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Inquiry Into The 2001 Local Elections

Public Comment Invited On Inquiry Into The 2001 Local Elections

Press Release by Justice And Electoral Committee at 11:47am, 13th December 2001

Parliament's Justice and Electoral Committee is inviting public submissions on its inquiry into the 2001 local elections. The closing date for submissions is Friday 15 February 2002. The terms of reference for the inquiry are:

To examine the law and administrative procedures for the conduct of the 2001 local elections, with particular reference to the Local Electoral Act 2001.

The inquiry aims to complete two tasks. It will identify detailed changes to be made to the Local Electoral Act 2001, which was first tested in last October's elections. It will also examine some of the wider concerns around the elections, including low voter turnout and the reportedly low number of Maori and Pacific Islands candidates elected.

Among the issues the committee is interested to hear about are those relating to: *The effectiveness of candidate profile statements.

*Spending limits for candidates.

*Campaign advertising.

*Increase of the postal voting period from two to three weeks.

Tim Barnett, Chair of the Justice and Electoral Committee, said today: "Parliament made major changes to local election law in 2002. The best time to review how effective those changes have been is shortly after elections run on those rules, when memories are fresh and there is time for Parliament to respond before the next election. This law emerged from a partnership between local and central government . Now we want to make it even better. "

ENDS


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