New Zealand's National Party's bill blocked

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The National Party has gone over its allocated funding for the past election, because of a communication mixup that resulted in the party booking $900,000 plus Goods and Services Tax (GST) of advertising, rather than the $900,000 including GST they were allowed to spend. It should be noted that advertising is invariably quoted exclusive of GST in New Zealand, resulting in the mixup. Because of this the National Party tried to get a bill passed so they could get a one off exemption that would allow them to pay the money owed to TVNZ, TV3, Prime, Sky Television and radio stations. However three parties; New Zealand First, Maori Party and the Greens blocked this from happening, by one vote, on June 13, 2006.

It is prohibited to go over the allocation of money by the Broadcasting Act.

Winston Peters, head of New Zealand First and Foreign Minister, says "National has already broken the law by using more election advertising than it was entitled to and should just pay up. The law should not be changed to accommodate National's dilemma."

Don Brash, head of the National Party, says that he finds the statements "quite unbelievable", as Mr Peters was essentially suggesting that a member of parliament deliberately break the law.

The National Party has two options, they could lose the amount owed from the next elections budget or break the law and pay.