Commission Divvies Up The Advertising Dollars
The Electoral Commission has completed one of the tasks which never fails to annoy all the parties - the allocation of money to purchase broadcasting time during the election campaign.
By law, political parties are not allowed to buy additional time and the Commissioners always difficult task has been made more difficult, because while the money allowed is fixed, the number of eligible parties has gone up.
To be eligible a party has to be registered at least three months before Parliament is dissolved for the General Election, or it must have at least five electorate candidates at that time. The second point allows Mauri Pacific in, as it is not yet a registered party.
Half of the allocation of $2.081 million is shared between the big two, Labour and National, with them getting $524,412 each.
The Alliance, ACT New Zealand and the New Zealand First Party will share 20 per cent with the Alliance the next biggest beneficiary, with an allocation of $168,000 dollars, ACT receives $112,000, and New Zealand First gets $93,000.
Former NZ First MPs, Mauri Pacific get $37,500 as do Christian Heritage, The Greens, United and the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. In total 27 parties get something.
The first of the protests is in with ACT's Richard Prebble angry that they get tax dollars, but can't spend their own. At the last election ACT heavily advertised Richard Prebble's book ' I've Been Thinking', this was seen by many as pushing the law to its very limit as it was not classed as campaign advertising.
While the small parties always get upset about the ammounts allocated, the big big parties often grumble that they can not use their greater resource to fund more advertising.