Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


No Prosecutions For Electoral Complaints

No Prosecutions For Electoral Complaints

17 March 2006

Police will not be making any further prosecutions in relation to complaints received from the Electoral Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer arising from the 2005 general election.

The Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, Roger Carson, said that after thorough investigation and consideration of the Solicitor General's Guidelines on criminal prosecutions the decision had been made that no prosecutions would take place besides the matter involving Television New Zealand, which had already been determined.

Police received a complaint in regard to the broadcast of an election advertisement by Television New Zealand during an opening address. On 9 February 2006 Police laid an information in the Auckland District Court charging Television New Zealand in relation to the breach. On 17 February the company appeared on this matter and entered a plea of guilty and was fined $2,500.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Carson said that in the case referred by the Chief Electoral Officer relating to the Labour Party pledge card and leaflet there was sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case in respect of an offence under s221 of the Electoral Act. Section 221 prohibits advertising promoting a party unless the secretary of the party gives written authorisation. Taking into consideration the Solicitor General's Guidelines, it was deemed that a warning be issued of the risk of prosecution if a similar complaint was to be received in future.

On the case of alleged over-spending by the Labour Party there was insufficient evidence to indicate that an offence under s214b of the Electoral Act had been committed.

In the matter of the alleged over-expenditure on television broadcasting by the National Party, Police were not able to attribute responsibility for the mistaken GST over-expenditure to either the NZ National Party or to the Party's media buying agency and do not intend to charge either.

A number of complaints were referred by the Chief Electoral Officer relating to the Exclusive Brethren:

• On the issue relating to distribution of leaflets on polling day, inquiries by Police revealed that the Brethren took considerable measures to ensure no material was distributed on polling day, however, it appears that despite those efforts a very small amount of material was distributed. There was insufficient evidence to take the matter any further.

• There was a concern that one of the Brethren leaflets had a false address on it. In the overall circumstances of this complaint no further action was required.

• The primary complaint was that leaflets and newspaper articles were distributed in breach of s221 of the Electoral Act. A review of the material by Police indicated that there was insufficient similarity or association between the material and the New Zealand National Party on which to base a charge.

The Chief Electoral Officer referred to Police 10 instances of election advertising involving three separate unions.

No prosecutions will be taken in respect of the publications distributed by the three unions but the Police will be writing to each of these unions informing them of the obligations in the Electoral Act and the potential consequences of not meeting these.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Carson said that recent commentary around the time limits for bringing charges under the Electoral Act was academic in nature.

"The fact is that we have made a decision not to lay charges and the recommendations were made before the time limit expired. Crown Law's involvement in this case has been and continues to be to provide legal advice to assist with the various investigations but decision-making is and has been entirely a matter for Police," said Mr Carson.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election