Electoral Amendment Act 2014

41 New Part 6B inserted
  • Before Part 7, insert:

    Part 6B
    Loans

    211 Application of this Part
    • This Part applies to loans entered into on behalf of parties.

    Subpart 1General provisions relating to loans

    212 Interpretation
    • In this Part,—

      lender, in relation to a loan, means the person providing the loan

      loan

      • (a) means a written or an oral agreement or arrangement under which a lender lends money or agrees to lend money in the future at specified dates or on request or on the occurrence of a particular event; but

      • (b) does not include any money lent by a registered bank at a commercial interest rate

      loan amount means—

      • (a) the amount of money lent by the lender under the loan; or

      • (b) where any money may be lent under the loan in the future, the maximum amount that may be owed at any one time; or

      • (c) the total of the amounts in paragraphs (a) and (b), in any case where the lender has provided, and may in the future provide, money under the loan

      registered bank has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989.

    213 Party secretary may enter into loan on behalf of party
    • (1) A party may enter into a loan only with the authorisation of the party secretary.

      (2) Only the party secretary may enter into a loan on behalf of the party.

      (3) If the party secretary enters into a loan that is not in writing, the party secretary must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, make a written record of the loan.

      (4) A loan entered into in contravention of this section is an illegal contract for the purposes of the Illegal Contracts Act 1970.

    214 Offence to enter into unauthorised loan
    • A person is guilty of—

      • (a) a corrupt practice who wilfully contravenes section 213; and

      • (b) an illegal practice who contravenes section 213 in any other case.

    214A Offence to enter into arrangement to circumvent section 213, 214C, or 214F
    • A person who enters into an agreement, arrangement, or understanding with any other person for the purpose of circumventing section 213, or for the purpose of circumventing the disclosure required by section 214C or 214F, is guilty of an illegal practice.

    214B Records of loans
    • (1) A party secretary must keep proper records of all loans entered into on behalf of the party.

      (2) A party secretary who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $40,000.

    Subpart 2Disclosure of loans

    214C Annual return of loans
    • (1) A party secretary must file with the Electoral Commission, for each year, a return setting out—

      • (a) the details specified in subsection (2) in respect of—

        • (i) every loan entered into during the year that has a loan amount exceeding $15,000; and

        • (ii) every loan entered into in any previous year that—

          • (A) has a loan amount exceeding $15,000; and

          • (B) at the close of 31 December of the year for which the return is filed, has an unpaid balance exceeding $15,000; and

      • (b) the details specified in subsection (3) in respect of every loan entered into during the year that has a loan amount not exceeding $15,000, but which exceeds $15,000 when aggregated with—

        • (i) the loan amounts of all other loans provided by the same lender during the year; or

        • (ii) the unpaid balances of any loans provided by the same lender during any previous year; and

      • (c) the details specified in subsection (4) in respect of all other loans entered into during the year that each have loan amounts of not less than $1,500 and not more than $15,000.

      (2) The details referred to in subsection (1)(a) are—

      • (a) the name of the lender; and

      • (b) the address of the lender; and

      • (c) the loan amount; and

      • (d) the date on which the loan was entered into; and

      • (e) the repayment date for the loan, or a statement that there is no repayment date; and

      • (f) the interest rate or rates; and

      • (g) the unpaid balance of the loan amount, if any; and

      • (h) the name and address of any guarantor of the loan; and

      • (i) the details of any security given for the loan; and

      • (j) whether there is any term of the loan agreement or arrangement that enables the lender to reduce or extinguish the loan amount or interest, or both, or grant any concession in respect of repayment of that amount or interest, or both.

      (3) The details referred to in subsection (1)(b) are—

      • (a) the details specified in subsection (2); and

      • (b) the total of the aggregated loan amount.

      (4) The details referred to in subsection (1)(c) are—

      • (a) the number of loans; and

      • (b) the total of the aggregated loan amounts.

      (5) A return must—

      • (a) be filed by 30 April of the following year; and

      • (b) be in a form required by the Electoral Commission; and

      • (c) be accompanied by an auditor's report obtained under section 214D.

      (6) In this section, year means the period of 12 months starting on 1 January and ending with the close of 31 December.

      (7) Despite anything in subsection (1), if a party secretary is required to file under that subsection a return of party loans that relates to the year in which the party became registered, that return is to relate to the period beginning with the date of registration of the party and ending with 31 December of that year.

    214D Auditor's report on annual return of loans
    • (1) A party secretary must, before the Electoral Commission receives the return required by section 214C, obtain from the auditor appointed under section 206J a report on the return.

      (2) The auditor must state in the report whether, in the auditor's opinion, the return fairly reflects the loans entered into by the party.

      (3) The auditor must make any examinations that the auditor considers necessary.

      (4) The auditor must specify in the report any case in which—

      • (a) the return does not, in the auditor's opinion, fairly reflect the loans entered into by or on behalf of the party:

      • (b) the auditor has not received from the party secretary all the information that the auditor requires to carry out his or her duties:

      • (c) proper records of loans entered into by or on behalf of the party have not, in the auditor's opinion, been kept by the party secretary.

      (5) The auditor—

      • (a) must have access at all reasonable times to all records, documents, and accounts that relate to the loans entered into by or on behalf of the party and that are held by the party or the party secretary; and

      • (b) may require the party secretary to provide any information and explanation that, in the auditor's opinion, may be necessary to enable the auditor to prepare the report.

    214E Nil return
    • If a party secretary considers that there is no relevant information to disclose under section 214C, the party secretary must file a nil return under that section.

    214F Return of loan provided by same lender exceeding $30,000
    • (1) A party secretary must file with the Electoral Commission a return in respect of every loan entered into that has a loan amount exceeding $30,000.

      (2) A party secretary must file with the Electoral Commission a return in respect of every loan entered into—

      • (a) that is provided by a lender who, in the 12 months immediately preceding the date on which the loan was entered into (the last 12 months), has provided 1 or more other loans to the party (previous loans); and

      • (b) that exceeds $30,000 when the amount of the loan is aggregated with the loan amounts of all the previous loans.

      (3) If a return is made under subsection (2), the loans disclosed in that return must be disregarded when applying this section in relation to a loan that is entered into by the party after that return is filed.

      (4) A return filed under subsection (1) must be in the form required by the Electoral Commission and must set out—

      • (a) the name of the lender; and

      • (b) the address of the lender; and

      • (c) the loan amount; and

      • (d) the date on which the loan was entered into; and

      • (e) the repayment date for the loan, or a statement that there is no repayment date; and

      • (f) the interest rate or rates; and

      • (g) the unpaid balance of the loan amount, if any; and

      • (h) the name and address of any guarantor of the loan; and

      • (i) the details of any security given for the loan; and

      • (j) whether there is any term of the loan agreement or arrangement that enables the lender to reduce or extinguish the loan amount or interest, or both, or grant any concession in respect of repayment of that amount or interest, or both.

      (5) A return filed under subsection (2) must be in the form required by the Electoral Commission and must set out—

      • (a) the details specified in subsection (4) in respect of—

        • (i) the loan; and

        • (ii) all previous loans; and

      • (b) the total of the aggregated loan amount.

      (6) A return must be filed under subsection (1) or (2) within 10 working days of the loan being entered into by the party.

    214G Offences relating to return of party loans
    • (1) A party secretary commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $40,000 who, without reasonable excuse,—

      • (a) files a return of party loans under section 214C during the late period:

      • (b) files a return of party loans under section 214F during the late period.

      (2) A party secretary is guilty of a corrupt practice who, without reasonable excuse,—

      • (a) files a return of party loans under section 214C or 214F after the late period; or

      • (b) fails to file a return of party loans under—

        • (i) section 214C:

        • (ii) section 214F.

      (3) A party secretary who files a return under section 214C or 214F that is false in any material particular is guilty of—

      • (a) a corrupt practice if he or she filed the return knowing it to be false in any material particular; or

      • (b) an illegal practice in any other case unless the party secretary proves that—

        • (i) he or she had no intention to misstate or conceal the facts; and

        • (ii) he or she took all reasonable steps in the circumstances to ensure that the information in the return was accurate.

      (4) A party secretary charged with an offence against subsection (3)(a) may be convicted of an offence against subsection (3)(b).

      (5) In this section, late period, in relation to the filing of a return, means the period commencing on the day after the date on which the return is required to be filed and ending on the day that is 15 working days later.

    214H Duty of Electoral Commission
    • (1) If the Electoral Commission believes that any person has committed an offence specified in this Part, the Electoral Commission must report the facts on which that belief is based to the New Zealand Police.

      (2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the Electoral Commission considers that the offence is so inconsequential that there is no public interest in reporting those facts to the New Zealand Police.

    214I Obligation to retain records necessary to verify return of party loans
    • (1) A party secretary must take all reasonable steps to ensure that all records, documents, and accounts that are reasonably necessary to enable returns under sections 214C and 214F to be verified are retained until the expiry of the period within which a prosecution may be commenced under this Act in relation to the returns or in relation to any matter to which the returns relate.

      (2) A party secretary who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $40,000.

    214J Return of party loans to be publicly available
    • (1) The Electoral Commission may publish, in any manner that the Electoral Commission considers appropriate, the following returns and reports:

      • (a) a return filed under section 214C; and

      • (b) a report obtained under section 214D accompanying a return referred to in paragraph (a); and

      • (c) a return filed under section 214F.

      (2) During the public inspection period, the Electoral Commission must make available for public inspection a copy of every return and report referred to in subsection (1).

      (3) The Electoral Commission may make inspection under subsection (2) subject to the payment of any charges that may be made under the Official Information Act 1982.