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All Parliamentary party conference required on EFA

Media statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 16 April 2008

All Parliamentary party conference required on Electoral Finance Act

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne says it is time for an all Parliamentary party conference to sort out the problems now becoming apparent with the Electoral Finance Act.

“No-one, whether they were for the Act or against it, could have imagined the extent to which it is now intruding into every aspect of political life, and the uncertainty it is causing for election officials, political parties, MPs, and candidates.

“We cannot carry on with so much uncertainty, and the flaws in the legislation need to be sorted out immediately in the interests of a fair election process this year.

“We want the people to decide this election – not the lawyers and the Courts.

“It is time for all parties to lay aside their partisan differences on the issue and meet to achieve a common understanding of what is election expenditure and what is not, which can then be put to Parliament as an urgent amendment to the current clearly unworkable legislation.

“For a start, the definitions contained in the legislation passed in the wake of the Auditor-General’s report and in the Speaker’s determinations on what is legitimate Parliamentary expenditure need to be carried over to the Electoral Finance Act, and it made clear there that expenditure approved for Parliamentary purposes is not attributable election expenditure.

“The matters contained in Mr English’s Member’s Bill regarding financial agents also need to be addressed,” he says.

Mr Dunne says the only way through the current morass is for an all Parliamentary party meeting to be held in good faith to agree on the changes required, and to their immediate implementation.

“The sooner such a meeting takes place, the better,” he says.


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