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Member's bill will let National fix GST error

Member's bill will let National fix GST error

29 May 2006 - 13:30 - Dr Don Brash
Party Leader

National has written a member's bill that changes the law to allow the party to pay the money it was blocked from paying to broadcasters for election advertising following an error during the election campaign.

"We think it very important that we put this matter behind us so we can fully concentrate on the important issues facing New Zealand," says National Party Leader Don Brash.

"This bill will be under my name and I will seek leave to introduce it on the first sitting day back in Parliament on 13 June.

"I call on all political parties to support its rapid introduction. This bill will wipe the slate clean. It's a one-off fix to correct an error made when the National Party booked radio and television advertising for the 2005 campaign.

"Late last year the National Party publicly said it made an error, which was due to a misunderstanding between the party headquarters and its advertising booking agency.

"The agency booked advertising for National totalling $900,000 excluding GST instead of $900,000 including GST. The party was allocated only $900,000 including GST by the Electoral Commission for broadcast funding.

"Although the party president offered to pay the $112,500 GST due when the error was discovered, the legal limit of $900,000 meant we would have been breaching the Broadcasting Act if we did so.

"We have spent several months working with our legal advisers in an attempt to fix this problem, and have been advised that, as the law currently stands, we are simply prevented from paying the money due.

"The bill has been in the drafting process for a number of weeks, and was last week vetted by the Office of the Clerk," Dr Brash.

ENDS


Broadcasting (2005 Election Broadcasting Reimbursement) Amendment Bill

Member’s Bill

Explanatory note

This bill requires the reimbursement of broadcasting spending by the Electoral Commission in relation to the New Zealand National Party prior to the general election on 17 September 2005, but currently unable to be paid under the Broadcasting Act 1989.

Clause 5 inserts a new section 70E that requires the Electoral Commission to pay the outstanding amounts to the broadcasters involved, and for the New Zealand National Party to reimburse the Electoral Commission for that cost.


Dr Don Brash MP

Broadcasting (2005 Election Broadcasting Reimbursement) Amendment Bill

Member’s Bill

Contents

1. Title
2. Commencement
3. Principal Act mended
4. Purpose
5. New Section 70E inserted

1 Title
This Act is the Broadcasting (2005 Election Broadcasting Reimbursement) Amendment Act 2006.

2 Commencement
This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

3 Principal Act amended
This Act amends the Broadcasting Act 1989.

4 Purpose
The purpose of this Act is to amend the principal Act to require the Electoral Commission to reimburse broadcasters from moneys made available by the New Zealand National Party for certain costs incurred in broadcasting election programmes in respect of that party during the election period prior to the general election held on 17 September 2005 but currently unable to be paid under the principal Act.

5 New section 70E inserted
The principal Act is amended by inserting, before section 71, the section:
“70E Reimbursements related to the 2005 general election
“(1) The Electoral Commission must make the following payments to broadcasters for material mistakenly ordered by the New Zealand National Party during the election period before the general election held on 17 September 2005:
“(a) $57,369.00 to Television New Zealand Ltd; and
“(b) $20,013.62 to TV3 Ltd; and
“(c) $3,327.49 to Prime Television Ltd; and
“(d) $6,887.75 to Sky Network Television Ltd; and
“(e) $24,895.62 to The Radio Bureau Ltd.
“(2) The Electoral Commission must make the payments specified in subsection (1) out of a payment of $112,493.48 received from the New Zealand National Party the day after the commencement of the Broadcasting (2005 Election Broadcasting Reimbursement) Amendment Act 2006.
“(3) The payments specified in subsection (1) must be made within 1 month of the receipt of the payment specified in subsection (2).
“(4) To avoid doubt, nothing in this Act limits or affects this section.”

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