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Electoral Finance Act Issues Paper released

Hon Simon Power
Minister of Justice

22 May 2009 Media Statement

Electoral Finance Act Issues Paper released

An Issues Paper that aims to generate public discussion and ideas about how to address issues around electoral finance reform has been released, Justice Minister Simon Power said today.

"The Issues Paper allows the public to have a say on what kind of electoral finance system New Zealand should have, and is designed to ask questions rather than provide answers," Mr Power said.

"There are a lot of good ideas out there and the Government wants to hear those ideas before making any decisions."

The review of electoral finance legislation is being carried out in three stages. Each stage provides an opportunity for the public to have a say.

The first stage is the Issues Paper. Views received on the Issues Paper will be incorporated in a Proposal Document that will set out Government proposals for new legislation. This will be released in August this year.

The final stage will be the parliamentary process, and there will be a further opportunity for the public to provide feedback at the Select Committee phase.

"The Government wants to engage all parliamentary parties and the public in order to achieve the type of broad consensus that has historically been the hallmark of electoral law reform," Mr Power said.

"We acknowledge that there may be differences in opinion, but we will be listening carefully to the views of parliamentary parties and the public."

Consultation on the Issues Paper closes on 19 June 2009.

The Issues Paper and further information about the consultation process can be found at www.justice.govtnz/electoralfinancereform.

Background information on the Issues Paper follows.

Information On The Issues Paper

What is the purpose of the Issues Paper?
The purpose of the Issues Paper is to generate public discussion on broad issues and gather ideas for ways to address these issues. The Issues Paper is not Government policy and is designed to ask questions, not provide answers.

The closing date for submissions is 19 June 2009.

How was the Issues Paper developed?

In April 2009, the Government published a Scope Paper which set out six broad topics to be addressed as part of the Review. The Government consulted with parliamentary parties on the scope of the Review.

The Issues Paper is structured along the same lines as the Scope Paper but discusses each question in greater depth. Parliamentary parties were consulted in the development of the Issues Paper.

What does the Issues Paper cover?

• Chapter 1 – Principles addresses the principles that guide the regulation of electoral campaigning and political party funding. These principles help to guide what the rules will achieve.

• Chapter 2 – Constituency Candidate and Political Party Funding discusses how constituency candidates and political parties could be funded, including private donations and other sources of funding.

• Chapter 3 – Campaign Spending discusses possible rules for spending by constituency candidates and political parties during election campaigns.

• Chapter 4 – Advertising addresses rules for campaign advertising by constituency candidates and political parties, including broadcasting.

• Chapter 5 – Parallel Campaigning discusses issues associated with campaigning by individuals or groups who are not standing for election.

• Chapter 6 – Monitoring and Compliance discusses rules for constituency candidates and political parties to declare the funding they receive and money that they spend on campaigning.

Each chapter includes a summary of the current law, discusses relevant issues and seeks feedback.


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