Electoral law changes

July 26th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

More changes to electoral laws will be made before next year’s election including closing a loophole which enables parties to hide donations until after election day.

Excellent.

Ms Collins also intended to clamp down on the use of undisclosed loans after the Electoral Commission raised concerns that making loans which were later written off, rather than donations, could be used to dodge disclosure requirements.

Which is what the Conservatives did.

Justice Minister Judith Collins also indicated she would look at bigger changes after the election, including whether should continue to handle electoral offences.

This follows complaints that the police rarely prosecute and are slow to deal with cases.

The Police have failed to do effective enforcement in 2005, 2008 and 2011. I’m disappointed they will be left respnosible for enforcement in 2014 but at least the Government hasn’t said no, and so this may be the last election we have where parties and candidates (and voters) can break the law with almost no consequences.

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13 Responses to “Electoral law changes”

  1. Harriet (5,201 comments) says:

    “…….The Police have failed to do effective enforcement in 2005, 2008 and 2011. I’m disappointed they will be left respnosible for enforcement in 2014 but at least the Government hasn’t said no………”

    This seems to be a clear case where the police don’t think that they should be doing it. So the question is:

    Why don’t they just bloody say so?

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  2. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    As I understand it one need only be resident for 12 months to get the vote.

    If that’s correct isn’t that a bit lax and an affront to the few priveliges that go with being a citizen of Aotearoa formerly New Zealand?

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  3. bringbackdemocracy (429 comments) says:

    How come Collins can make the changes she wants but can ignore the electoral commissions recommendations?
    Isn’t that the sort of thing Clark did?

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  4. shoreboy57 (141 comments) says:

    That will put the wind up Moira

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  5. AG (1,834 comments) says:

    @Harriet

    This seems to be a clear case where the police don’t think that they should be doing it. So the question is: Why don’t they just bloody say so?

    They have. Look at their submissions/advice at the time the Policing Act 2008 was enacted.

    @kowtow

    As I understand it one need only be resident for 12 months to get the vote.

    Wrong. You must be either a permanent resident or a citizen who has lived in NZ for at least 1 year continuously to be eligible to enrol to vote.

    @bringbackdemocracy

    How come Collins can make the changes she wants but can ignore the electoral commissions recommendations?

    Consensus, dear boy (or girl), consensus.

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  6. Rick Rowling (816 comments) says:

    [obligatory]

    Where is the $158,000 Winston?

    [/obligatory]

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  7. WineOh (636 comments) says:

    That will silence a lot of the critics of the supposed corruption of the political process, if there is actually some teeth in the enforcement of the laws. The appearance on the outside is that parties and individuals can flout the rules with impunity.

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  8. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    AG

    Thank you.

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  9. burt (7,436 comments) says:

    including whether police should continue to handle electoral offences.

    I think it’s more a matter of: Including whether Police should start to handle electoral offences.

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  10. wikiriwhis business (4,209 comments) says:

    If the police won’t handle electoral law who will……. How will boundaries be adjudicated…… why would parties and candidates follow official lines ?

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  11. Rick Rowling (816 comments) says:

    If the police won’t handle electoral law who will……. How will boundaries be adjudicated……

    Sounds like a job for an ombudsman.

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  12. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    Surely enforcement should sit within a branch of the Electoral commission. The Police have enough to do without getting involved in this sort of investigation.

    Is Collins not being a bit presumptuous thinking she will consider changes after the next election? She may just be the leader of the opposition. (Fuck I hope not but just sayin).

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  13. Nigel Kearney (1,100 comments) says:

    People should be able to spend as much as they like promoting their views, and do so anonymously if they wish. That’s basic freedom of expression. If the police are enabling it by not making any effort to enforce laws that shouldn’t exist in the first place, I say good on them and this is as close as we are likely to get to a system that works well.

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