New Zealand Government to repeal Electoral Finance Act
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
"As part of its first 100 days’ commitment the Government intends to repeal the Electoral Finance Act 2007 and replace it with an interim regime by 26 February 2009", Power said. However, the precise date would depend on the cooperation of other parties in the House.
The promise was made in Parliament yesterday in response to a question from ACT MP John Boscawen.
The Electoral Finance Act was passed in 2007 by the then-Labour government. It requires greater transparency around donations to political parties and places a financial cap on "third party" campaigning by other groups. Opponents of the law consider it a serious restriction of civil liberties, and further consider that spending private money on political campaigning is a democratic right. National promised to repeal the law during the recent election campaign.
Parliament is expected to begin next year's sitting on February 10, 2009. Given the tight deadline, the repeal will almost certainly be conducted under urgency and without a select committee phase.
The National government has come under fire in recent days for its use of urgency to pass bills without sending them to select committee.
- "Action on electoral laws promised" — , December 17, 2008
- Press Release: "Questions for Oral Answer: 9. Electoral Finance Act—Repeal" — New Zealand Parliament, December 16, 2008
- Press Release: "Recommended sitting programme for 2009" — New Zealand Parliament, December 9, 2008
- "Controversial electoral law passed in heated debate" — , December 18, 2007
- "Editorial: Bulldozed rush of legislation makes mockery of democracy" — , December 14, 2007
- Press Release: "Repealing the EFA & reinstating free speech" — New Zealand National Party, September 28, 2008