No charges over election spending for New Zealand Labour party

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Labour won't be prosecuted over its election spending, even though police did find a prima facie case.

Acting police Deputy Commissioner, Roger Carson, said yesterday that police did find a prima facie case that Labour had breached section 221 of the Electoral Act. Section 221 prohibits advertising promoting a party unless the secretary of the party gives written authorisation.

In the alleged case of over-spending on taxpayer-funded pledge cards, police say that there was insufficient evidence to show that an offence under section 214b of the Electoral Act had been committed. Section 214b sets the maximum amount that parties may spent on election expenses.

Police will be sending Labour a warning saying that the party risks prosecution if a similar complaint is received in the future.

In February the New Zealand Electoral Commission referred the Labour Party to the police, for allegedly overspending NZ$418,603 in last year's general election.


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