Local Electoral Act may be reformed

Adam Bennett at NZ Herald reports:

“The law literally is an ass in this particular case … anyone can drive a bus through [it].” Mr Key said the may need reforming, “and that’s something we’ll consider in due course”.

Changes may be possible before next year’s local authority elections, depending on the Government’s legislative workload.

Local Government Minister David Carter said he’d had preliminary discussions with officials about aligning the Local Electoral Act with legislation that applies to candidates standing for Parliament, “particularly in regard to anonymous donations”.

Labour leader David Shearer said his party was prepared to work with National to improve transparency around donations to local government candidates. ‘It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time and I think there’s a possibility of sitting down and making sure people have confidence in our electoral laws.”

Mr Banks said he would “absolutely” support any move to tighten up the Local Electoral Act.

I think it is important it is reformed before the 2013 elections which will mean a bill to be introduced in late 2012. It isn’t overly complex to do, and there will be broad support for it. Really the only tough issues will be over what are appropriate disclosure limits and should they vary by the size of the authority.

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