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Labour plans more changes to election bill

Bill English MP
National Party Deputy Leader

21 November 2007

Labour plans more changes to election bill

National Party Deputy Leader Bill English says Labour has finally admitted that even more changes to the Electoral Finance Bill are expected at the eleventh hour.

“The law is clear. Under the current rules, TVNZ as a Crown-owned company, will need special exemptions so it can run election advertisements in 2008.”

In a statement today, Justice Minister Annette King confirmed ‘a minor amendment’ may be required to make sure TVNZ is allowed to carry election advertisements in election year.

“Mrs King has confirmed at least one amendment. How many more can we expect? Will the public be able to comment on them? What else is coming down the tracks at the eleventh hour?”

Mr English says the Broadcasting Act does not exempt TVNZ from the effect of the Electoral Finance Bill and it is clear some kind of specific exemption will be required.

“Even the Electoral Commission has cast serious doubt on the downstream effects of Labour’s draconian bill, which now appears to hinge on Labour’s version of ‘the law of common sense’.

“If Annette King is planning last gasp amendments to the Electoral Finance Bill to deal with all the unintended consequences, she needs to be up front with them.”

National remains committed to repealing the odious Electoral Finance Bill and it supports the Law Society’s view that such a substantial change to our election laws deserves further public scrutiny.

Ends

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