but it was clear the problem could take some time to be worked through and this could lead to disruption in Parliament.
Standing Orders did not cover what should happen if a party was no longer registered after it was elected to Parliament, but he could use his powers under Standing Orders to make a ruling.
Recognition of a party for parliamentary purposes was different to recognition under the Electoral Act, he said.
On one hand, it was not tenable for a party to continue to receive funding if it could not show it still qualified under electoral law, on the other hand Parliament should respect the election of parties by the electorate.
On balance Carter said he had decided United Future was no longer a party for parliamentary purposes and Peter Dunne will be considered as an independent MP. If the party is reregistered Carter said he would reconsider the issue.
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