Electoral finance revamp looks shaky

Last updated 00:00 18/10/2007

Relevant offers

Politics

Chris Trotter: Deep State, big trouble Mum takes DHB to court for failing to prevent her son's death in the mental health unit English punts talk of electoral deals, Maori seat strategy, into the stands Hone Harawira gets clear Te Tai Tokerau run for Mana not running against Maori Party in other seats Bill English slams NZ Super Fund for chief executive's 36 per cent pay increase 'Doing it for greed' Labour leader Andrew Little on Cadbury factory closure Te Atiawa opposes land bill but keen to be part of better solution Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie looking forward to election campaign While Christchurch burns, Wellington talks Willie Jackson: The health of our democracy is at risk with the Electoral Commission failing voters

The Government's overhaul of electoral finance laws is looking shaky after a key ally lambasted the legislation as KGB-like.

A rewrite is now under way to salvage the bill, but the latest missive by UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne suggests the Government is under mounting pressure to incorporate a clamp on anonymous donations if the legislation is to survive.

Writing in yesterday's Dominion Post, Mr Dunne said the bill had major flaws, including the definition of third-party advertisers, which was too wide; the $60,000 cap on the amount that could be spent by third parties on election advertising was too low; and the legislation failed to address the need for more transparency around donations to political parties.

He also called for a look at the rules surrounding official government advertising.

A parliamentary select committee considering the legislation is expected to recommend sweeping changes, which are understood to include significantly loosening the rules and definitions surrounding third-party advertisers and raising the $60,000 cap.

But the select committee is not expected to recommend any change to January 1 as the start date from which political advertising counts toward the statutory limit imposed on election-year spending.

The Government may have to step in with further changes if it wants to keep the Greens and UnitedFuture onside and get the legislation passed before Christmas, in time for the January 1 kickoff for election advertising rules.

Otherwise, it will not have the numbers to pass the bill; only NZ First is looking likely to support it.

The most pressure is expected to come over anonymous donations, with the Greens lobbying heavily to include strict disclosure rules.

Labour had ruled out more transparency without compensatory state funding.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content