Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Greens shed light on spending issue

20 September 2006

Greens shed light on spending issue

While the Greens are still challenging the basis of the Auditor-General's report, the caucus has agreed that any Green Party Parliamentary spending that is ultimately found to have been outside the rules will be paid back personally by the MPs in addition to a modest contribution from the party, Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"However, we are not at that point yet. The Auditor-General has not issued his final report, we are still challenging his inconsistent new interpretation of the rules, and there could be further legal challenge to his findings.

"The Auditor-General has advised us that he now considers that our regular parliamentary newsletter, Green Times, published in the pre-election period, was within the rules. This reduces the Green Party's questioned expenditure of about $95,000 by approximately $30,000. We have also challenged many other items.

"We are adamant that the bulk of our spending was within the rules as we understood them, based on the Speaker's direction and Members' Handbook. Our decision to pay back any spending eventually found to be outside those rules does not constitute an admission of guilt - merely an acknowledgment that once there is a final legal ruling we will respect it.

"Even if all the spending were determined to be election expenditure, the Party would not have breached its election spending cap under the Electoral Act so is not in breach of the law.

"We were all aware that the money could not be used for 'electioneering' but this has never been adequately defined. The interpretation applied by parties was that you could not solicit votes, money or membership. However, the Auditor-General's interpretation of the same rules stretched to include most of the things that MPs do in their daily work.

"We do acknowledge that a few of our advertisements inadvertently breached Parliamentary standards in that they referred to the election or to candidates. These amount to $5000 and will be repaid regardless of the outcome of any investigation or legal challenge. Two party advertisements worth $226, which did solicit votes were incorrectly charged to our Parliamentary budget but these were paid back months ago." Ms Fitzsimons says.

"The caucus has also agreed that it will not support any retrospective validating legislation. While validating legislation of overspending by Government departments is a normal practice and happens frequently we don't think it is the best way of clarifying the rules. We do think there needs to be legislation to ensure that the rules around campaign spending are clear for the future and we look forward to working with other parties to find a resolution that leaves us able to carry out our duties and responsibilities as Parliamentarians," Ms Fitzsimons says.

Further details and examples of advertising deemed outside the rules in the Auditor General's draft report are available in PDF form on the Green Party website,


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The PM’s Indonesian Guest, And West Papua

As David Lange once said, it is almost impossible to get New Zealand to think about Indonesia, the huge nation sitting right on our doorstep.

The visit to this country early next week by Indonesian president Joko Widodo won’t change that situation, even though Widido will be the first major foreign head of state to be hosted by the Ardern government. More>>


Out By 24,000: Treasury Child Poverty Estimate Wrong

The Treasury has revised the child-poverty projections it provided to the Government in December 2017. As outlined in the Treasury’s 17 January media release, the previous estimate was based on code that included a modelling error...More>>


Mentions Russia: NZ Joins Condemnation Of Nerve Agent Attack

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has grave concerns over the use of a chemical nerve agent in the United Kingdom resulting in critically serious injuries to some of those exposed. More>>


IPCA (And Privacy Commission): Police's “Exit International” Checkpoint Was Illegal

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that Police were not justified in stopping vehicles at a vehicle checkpoint to identify individuals who had attended an “Exit International” meeting in Lower Hutt on 2 October 2016. More>>


NZDF Coverup: Defence Admits Raid Was In Area Described In Hit And Run

When the book Hit and Run was published in March last year, the Chief of Defence Force Tim Keating held a press conference claiming the SAS had been in a different place on that date... The Defence Force has finally admitted that the “three photographs in the book are of Tirgiran Village”. More>>


"It Could Work" - Team NZ: New America's Cup Base Option

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed Emirates Team New Zealand’s acknowledgement that a new fourth base option is workable and would see Auckland host the America’s Cup in 2021. More>>





Featured InfoPages