Electoral Amendment Bill

  • enacted

Explanatory note

General policy statement

This Bill amends the Electoral Act 1993 and repeals the Electoral Finance Act 2007. The Bill establishes an interim electoral finance regime pending completion of a comprehensive review of electoral finance law.

The Bill is the first stage of a 2-stage process to reform electoral finance law. In this first stage, the Bill—

  • returns to the election expenses provisions that governed the 2005 general election:

  • retains the provisions in the Electoral Finance Act 2007 that relate to donations to political parties and candidates:

  • reinstates the general rules that governed the publication of campaign advertisements that were in force for the 2005 general election.

In stage 2, the Government will undertake a considered process involving all parliamentary parties and the public to further examine the reform of electoral finance law. The stage 2 reforms will be enacted in 2010 for the 2011 general election.

Summary of Bill

The Bill contains 2 parts. Part 1 inserts a new Part 6A in the Electoral Act 1993 and regulates election expenses and donations to political parties and constituency candidates.

Subparts 1 and 2 (which insert new sections 205 to 205S and 206 to 206R) will regulate candidate and party election expenses, including—

  • setting a 3-month period prior to polling day during which election expenditure of political parties and constituency candidates is regulated:

  • defining election activity and election expenses of political parties and constituency candidates:

  • setting overall expenditure limits for political parties and constituency candidates:

  • specifying obligations for political parties and constituency candidates to submit expenditure returns.

Subparts 3 to 6 (which insert new sections 207 to 207P, 208 to 208G, 209 to 209E, and 210 to 210F) insert in the Electoral Act 1993 the provisions from the Electoral Finance Act 2007 governing donations to political parties and constituency candidates that—

  • regulate donations funded through contributions, anonymous donations, and overseas donations:

  • establish a procedure enabling donations to be made to political parties via the Electoral Commission so that the identity of the donor is protected from disclosure:

  • specify obligations for political parties and constituency candidates to submit donation returns at specified times:

  • require disclosure by political parties of donations from the same donor that exceed a specified amount.

While the election expenses sections of the Electoral Act 1993 that governed the 2005 general election are being reinstated, aspects of those sections have been modified to the extent that is necessary to ensure that provisions employ language and have a structure that is consistent with the donations provisions of the Electoral Finance Act 2007 that are being inserted into the Electoral Act 1993.

For each provision, the analogous section from the Electoral Act 1993 and, where appropriate, the provisions from the Electoral Finance Act 2007 that are being included in the Electoral Act 1993 have been referenced.

Clauses 7 to 9 of the Bill (which insert new sections 219, 221, and 221B) reinstate the general rules from Part 7 of the Electoral Act 1993 that governed the publication of campaign advertisements that were in force at the time of the 2005 general election and that were repealed by the Electoral Finance Act 2007.

Compliance and enforcement

The Electoral Finance Act 2007 significantly raised the penalty levels for corrupt and illegal practices, and also significantly raised the penalty levels across the board for all electoral finance offences.

The Electoral Finance Act 2007 also made changes to the time limit by which prosecutions could be brought for offences relating to the filing of returns and for corrupt and illegal practices. In respect of the latter, the new approach enabled prosecutions for offences that were corrupt or illegal practices to commence 6 months after there is sufficient evidence to commence a prosecution (but no later than 3 years from commission of the offence). Prior to that, prosecutions had to be commenced within 6 months of commission of the offence.

The Bill retains these amendments to the compliance and enforcement regime, which were discrete changes to the legislation that had broad cross-party support.

Repeal and consequential amendments

Part 2 of the Bill (subpart 1) repeals the Electoral Finance Act 2007 and makes consequential amendments to the Acts listed in Schedule 2.

Transitional and savings provisions

Part 2 of the Bill (subpart 2) contains transitional and savings provisions that—

  • ensure that candidates, political parties, and third parties are required to file returns for the 2008 general election, among other matters:

  • enable prosecutions for offences committed under the Electoral Finance Act 2007 to proceed until the time limit has expired:

  • preserve the procedure under the Electoral Finance Act 2007 for claiming, paying, and disputing election expenses claims until the time limit for doing so expires.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 provides that the Bill comes into force on 1 March 2009.

Clause 3 provides that this Act amends the Electoral Act 1993.

Part 1
Amendments to Electoral Act 1993

Clause 4 amends the interpretation section to reflect the amendments made by the Bill.

Clause 5 repeals the heading immediately following section 204 as this heading relates to section 205, which has been repealed.

Clause 6 inserts a new Part 6A, which consists of the following 6 subparts:

  • new subpart 1 (new sections 205 to 205S) is about candidates' election expenses:

  • new subpart 2 (new sections 206 to 206R) is about parties' election expenses:

  • new subpart 3 (new sections 207 to 207P) sets out general provisions relating to donations:

  • new subpart 4 (new sections 208 to 208G) is about donations protected from disclosure:

  • new subpart 5 (new sections 209 to 209E) is about disclosure of candidates' donations:

  • new subpart 6 (new sections 210 to 210F) is about disclosure of parties' donations.

New section 205 defines the term election activity for the purposes of subpart 1 of new Part 6A.

New section 205A defines the term election expenses for the purposes of subpart 1 of new Part 6A.

New section 205B sets out the maximum allowable election expenses for a candidate at a general election ($20,000, inclusive of goods and services tax) and a candidate at a by-election ($40,000, inclusive of goods and services tax).

New section 205C sets out how expenses are to be apportioned if they are incurred before and within the 3 months immediately preceding polling day. Only the proportion attributable to the carrying on of the activity within those 3 months are election expenses.

New section 205D sets out how election expenses are to be apportioned if they arise from an election activity that relates exclusively to campaigns for the return of 2 or more candidates. The expenses are apportioned among the candidates in proportion to the coverage provided by the election activity in relation to each of the candidates.

New section 205E provides that a candidate's election expenses include the cost of certain advertisements for party lists.

New section 205F provides that it is an offence to pay election expenses in excess of the prescribed maximum for candidates.

New section 205G sets out the periods for claiming and paying a candidate's election expenses and provides that it is an offence to pay a claim for election expenses outside the period of 40 working days after the poll results are declared (unless the claim is paid in accordance with a judgment or order of the court under new section 205H or 205I).

New section 205H provides that a claimant can bring an action for a disputed claim and that the candidate can pay a disputed claim in accordance with a judgment or order of the court without being in breach of new section 205G.

New section 205I provides that a claimant or candidate can apply to a District Court for leave to pay a claim outside the periods specified in new section 205G.

New section 205J provides that every payment of election expenses of a candidate (other than a payment of less than $50) must be vouched by an invoice stating the particulars, and by a receipt.

New section 205K provides that a candidate must file a return of election expenses with the Chief Electoral Officer within 70 working days of polling day.

New section 205L requires a candidate to file a nil return if he or she considers that there is no relevant information to disclose under new section 205K.

New section 205M allows a candidate who is outside New Zealand on the day on which the poll results are declared to file his or her return of election expenses outside the period specified by new section 205K, but within 15 working days of the date he or she returns to New Zealand.

New section 205N creates offences in relation to failing to file a return of election expenses as required by new section 205K and filing a return that is false in any material particular.

New section 205O requires a candidate to retain all records that are necessary to verify his or her return of election expenses.

New section 205P provides that if the Chief Electoral Officer believes any person has committed an offence against subpart 1 of new Part 6A, he or she must report the facts on which that belief is based to the New Zealand Police.

New section 205Q requires the Chief Electoral Officer, when he or she receives a return of a candidate's election expenses, to send a copy of the return to the Electoral Commission.

New section 205R provides that the Chief Electoral Officer and the Electoral Commission may publish every return of candidate election expenses in any manner considered appropriate. The Chief Electoral Officer must make available for public inspection a copy of every return of candidate election expenses.

New section 205S provides that subpart 1 of new Part 6A does not validate any use of public money that would otherwise be unlawful.

New section 206 defines the term election activity for the purposes of subpart 2 of new Part 6A.

New section 206A defines the term election expenses for the purposes of subpart 2 of new Part 6A.

New section 206B sets out the maximum allowable election expenses for a party listed in the part of the ballot paper that relates to the party vote ($1 million plus $20,000 for each constituency contested by a candidate for that party, inclusive of goods and services tax) and for a party not listed in that part of the ballot paper ($20,000 for each constituency contested by a candidate for that party, inclusive of goods and services tax).

New section 206C sets out how expenses are to be apportioned if they are incurred before and within the 3 months immediately preceding polling day. Only the proportion attributable to the carrying on of the activity within those 3 months are election expenses.

New section 206D provides that it is an offence to pay election expenses in excess of the prescribed maximum for parties.

New section 206E sets out the periods for claiming and paying a party's election expenses and provides that it is an offence to pay a claim for election expenses outside the period of 40 working days after the poll results are declared (unless the claim is paid in accordance with a judgment or order of the court under new section 206F or 206G).

New section 206F provides that a claimant can bring an action for a disputed claim and that the party can pay a disputed claim in accordance with a judgment or order of the court without being in breach of new section 206E.

New section 206G provides that a claimant or party can apply to a District Court for leave to pay a claim outside the periods specified in new section 206E.

New section 206H provides that every payment of election expenses of a party (other than a payment of less than $100) must be vouched by an invoice stating the particulars, and by a receipt.

New section 206I provides that a party secretary must file a return of election expenses with the Electoral Commission within 50 working days after the Chief Electoral Officer declares, under section 193(5) of the Electoral Act 1993, the list candidates entitled to be elected. The return must be accompanied by an auditor's report obtained under new section 206L.

New section 206J requires a party to appoint an auditor.

New section 206K describes the persons eligible to be appointed as an auditor.

New section 206L requires a party secretary to obtain a report on the return of party election expenses from the auditor appointed by the party before filing the return with the Electoral Commission.

New section 206M requires a party secretary to file a nil return if he or she considers that there is no relevant information to disclose under new section 206I.

New section 206N creates offences in relation to failing to file a return of election expenses as required by new section 206I and filing a return that is false in any material particular.

New section 206O requires a party secretary to retain all records that are necessary to verify the return of election expenses.

New section 206P provides that if the Electoral Commission believes any person has committed an offence against subpart 2 of new Part 6A, it must report the facts on which that belief is based to the New Zealand Police.

New section 206Q requires the Electoral Commission to make returns received under new section 206I, and any accompanying auditor's report obtained under new section 206L, available for public inspection.

New section 206R provides that subpart 2 of new Part 6A does not validate any use of public money that would otherwise be unlawful.

New section 207 is the interpretation section for subparts 3 to 6 of new Part 6A. The terms defined include anonymous, candidate donation, contribution, and party donation.

New section 207A provides that all references to an amount or value of a donation or contribution are inclusive of goods and services tax.

New section 207B provides that all candidate donations given or sent to any person must, within 10 working days of receipt, be transmitted to the candidate. Similarly, all party donations given or sent to any person must, within 10 working days of receipt, be transmitted to the party secretary.

New section 207C requires a donor, at the time of making a donation funded from contributions, to disclose that fact and certain information about the contributions, including, in the case of any contribution over $1,000, the name and address of the contributor. If a donor fails to disclose the information, the candidate or party secretary, as the case may be, must give the entire amount of the donation back to the donor.

New section 207D creates an offence relating to the contravention of new section 207C.

New section 207E requires a person who, on behalf of a donor, transmits a donation to a candidate or party secretary to disclose that fact and certain information about the donation, including the name and address of the donor. If that person does not, or is unable to, disclose this information, the donation must be treated as an anonymous donation.

New section 207F creates an offence relating to the contravention of new section 207E.

New section 207G provides that where a person who is involved in the administration of the affairs of a candidate or a party knows the name and address of the donor of an anonymous donation exceeding $1,000, that person must disclose the donor's name and address to the candidate or party secretary, as the case may be.

New section 207H creates an offence relating to the contravention of new section 207G.

New section 207I requires a candidate who receives an anonymous donation exceeding $1,000 to pay that donation to the Chief Electoral Officer within 20 working days of receipt. In the case of an anonymous party donation exceeding $1,000, the party secretary is required to pay the donation to the Electoral Commission within 20 working days of receipt.

New section 207J creates an offence relating to the contravention of new section 207I.

New section 207K provides that where a donation exceeding $1,000 is received from an overseas person by a candidate or party secretary, the candidate or party secretary must within 20 working days of receipt return the donation less $1,000 to the overseas person. If this is not possible, the donation less $1,000 must be paid to the Chief Electoral Officer (in the case of a candidate donation) or the Electoral Commission (in the case of a party donation). Also, where a donation received by a candidate or party secretary is funded from any contribution made by an overseas person that exceeds $1,000, the candidate or party secretary must return the whole of the donation to the donor or, if this is not possible, pay the donation to the Chief Electoral Officer (in the case of a candidate donation) or the Electoral Commission (in the case of a party donation).

New section 207L creates an offence relating to the contravention of new section 207K.

New section 207M requires a candidate to keep proper records of all donations received by him or her. It is an offence to contravene this requirement without reasonable excuse.

New section 207N requires a party secretary to keep proper records of all donations received by him or her. It is an offence to contravene this requirement without reasonable excuse.

New section 207O provides that if the Chief Electoral Officer believes any person has committed an offence against subpart 3 or 5 of new Part 6A, he or she must report the facts on which that belief is based to the New Zealand Police.

New section 207P provides that if the Electoral Commission believes any person has committed an offence against subpart 3, 4, or 6 of new Part 6A, the Electoral Commission must report the facts on which that belief is based to the New Zealand Police.

New section 208 is the interpretation section for subpart 4 of new Part 6A and defines authorised person and donation protected from disclosure.

New section 208A provides that any person who intends to make a party donation exceeding $1,000 while preventing the disclosure of his or her or its identity may send the donation to the Electoral Commission with an accompanying statement stating the name of the party that is to receive the donation. The statement must also include details of the donor's name and address and, if the donation comprises contributions, the name and address of every person who has contributed in excess of $1,000.

New section 208B provides that the maximum amount that a party may be paid in donations made to the Electoral Commission in the period between general elections is 10% (excluding any interest paid under new section 208E(2)) of the maximum amount of election expenses allowed under new section 206B(1). The maximum amount that a party may be paid in donations made to the Electoral Commission from the same donor in the period between general elections is 15% (excluding any interest paid under new section 208E(2)) of the maximum amount that a party may be paid in donations made to the Electoral Commission in that period.

New section 208C requires the Electoral Commission to publish guidance on the maximum amounts referred to in new section 208B.

New section 208D requires the Electoral Commission to pay a donation received under new section 208A(2) to the secretary of the party for whom it is intended unless the donor has provided insufficient information or payment would contravene the maximum amounts referred to in new section 208B.

New section 208E sets out when the Electoral Commission must pay all outstanding amounts due to a party under new section 208D(1).

New section 208F provides that it is an offence for any person to disclose to any other person who is not an authorised person the identity of a donor of, or contributor to, a donation made, or proposed to be made, under new section 208A(2).

New section 208G requires the Electoral Commission to report on certain matters in respect of donations protected from disclosure, including the total amounts received in donations under new section 208A(2) and the amounts paid to a party secretary under new section 208D(1).

New section 209 requires a candidate to file with the Chief Electoral Officer, at the same time as filing a return of election expenses, a return of donations. The return must set out—

  • details of all candidate donations received from the same donor that, taken either singly or when aggregated, exceed $1,000 in sum or value:

  • whether a donation is funded from contributions and, if so, details of each contribution that, either on its own or when aggregated with other contributions from the same contributor, exceeds $1,000 in sum or value:

  • details of every anonymous candidate donation received exceeding $1,000, including any amount paid to the Chief Electoral Officer under new section 207I(1):

  • details of every candidate donation, or contribution to a candidate donation, received from an overseas person exceeding $1,000, including any amount paid to an overseas person or to the Chief Electoral Officer under new section 207K(2) or (3).

A return must be in the form required by the Chief Electoral Officer.

New section 209A requires a candidate to file a nil return if he or she considers there is no relevant information to disclose under new section 209.

New section 209B creates offences for the contravention of new section 209 relating to the return of candidate donations.

New section 209C requires a candidate to retain all records, documents, and accounts that are necessary to enable a return of candidate donations to be verified. It is an offence to contravene this requirement without reasonable excuse.

New section 209D requires the Chief Electoral Officer to send a copy of every return of candidate donations to the Electoral Commission.

New section 209E provides that the Chief Electoral Officer and the Electoral Commission may publish every return of candidate donations in any manner considered appropriate. The Chief Electoral Officer must make available for public inspection a copy of every return of candidate donations.

New section 210 requires a party secretary to file with the Electoral Commission, by 30 April in each year, a return of party donations for the year ending with the immediately preceding 31 December. The return must set out—

  • details of all party donations received from the same donor that, taken either singly or when aggregated, exceed $10,000 in sum or value:

  • whether a donation is funded from contributions and, if so, details of each contribution that, either on its own or when aggregated with other contributions from the same contributor, exceeds $10,000 in sum or value:

  • details of every anonymous party donation received exceeding $1,000, including any amount paid to the Electoral Commission under new section 207I(2):

  • details of every party donation, or contribution to a party donation, received from an overseas person exceeding $1,000, including any amount paid to an overseas person or to the Electoral Commission under new section 207K(2) or (3):

  • details of each payment of donations received from the Electoral Commission under new section 208D.

A return must be in the form required by the Electoral Commission and be accompanied by an auditor's report obtained under new section 210A.

New section 210A requires a party secretary, before filing a return of party donations, to obtain from the party's auditor a report on the return.

New section 210B requires a party secretary to file a nil return if he or she considers there is no relevant information to disclose under new section 210.

New section 210C requires a party secretary to file with the Electoral Commission a return in respect of every party donation received from the same donor that exceeds $20,000 or, when aggregated with all other donations received from the donor in the previous 12 months, exceeds $20,000. A return must be filed within 10 working days of the donation being received by the party secretary.

New section 210D creates offences for the contravention of new sections 210 or 210C relating to returns of party donations.

New section 210E requires a party secretary to retain all records, documents, and accounts that are necessary to enable returns of party donations to be verified. It is an offence to contravene this requirement without reasonable excuse.

New section 210F provides that the Electoral Commission may publish every return of party donations and auditor's report obtained under new section 210A in any manner considered appropriate. The Electoral Commission must also make available for public inspection a copy of every return of party donations and auditor's report.

Clause 7 re-enacts, in a slightly more modern form, section 219 of the Electoral Act 1993 (repealed by section 21(2)(c) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2007 consequential on the passing of the Electoral Finance Act 2007).

Clause 8 re-enacts section 221 of the Electoral Act 1993 (repealed by section 21(2)(c) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2007 consequential on the passing of the Electoral Finance Act 2007).

Clause 9 re-enacts section 221B of the Electoral Act 1993 (repealed by section 21(2)(c) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2007 consequential on the passing of the Electoral Finance Act 2007).

Clause 10 substitutes a new section 224 incorporating higher penalties that may be imposed on a constituency candidate or a party secretary who is convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice under new Part 6A. Those higher penalties (fines of up to $100,000 in the case of a corrupt practice and $40,000 in the case of an illegal practice) are carried over from the Electoral Finance Act 2007.

Clause 11 re-enacts (as new section 226) section 140 of the Electoral Finance Act 2007 and sets out the time frames within which prosecutions under the various offence provisions must be commenced.

Clause 12 repeals section 226A (inserted by section 25 of the Electoral Amendment Act 2007), which provides for the issue of search warrants in respect of an illegal practice.

Clause 13 re-enacts sections 267A and 267B of the Electoral Act 1993 (repealed by section 21(2)(c) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2007 consequential on the passing of the Electoral Finance Act 2007).

Clause 14 provides that the principal Act is also amended in the manner indicated in Schedule 1 of the Bill. These amendments are consequential technical amendments.

Part 2
Repeal, consequential amendments, and transitional and savings provisions

Subpart 1Repeal and consequential amendments

Clause 15 repeals the Electoral Finance Act 2007.

Clause 16 provides for consequential amendments to the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993 and Summary Proceedings Act 1957.

Subpart 2Transitional and savings provisions

Clauses 17 to 21 set out transitional provisions to continue the requirements of the Electoral Finance Act 2007 for election expenses incurred in respect of the 2008 general election, and for donations received for the year ending 31 December 2008. These requirements relate especially to—

  • the filing of returns of election expenses incurred in respect of the 2008 general election; and

  • the procedure for claiming, paying, and disputing claims for election expenses; and

  • the filing of returns of donations received for the period commencing on 1 January 2008 and ending on 31 December 2008; and

  • the publication and inspection of returns.

Clause 22 provides that new sections 17 and 18 do not limit section 19 of the Interpretation Act 1999, which enables the investigation and prosecution of offences committed under the Electoral Finance Act 2007 before the repeal of that Act.

Clauses 23 and 24 provide that until 1 March 2011 further transitional and savings provisions may be prescribed by regulations made by the Governor-General by Order in Council.

Regulatory impact statement

Executive summary

Amendments to the Electoral Act 1993 are needed to address concerns with the electoral finance regime that governed the 2008 general election.

This Bill is the first stage of a 2-stage process to reform electoral finance law. The Bill—

  • repeals the Electoral Finance Act 2007:

  • reinstates the election expenses regime in force at the 2005 general election, alongside the other general rules that governed the publication of campaign advertisements:

  • retains the provisions in the Electoral Finance Act 2007 that relate to donations to political parties and candidates.

Stage 2 of the reform of electoral finance law will be a considered process, involving consultation with all parliamentary parties and the public. The stage 2 reforms will be enacted in 2010 for the 2011 general election.

Adequacy statement

The Ministry of Justice has prepared this regulatory impact statement, and it meets the criteria for such statements.

Status quo and problem

The Electoral Finance Act 2007 was enacted without broad cross-party support. The 2008 general election campaign identified a lack of consensus concerning the—

  • length of the regulated period:

  • rules governing campaign advertising; and

  • regulation of third parties.

Objectives

The objective of the proposals in the Bill is to establish an interim electoral finance regime to regulate elections pending completion of a comprehensive review of electoral finance law.

Alternative options

The Electoral Amendment Bill will amend a regulatory structure, namely, the regulation of campaign expenditure and advertising, and the rules around disclosure of political donations. The Bill proposes repeal of the Electoral Finance Act 2007. There are no feasible non-regulatory options.

The options considered were as follows:

  • option 1—do nothing (ie, retain the Electoral Finance Act 2007):

  • option 2—permanently reinstate the election expenses and campaign advertising provisions in force at the 2005 general election, while retaining the rules from the Electoral Finance Act 2007 that regulate political donations:

  • option 3—undertake a 2-stage reform of electoral finance law that will—

    • establish an interim regime governing the financing of political parties and election campaigns:

    • engage all parliamentary parties and the public in a process that will enable a durable electoral finance regime to be enacted prior to the 2011 general election.

Option 3 is preferred because it will facilitate a return to electoral finance law that is grounded in broad-based political and public consensus.

This option, because it proposes a considered reform predicated on widespread consultation, will lead to more stable constitutional arrangements and will potentially have long-lasting regulatory benefits. Electoral finance law is central to the functioning of New Zealand’s democratic structure, and option 3 is intended to ensure that there will be less change in this area in the long term.

The resulting regime, because it will be based on an open, consultative process, has the potential to be accepted and understood by the public, constituency candidates, and political parties. There will also be significant benefits for the agencies responsible for administering elections, who will have reduced compliance costs over the medium to long term.

Compliance costs associated with the interim regime are expected to be minimal because—

  • the interim regime reinstates rules governing election expenses and campaign advertising that are well-established and familiar to political parties and constituency candidates:

  • the electoral agencies (Chief Electoral Office and Electoral Commission) can utilise established procedures for providing guidance on and enforcing the rules:

  • it is intended that the interim regime will only regulate by-elections that occur prior to the 2011 general election (by which time the second stage of electoral finance reform will be enacted).

Preferred option

The key features of the proposals in the Bill will—

  • repeal the Electoral Finance Act 2007:

  • amend the Electoral Act 1993 to—

    • reinstate the election expenses provisions that governed the 2005 general election:

    • reinstate the campaign advertising provisions in force at the 2005 general election:

    • insert the provisions from the Electoral Finance Act 2007 that relate to donations to political parties and candidates:

    • incorporate increased penalties for corrupt and illegal practices and extended time limits for prosecution of electoral offences:

  • establish transitional provisions relating to rights and obligations of political parties, constituency candidates, electoral agencies, and others arising from the rules in force at the 2008 general election.

Implementation and review

The proposals will require legislative amendment to the Electoral Act 1993, and consequential amendments to the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993, and the Summary Proceedings Act 1957.

The proposals in the Bill will implement stage 1 of a planned 2-stage review of electoral finance law.

In stage 2 the Government will undertake a considered process involving all parliamentary parties and the public to further examine the reform of electoral finance law. The stage 2 reforms will be enacted in 2010 for the 2011 general election.

Consultation

The Chief Electoral Office, the Electoral Commission, and the Treasury have been consulted and their views considered in the development of this statement.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has been informed of the contents of this statement.