Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2020

1 Title

This Act is the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2020.

2 Commencement

This Act comes into force on the day after the date of Royal assent.

3 Principal Act

This Act amends the Electoral Act 1993 (the principal Act).

Part 1 Amendments relating to disqualification of sentenced prisoners for registration as electors

4 Section 3 amended (Interpretation)

In section 3(1), insert in its appropriate alphabetical order:

prison manager has the same meaning as in section 3(1) of the Corrections Act 2004

5 Section 80 amended (Disqualifications for registration)

(1)

Replace section 80(1)(d) with:

(d)

a person who is detained in prison under—

(i)

a sentence of imprisonment for life; or

(ii)

a sentence of preventive detention; or

(iii)

a sentence of imprisonment for a term of 3 years or more:

(2)

After section 80(1), insert:

(1A)

For the purposes of subsection (1)(d)(iii) and sections 86A and 86B, 2 or more sentences of imprisonment for a fixed term that are at any time directed to be served cumulatively are to be treated as a single sentence of imprisonment for a term equal to the sum of the term of imprisonment of each sentence.

6 Section 81 replaced (Detention in prison pursuant to sentence of imprisonment)

Replace section 81 with:

81 Prison manager to forward to Electoral Commission details of prisoners disqualified for registration

Not later than 7 days after a person described in section 80(1)(d) is received into a prison to serve the whole or part of their sentence, the prison manager must forward to the Electoral Commission a notice stating—

(a)

the name, previous residential address, and date of birth of the person; and

(b)

the name and address of the prison.

Part 2 Amendments relating to registration of sentenced prisoners as electors

7 New sections 86A to 86E inserted

After section 86, insert:

86A Registration of prisoners serving sentence of imprisonment of less than 3 years

(1)

This section applies when—

(a)

a prisoner who is 18 years or older is received into a prison to serve a sentence of imprisonment; or

(b)

a prisoner turns 18 years while serving a sentence of imprisonment.

(2)

If this section applies, the prison manager must, as soon as is reasonably practicable,—

(a)

advise the prisoner that if they are a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident of New Zealand (as defined in section 73) and have at some time resided continuously in New Zealand for a period of not less than 1 year they are qualified to be registered as an elector of an electoral district, and are required by section 82 to apply to the Electoral Commission for registration; and

(b)

ask the prisoner whether they want their enrolment details sent to the Electoral Commission to facilitate their registration as an elector.

(3)

If the prisoner wants their enrolment details sent to the Electoral Commission to facilitate their registration as an elector, section 86B applies.

86B Prison manager to collect and send enrolment information to Electoral Commission

(1)

If a prisoner referred to in section 86A wants their enrolment details sent to the Electoral Commission to facilitate their registration as an elector, the prisoner must provide to the prison manager the following information for that purpose:

(a)

the prisoner’s details specified in section 83(2)(a), (b), (c), (d), (g), and (h); and

(b)

if the prisoner is of Maori descent and at the time of providing their enrolment details is, in accordance with section 76(2), eligible to exercise the option referred to in section 76(1), whether the prisoner’s preference is to be enrolled on the Maori electoral roll or General electoral roll.

(2)

The prison manager must collect the enrolment information provided by a prisoner and send that information to the Electoral Commission as soon as is reasonably practicable after collecting the information.

(3)

If a prisoner wishes to apply for a direction under section 115 (unpublished names), the prison manager must—

(a)

assist the prisoner to prepare an application accompanied by supporting information; and

(b)

send the application and supporting information to the Electoral Commission with the prisoner’s enrolment information.

(4)

A prison manager may not use or disclose the information collected from a prisoner other than in accordance with subsection (2) or (3).

86C Enrolment information received from prison manager treated as application for registration

(1)

The Electoral Commission must, for the purposes of this Act, treat—

(a)

the receipt of a person’s details referred to in section 86B(1)(a) as an application by the person to register as an elector of an electoral district; and

(b)

the receipt of a person’s preference referred to in section 86B(1)(b) to be enrolled on the Maori electoral roll as a request by the person to be registered as an elector of a Maori electoral district.

(2)

This section overrides section 83(1) to (4).

86D Delegation of prison manager’s functions under sections 86A and 86B

(1)

A prison manager may delegate to 1 or more prison officers the prison manager’s functions under sections 86A and 86B.

(2)

Subject to any directions or conditions imposed by the prison manager, a prison officer to whom the prison manager’s functions are delegated under this section may carry out those functions in the same manner and with the same effect as if they had been conferred on the prison officer directly by sections 86A and 86B.

(3)

A delegation must be in writing and may be revoked at any time.

(4)

In this section, prison officer means an officer within the meaning of paragraph (a)(ii) of the definition of that term in section 3(1) of the Corrections Act 2004.

86E Prison manager to communicate with prisoner in way prisoner can understand

When carrying out their duties under sections 86A and 86B, a prison manager must communicate with a prisoner in a way that the prisoner can reasonably be expected to understand.

8 Section 98 amended (Removal of names from roll by Electoral Commission)
9 Schedule 1AA amended

In Schedule 1AA, after Part 1, insert:

Part 2 Provisions relating to Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2020

3 Interpretation

In this Part,—

Act means the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2020

specified prisoner means a prisoner who—

(a)

is received into a prison before the commencement of the Act to serve a sentence of imprisonment; and

(b)

is not, after the commencement of the Act, disqualified under section 80(1)(d) for registration as an elector.

4 Prison manager to assist specified prisoners to register as electors

A prison manager must, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the commencement of the Act, comply with sections 86A and 86B in respect of a specified prisoner as if the specified prisoner were a prisoner referred to in section 86A being received into the prison.

Legislative history

25 February 2020

Introduction (Bill 223–1)

18 March 2020

First reading and referral to Justice Committee

28 May 2020

Reported from Justice Committee

18 June 2020

Second reading

24 June 2020

Committee of the whole House, third reading

29 June 2020

Royal assent

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.