Labour’s electoral law to be repealed

NZ Herald Feb 09, 2009

The controversial Electoral Finance Act will be repealed by the end of next week and all but the donations disclosure regime will be replaced with the old the Electoral Act 1993 as an interim measure. The old law will be in place for any byelection, such as would be triggered if former Prime Minister Helen Clark landed the job she has applied for at the United Nations. The penalties under the present act will be retained in case there are any offences over returns yet to be made on expenditure for the last election. But the Government will then embark on a cross-party consultation process to rewrite the electoral law.

…The bill was proposed by Labour in the wake of the 2005 election in which members of the Exclusive Brethren church undertook a secret campaign to attack Labour and the Greens and support National without affecting National’s spending limits. But the extent of the change attracted a huge amount of criticism, including from the Electoral Commission which had to administer much of the new law. And while the new act imposed tougher spending rules on all parties and candidates, it liberalised the advertising spending rules of sitting MPs and parties.