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New Zealand--2011 Global FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Report
 

New Zealand--2011 Global FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Report

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2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit of the New Zealand's parliamentary electoral system ...

2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit of the New Zealand's parliamentary electoral system

FDA auditors gave New Zealand an overall electoral score of 54.75%. (50% is the minimum passing grade.)

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    New Zealand--2011 Global FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Report New Zealand--2011 Global FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Report Document Transcript

    • 2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit of New Zealands Parliamentary Electoral System Executive Summary: New Zealand received an overall score of 54.75 percent for electoral fairness. The score means that New Zealands constitutional and legislative basis for its democracy is unacceptable. Despite many elements of fairness such as the distribution of public electoral monies based on popular support and proportional electoral mechanisms, New Zealand has extreme unfairness in laws and regulations on the medias and broadcasters political content. Private media and broadcasters have no restrictions on their political content, and the state broadcaster (TVNZ) and radio (RNZ) were privatized on July 12th, 2011. The political content issue impacted negatively the other electoral fairness sections. New Zealand needs to progress beyond unrestricted freedom of the media to restrictions on the freedom of the media in order to promote democratic plurality (like in France) and complete and balanced electoral coverage (like in Venezuela). Electoral Fairness Audit Completed August 5, 2011
    • About the Foundation for Democratic Advancement:The Foundation for Democratic Advancement ("FDA")s mission is to advance fair andtransparent democratic processes wherever elections occur. The FDA believes that fairerelectoral systems and a more informed public will help ensure the election of candidates whotruly represent the will of the people. The FDA fulfills its mission by performing detailedelectoral audits on political candidates and parties to inform the public, objectively andimpartially, about their electoral choices. Also, the FDA audits electoral legislation in terms offairness and equity, and conducts ground level assessments of democratic processes. (For moreinformation on the FDA visit: www.democracychange.com)Purpose of Electoral Fairness Audit:The purpose of the FDA’s electoral fairness audit (the “Audit”) is to determine a grade andranking for electoral fairness in New Zealand at the parliamentary level of government. (ThisAudit is part of the FDA’s global audit of electoral fairness involving all countries which holdpolitical elections.)This non-partisan, independent determination aims to give the citizens of New Zealand aninformed, objective perspective of the fairness of the New Zealander parliamentary electoralsystem. The views in this electoral fairness audit are the views of the FDA only.The FDA’s members and volunteers are in no way affiliated with the New Zealand ElectoralCommission or any of the New Zealander registered/non-registered political parties.The Audit is an independent assessment based on objectivity, transparency and non-partisanship.The FDA assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors in the calculation of its audit resultsor inaccuracies in its research of relevant New Zealander legislation.Methodology of the Electoral Fairness Audit:The FDA focuses on four key areas of electoral fairness:1) Laws and regulations on the political content of media including newspapers, broadcasters andonline media before, during, and after elections;2) Laws and regulations on the equality of candidates’ and parties’ influence before, during andafter elections, such as national televised debates, restrictions on candidate nominations, partyregistration requirements, etc.;3) Laws and regulations on electoral finance, such as party and campaign donation limits, thirdparty spending limits etc.; and4) Laws and regulations on the equality of voter say before, during, and after an election. TheFDA auditors looked at how New Zealander laws and regulations promote equality of voter sayin the media, at the polling booth, through electoral finance and constitutional laws etc.Foundation for Democratic Advancement
    • The FDA decided to audit these four areas of electoral fairness because, in our opinion, they areoften ignored or overlooked by the international community in determining electoral fairness.Moreover, these four areas cover broad aspects of the electoral process in which fairness couldbe compromised significantly.The FDA acknowledges that electoral laws and regulations may not necessarily correspond to theimplementation of those laws and regulations or the public’s response to them. Theimplementation and response could be positive or negative, in terms of electoral fairness.Nevertheless, laws and regulations provide the foundation for democracy, framework for theelectoral system, and an indication of electoral fairness. Also, a countrys constitutional andelectoral laws are part of the reality of its democracy.A further study which tracks the actions of mainstream media and the enforcement or non-enforcement of electoral laws and regulation, for example, would provide a more reliable overalldetermination of electoral fairness.The FDA researched current New Zealander legislation, in relation to four areas of electoralfairness being examined. Following which, the FDA audited the research results via the FDAelectoral audit team and established FDA scoring scales for the four areas of electoral fairnessbeing audited.Weighting and Scoring:Overall, the FDA scoring is guided by an inherent valuation of the concepts of soundness andrelevancy.Each area of electoral fairness has a score range between 0 and 10, and each area is countedequally. The FDA auditors allow for overlap of electoral fairness areas, due to theinterconnectedness of the areas. For example, electoral finance will be factored into the score forvoter say and candidate and party influence if it is relevant to these areas.The total averaged score will provide an indication of the electoral fairness in New Zealand .The FDA electoral audit team deliberated on the research on each area of electoral fairness, andthen attempted to reach consensus on the final score. Where no consensus could be reached, theindividual scores of the team were averaged.The final score for each area must be supported by more sound reasons and correspond to theestablished FDA scoring scale.Foundation for Democratic Advancement
    • FDA Researchers:Mr. James Cheung, FDA researcher and bachelor degree in Commerce (University of Calgary).Mr. Stephen Garvey, FDA founder and executive director, bachelor degree in Political Science(University of British Columbia) and Masters degree in Environment and Development(University of Cambridge).FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Team:Chief Electoral Auditor:Mr. Stephen Garvey, FDA founder and executive director, bachelor degree in Political Science(University of British Columbia) and Masters degree in Environment and Development(University of Cambridge).Electoral Auditors:Ms. Lauren Babuik, FDA volunteer, news reporter experience, and 4th year major in InternationalRelations (University of Calgary).Mr. Kyle Chisholm, FDA researcher and bachelor degree in sociocultural anthropology(University of Alberta).Mr. Antonio Espinoza, FDA technical expert and researcher, bsc in Engineering (San FranciscoXavier de Chuquisaca), MBA in progress (Private Technological University of Santa Cruz),computer science engineer, and Bolivian citizen.Mr. Dale Monette, FDA business development and marketing officer, and bachelor degree inCommerce (University of Saskatchewan).Mr. Davood Norooi, FDA researcher, masters degree in Mining Engineer, former employee ofthe National Iranian Oil Company, and Iranian citizen.Mr. Geoff Thiessan, FDA researcher and editor, bachelor degree in English Literature (Universityof Calgary), former freelance reporter, and Surface Land Administrator.Mrs. Liza Valentine, FDA design consultant and researcher, and masters degree in Architecture(University of Calgary).Report Writer:Mr. Stephen Garvey, FDA founder and executive director, bachelor degree in Political Science(University of British Columbia) and Masters degree in Environment and Development(University of Cambridge).Foundation for Democratic Advancement
    • Information Sources:The following information was consulted and utilized in this audit report:Bill of Rights Act 1990Broadcasting Act 1989Decision of the Electoral Commission on the allocation of time and money to eligible politicalparties for the broadcast of election programmes for the 2011 General Election. (May 2011)Electoral Act 1993New Zealand Media Law Update, Ursula Cheer (2001, 6, Media & Arts Law Review 317)New Zealand Press Council: PrinciplesSavetheNews.org (On the state of New Zealands public television)Television New Zealand Act of 2003Television New Zealand Amendment Bill of 2011The Electoral Knowledge Network: New Zealand Electoral System© 2011, Foundation for Democratic AdvancementAll rights reserved.Foundation for Democratic Advancement728 Northmount Drive NWPO Box 94Calgary, AlbertaCanada, T2K 1P0info@democracychange.comFoundation for Democratic Advancement
    • Table of Contents:Political Background on New Zealand 8Chapter 1: Political Content of Media 9Executive Summary 9Research Excerpts 9Score 16Rational 16Chapter 2: Candidate and Party Influence 17Executive Summary 17Research Excerpts 17Score 31Rational 31Chapter 3: Electoral Finance 34Executive Summary 34Research Excerpts 34Score 43Rational 43Chapter 4: Voter Say 45Executive Summary 45Research Excerpts 45Score 49Rational 49Chapter 5: Overall Audit Results 50
    • Chapter 6: Analysis 51Chapter 7: Conclusion 52Chapter 8: Recommendations 53Appendix: FDA Global Audit Results 55
    • Political Background on New ZealandLike many other Commonwealth nations, New Zealands political system is marked by somefamiliar traits. The official head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who in this case is represented bya Governor General. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who, with his cabinet andthe monarchy comprise the executive. The New Zealand Parliament takes on the role of thelegislative body and is unicameral, meaning there is only one house: the House ofRepresentatives, rather than the more familiar bicameral structure.New Zealand has what it terms the Constitution Act which broke the nation from reliance onGreat Britain and formally sets out the power of government. Interestingly, it is not entrenchedsave for one provision: Section 17, which states that the terms of parliament, unless dissolvedearly, are three years from the "return of the writs" issued for the last general election. TheConstitution Act and a collection of other acts, treaties, letters patent and constitutionalconventions form New Zealands constitution.Source:New Zealand Constitution Act 1986After two referendums in the early 1990s, New Zealand adopted a mixed member proportional(MMP) voting system in a unicameral Parliament with 120 members. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page |8
    • Chapter One: Political Content of MediaChapter one will focus on the research and audit results of New Zealander laws and regulationswith respect to the political content of media, including newspapers, broadcasters and on-linemedia, before, during and after elections.Executive Summary: New Zealand received a score of 10 percent for fairness of the mediaspolitical content. The score means that New Zealands laws and regulations on the mediaspolitical content is bordering on complete unfairness. There are no political content restrictionson New Zealands media and broadcaster. Also, the New Zealand government privatized the statebroadcaster (TVNZ) and radio (RNZ) on July 12th, 2011. Although there is a New Zealand PressCouncil with a code of ethics, the code does not address political pluralism and balanced and fairelectoral coverage. New Zealands major media and broadcasters have a significant unfairinfluence on New Zealands electoral discourse. Small and new parties, for example, notconnected to major media and broadcasters are at a severe disadvantage to parties which areconnected.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:Broadcasting Act 1989:70 Prohibition on paid election programmes(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (2A), no broadcaster shall permit the broadcasting,within or outside an election period, of an election programme.(2) Nothing in subsection (1) applies in respect of—(a) an opening address or closing address that is broadcast—(i) for a political party or group of related political parties; and(ii) by TVNZ or RNZ during time allocated to that political party or group of related politicalparties under section 73(1); or(b) an election programme broadcast for a political party or group of related political parties andpaid for with money allocated to that political party or group of related political partiesunder section 74A; or(c) an election programme—(i) broadcast for a fee or other consideration; and(ii) relating solely to 1 named constituency candidate at an election; and(iii) used or appearing to be used to promote or procure the election of the candidate; and(iv) broadcast by the candidate or with the candidates authority within the election period; or Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page |9
    • (d) any advertisement placed by the Electoral Commission or by the Chief Registrar of Electors,a Registrar of Electors, a Returning Officer, or other official for the purposes of the Electoral Act1993; or(e) any non-partisan advertisement broadcast, as a community service, by the broadcaster.(2A) Nothing in subsection (1) restricts the amount of money that a political party or group ofrelated political parties may spend on the production costs of an election programme.(2B) Nothing in this Act derogates from section 214B of the Electoral Act 1993.(3) Nothing in subsection (1) restricts the broadcasting, in relation to an election, of news orof comments or of current affairs programmes.(4) For the purposes of subsection (2)(c)(ii), the term constituency candidate includes a personwho has declared his or her intention of becoming a constituency candidate.Responsibility of broadcasters for programme standards • (1) Every broadcaster is responsible for maintaining in its programmes and their presentation, standards that are consistent with— • (a) the observance of good taste and decency; and • (b) the maintenance of law and order; and • (c) the privacy of the individual; and • (d) the principle that when controversial issues of public importance are discussed, reasonable efforts are made, or reasonable opportunities are given, to present significant points of view either in the same programme or in other programmes within the period of current interest; and • (e) any approved code of broadcasting practice applying to the programmes. (2) Where, in respect of any film within the meaning of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993,— • (a) there is in force under that Act a decision classifying that film as objectionable; or • (b) there is in force under that Act a decision classifying that film as if certain excisions had been made,— no broadcaster,— • (c) in the case of a film to which paragraph (a) applies, shall broadcast that film or any part of that film; or • (d) in the case of a film to which paragraph (b) applies, shall broadcast the film, or any part of the film, if the film or, as the case may be, that part includes any part of the film required to be excised,— except with the consent of the Chief Censor of Film and Literature and subject to any Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 10
    • conditions subject to which the Chief Censor has given the consent. (3) No broadcaster shall be under any civil liability in respect of any failure to comply with any of the provisions of this section. Compare: 1976 No 132 ss 24(1)(c), (e), (f), (g), (2), (4), 95(1)(c), (e), (f), (g), (2), (5); 1982 No 178 ss 5, 19; 1983 No 130 s 76(2), (3) Section 4(1): amended, on 14 March 2008, by section 14 of the Broadcasting Amendment Act 2008 (2008 No 3). Section 4(2): substituted, on 1 October 1994, by section 150(1) of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 (1993 No 94).Bill of Rights:Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference.Freedom of expression • Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.New Zealand Press Council Principles:Statement of Principles 1. Accuracy, Fairness and Balance Publications should be bound at all times by accuracy, fairness and balance, and should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers by commission or omission. In articles of controversy or disagreement, a fair voice must be given to the opposition view. Exceptions may apply for long-running issues where every side cannot reasonably be repeated on every occasion and in reportage of proceedings where balance is to be judged on a number of stories, rather than a single report. 2. Privacy Everyone is normally entitled to privacy of person, space and personal information, and these rights should be respected by publications. Nevertheless the right of privacy should not interfere with publication of significant matters of public record or public interest. Publications should exercise particular care and discretion before identifying relatives of persons convicted or accused of crime where the reference to them is not relevant to the matter reported. Those suffering from trauma or grief call for special consideration. 3. Children and Young People In cases involving children and young people editors must demonstrate an exceptional public interest to override the interests of the child or young person. 4. Comment and Fact Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 11
    • A clear distinction should be drawn between factual information and comment or opinion. An article that is essentially comment or opinion should be clearly presented as such. Cartoons are understood to be opinion. 5. Headlines and Captions Headlines, sub-headings, and captions should accurately and fairly convey the substance or a key element of the report they are designed to cover. 6. Discrimination and Diversity Issues of gender, religion, minority groups, sexual orientation, age, race, colour or physical or mental disability are legitimate subjects for discussion where they are relevant and in the public interest, and publications may report and express opinions in these areas. Publications should not, however, place gratuitous emphasis on any such category in their reporting. 7. Confidentiality Editors have a strong obligation to protect against disclosure of the identity of confidential sources. They also have a duty to take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that such sources are well informed and that the information they provide is reliable. Care should be taken to ensure both source and publication agrees over what has been meant by "off-the-record". 8. Subterfuge The use of deceit and subterfuge can only be condoned in cases when the information sought is in the public interest and cannot be obtained by any other means. 9. Conflicts of Interest To fulfil their proper watchdog role, publications must be independent and free of obligations to their news sources. They should avoid any situations that might compromise such independence. Where a story is enabled by sponsorship, gift or financial inducement, that sponsorship, gift or financial inducement should be declared. Where an author’s link to a subject is deemed to be justified, the relationship of author to subject should be declared. 10.Photographs and Graphics Editors should take care in photographic and image selection and treatment. Any technical manipulation that could mislead readers should be noted and explained. Photographs showing distressing or shocking situations should be handled with special consideration for those affected. 11.Corrections A publication’s willingness to correct errors enhances its credibility and, often, defuses complaint. Significant errors should be admitted and promptly corrected, giving the correction fair prominence. In some circumstances it will be appropriate to offer an apology and a right of reply to an affected person or persons.Footnotes 1. Letters to the Editor: Selection and treatment of letters for publication are the prerogative of editors who are to be guided by fairness, balance, and public interest in the correspondents’ views. Abridgement is acceptable but should not distort meaning. 2. Council adjudications: Editors are obliged to publish with due prominence the substance of Council adjudications that uphold a complaint. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 12
    • 3. Public interest is defined as involving a matter capable of affecting the people at large so that they might be legitimately interested in, or concerned about, what is going on, or what may happen to them or to others. 4. The following organisations have agreed to abide by these principles and provide financial support to the Press Council: Metropolitan Sunday The New Zealand Herald Herald on Sunday The Dominion Post Sunday Star-Times The Press Sunday News Otago Daily Times Community Provincial APN Community Newspapers Ashburton Guardian Fairfax NZ Community Newspapers Bay of Plenty Times Community Newspaper Association of New The Daily Post Zealand member newspapers Dannevirke Evening News Business Weekly The Gisborne Herald The Independent The Greymouth Evening Star National Business Review* Hawkes Bay Today Magazines Horowhenua Kapiti Chronicle New Zealand Magazines (APN) Manawatu Standard Fairfax Magazines The Marlborough Express Magazine Publishers’ Association The Nelson Mail The Northern Advocate * Accepts jurisdiction but does not contribute financially The Oamaru Mail The Southland Times Taranaki Daily News The Timaru Herald Waikato Times Wairarapa Times-Age Wanganui Chronicle The Westport News Northern News The Wairoa StarSavetheNews.org on New Zeaand public broadcaster:In 2002, TVNZ’s public service mission was restored via a new charter formalized in theTelevision New Zealand Act of 2003 (Dunleavy 2010b: 3). The new public service charteremphasized four purposes: “the role of building community and citizenship capacity, the call forquality and integrity, the role of nurturing the creative industries and pushing creativeboundaries, and the provision for a wide range of interests with a special emphasis on neglectedminority interests” (ibid.). Though well-intentioned, this revival of TVNZ’s public servicemandate ultimately failed because it was only supported with minimal public funding ($12-$15million per year) and because the channel was never relieved of a simultaneous demand to be Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 13
    • commercially profitable (ibid.: 5; see also Comrie and Fountaine 2005). A new conservativeNational Party government, elected in 2009, has signaled its intention to “scrap” the charter andmove all public funds to NZoA, though this policy has not yet been officially legislated (seeThompson 2009).Television Act:Functions of TVNZ • (1) The functions of TVNZ are to be a successful national television and digital media company providing a range of content and services on a choice of delivery platforms and maintaining its commercial performance. (2) In carrying out its functions, TVNZ must provide high-quality content that— • (a) is relevant to, and enjoyed and valued by, New Zealand audiences; and • (b) encompasses both New Zealand and international content and reflects Māori perspectives. (3) TVNZs services must include the provision of channels that are free of charge and available to audiences throughout New Zealand. Section 12: substituted, on 23 July 2011, by section 6 of the Television New Zealand Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 52).Shareholding Ministers must not give certain directions • (1) No shareholding Minister or any other Minister, and no person acting by or on behalf of or at the direction of a shareholding Minister or any other Minister, may give a direction to TVNZ or to any of its subsidiaries, or to any director or officer or employee of TVNZ or of any of its subsidiaries, in respect of— • (a) any programme or other content; or • (b) any allegation or complaint relating to a programme or other content; or • (c) the gathering or presentation of news or the preparation or presentation of any current affairs programme or content; or • (d) standards administered under the Broadcasting Act 1989. (2) No director of TVNZ or of any of its subsidiaries may be removed for any reason relating to— • (a) any programme or other content; or • (b) any allegation or complaint relating to a programme or other content; or • (c) the gathering or presentation of news or the preparation or presentation of any current affairs programme or content; or • (d) the responsibility of TVNZ or any of its subsidiaries for compliance with Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 14
    • standards administered under the Broadcasting Act 1989. (2A) This section applies regardless of the type of delivery platform TVNZ uses to deliver any programmes or other content. (3) Section 97(g) of the Crown Entities Act 2004 does not apply to TVNZ. Compare: 1988 No 162 s 7 Section 28(1)(a): substituted, on 23 July 2011, by section 9(1) of the Television New Zealand Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 52). Section 28(1)(b): substituted, on 23 July 2011, by section 9(1) of the Television New Zealand Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 52). Section 28(1)(c): substituted, on 23 July 2011, by section 9(1) of the Television New Zealand Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 52). Section 28(1)(d): added, on 23 July 2011, by section 9(1) of the Television New Zealand Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 52). Section 28(2)(a): substituted, on 23 July 2011, by section 9(2) of the Television New Zealand Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 52). Section 28(2)(b): substituted, on 23 July 2011, by section 9(2) of the Television New Zealand Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 52). Section 28(2)(c): substituted, on 23 July 2011, by section 9(2) of the Television New Zealand Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 52). Section 28(2)(d): added, on 23 July 2011, by section 9(2) of the Television New Zealand Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 52). Section 28(2A): inserted, on 23 July 2011, by section 9(3) of the Television New Zealand Amendment Act 2011 (2011 No 52). Section 28(3): added, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 15
    • Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Media and Broadcasters:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 1/10Rational for Score:Private broadcasters have no restrictions on their political content. Private broadcastersthemselves can be partial in their news coverage and analysis.In the Broadcaster Act, there is no mention of political equality, electoral fairness, fair politicalcontent, impartial political content, pluralistic political content, or complete and balancedelectoral coverage.There is no limit on major media and broadcasters ownership concentration.New Zealand press is guided by the principles of the New Zealand Press Council. The Council isan industry self-regulatory organization. There is a right of reply imposed on members of theCouncil if they are found in violation of the Councils principles. There is no mention ofcomplete and balanced electoral coverage or fair political content in the Councils principles. Thenotion of “balance” is used in a narrow manner.TVNZ charter was extinguished on July 12, 2011, making the public television network subjectto private marketplace for survival. The Conservative government says that TVNZ must make aprofit. The new functions of the TVNZ are to be “to be a successful television and digital mediacompany providing a range of content and services on a choice of delivery platforms andmaintain its commercial performance.” TVNZ content decisions are independent of shareholderMinisters or any other Minister.There is no restrictions on the political content of public broadcasters in terms of news andanalysis.The score of 10 percent means that New Zealands laws and regulations on the medias politicalcontent are bordering on complete unfairness. With the privatization of the state broadcaster(TVNZ) and radio (RNZ), and no restrictions on the political content of private media andbroadcasters, there is no element of fairness in New Zealands political content laws, except forunrestricted freedom itself of the media. In this state of nature environment, the largest mediaand broadcasters and those political parties connected to them dominate electoral discourse. Inthe FDAs opinion, New Zealands media environment is highly undemocratic, and counter to thespirit of fair and equal political contests. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 16
    • Chapter Two: Candidates’ and Parties’ InfluenceChapter two will focus on the research and audit results of New Zealander laws and regulationswith respect to the equality of candidates and parties’ influence before, during and afterelections.Executive Summary: New Zealand received a score of 71.25 percent for equality of candidateand party influence. The score means that New Zealands laws and regulations on the influenceof candidates and parties are acceptable. Fifty of the parliamentary seats are allocated based onproportional representation, and the Maori population are guaranteed seven seats. The partyregistration requirements are very reasonable (i.e. at least 500 financial members), and the stateelectoral monies are divided up based primarily on established popular support. Also, there arecaps on electoral donations and candidate and party expenditures. The FDA deducted 18.75percent for the unfair advantage some parties have through access and connection to major mediaand broadcasters, the lack of equal playing field for registered parties in the two national debates,and the disclosure of parties finance after the election and the non-disclosure of donations up to$281,500 between two election periods. The FDA auditors felt that a more democratic way todistribute state electoral funds is to base it equal presentation, so that parties platforms would beemphasized equally rather than their platforms being unevenly presented by how much mediaaccess they have. This point is important in consideration of the lack of restrictions on themedias political content.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:Electoral Act 1993:Electoral Commission4C ObjectiveThe objective of the Electoral Commission is to administer the electoral system impartially,efficiently, effectively, and in a way that—(a) facilitates participation in parliamentary democracy; and(b) promotes understanding of the electoral system and associated matters; and(c) maintains confidence in the administration of the electoral system.5 FunctionsThe functions of the Electoral Commission are to—(a) carry the provisions of this Act (except those of Part 5) into effect:(b) carry out duties in relation to parliamentary election programmes that are prescribed by Part Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 17
    • 6 of the Broadcasting Act 1989:(c) promote public awareness of electoral matters by means of the conduct of education andinformation programmes or by other means:(d) consider and report to the Minister or to the House of Representatives on electoral mattersreferred to the Electoral Commission by the Minister or the House of Representatives:(e) make available information to assist parties, candidates, and others to meet their statutoryobligations in respect of electoral matters administered by the Electoral Commission:(f) carry out any other functions or duties conferred on the Electoral Commission by or underany other enactment.6 Powers of Electoral Commission(1) The Electoral Commission may, if it considers that it is necessary for the proper discharge ofits functions,—(a) initiate, sponsor, and carry out any studies or research:(b) make any inquiries:(c) consult with any persons or classes of persons:(d) publicise, in any manner that it thinks fit, any parts of its work:(e) provide information and advice on any matter— (i) to the Minister for the Ministers consideration: (ii) to the Minister for tabling in the House of Representatives:(f) request advice, assistance, and information from any government department or any Stateenterprise as defined in section 2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986.(2) Subsection (1) does not limit sections 16 and 17 of the Crown Entities Act 2004.(3) If the Electoral Commission provides any information or advice to the Minister undersubsection (1)(e)(ii), the Minister must present the information or advice to the House ofRepresentatives within 5 working days after receiving it or, if Parliament is not in session, assoon as possible after the commencement of the next session of Parliament.7 IndependenceThe Electoral Commission must act independently in performing its statutory functions andduties, and exercising its statutory powers, under—(a) this Act; and(b) any other enactment that expressly provides for the functions, duties, or powers of theElectoral Commission (other than the Crown Entities Act 2004). Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 18
    • Registration of Political Parties and Party Logos63 Application for registration(1) An application for the registration of an eligible political party may be made to the ElectoralCommission—(a) by the secretary of the party; or(b) by any member of Parliament who is a current financial member of that party.(2) An application for the registration of an eligible political party—(a) shall be in writing; and(b) shall be signed by the applicant; and(c) must— (i) set out the name of the party; and (ii) if the party wishes to be able to use for the purposes of this Act an abbreviation of its name, set out the name of that abbreviation; and (iii) set out the name and address of the applicant and the capacity in which he or she makes the application; and (iv) if the applicant is not the secretary of the party, set out the name and address of the secretary of the party; and (v) set out the name and address of the person eligible under section 206K who is to be appointed as the auditor of the party, and be accompanied by that person’s signed consent to the appointment; and (vi) be accompanied by evidence, in a form approved by the Electoral Commission, that the party has at least 500 current financial members who are eligible to enrol as electors; and (vii) be accompanied by a declaration, made by the secretary of the party in the manner provided by section 9 of the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957 that the party has at least 500 current financial members who are eligible to enrol as electors; and (viii) [Repealed](ca) must be accompanied by a declaration made by the secretary of the party in the mannerprovided by section 9 of the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957, which declaration must state thatthe party intends, at general elections,— (i) to submit a list of candidates under section 127; or (ii) to have 1 or more constituency candidates stand for the party or for a related political party; or (iii) both; and(d) shall be accompanied by a declaration made by the secretary of the party in the manner Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 19
    • provided by section 9 of the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957, which declaration shall— (i) state whether the party is a party in respect of which there are 1 or more component parties; and (ii) where the party has 1 or more component parties, state the name of each component party.(3) Upon receipt of an application for the registration of a political party, the ElectoralCommission shall deal with the application in accordance with this Part and determine whetherthe party can be registered.(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), the Electoral Commission shall not be obliged to deal withany application for registration if it receives notice in writing withdrawing the application from aperson entitled to apply for the registration of that party and the Electoral Commission issatisfied that the application is made by that person on behalf of the party.Electoral Act 1993204B Persons who may promote election advertisements(1) A person is entitled to promote an election advertisement if the person is—(a) a party secretary:(b) a candidate:(c) a registered promoter:(d) an unregistered promoter who does not incur advertising expenses exceeding $12,000 (orsuch other amount as is prescribed by the Governor-General by Order in Council under section266A) in relation to election advertisements published during the regulated period.(2) The amount in subsection (1)(d) is inclusive of goods and services tax.(3) Every person who wilfully promotes an election advertisement without being entitled to do sounder subsection (1) is guilty of an illegal practice.204E Obligation to retain records necessary to verify promoters advertising expenses(1) This section applies to a promoter who—(a) is an unregistered promoter:(b) at any time during the regulated period has been an unregistered promoter.(2) A promoter to whom this section applies must take all reasonable steps to retain the records,documents, and accounts that are necessary to enable verification of the advertising expensesincurred as an unregistered promoter in relation to an election advertisement.(3) Subsection (2) applies until the close of the day that is 3 years after polling day for theelection to which the advertisement relates.(4) Every promoter who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection (2) commitsan offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $40,000.204F Election advertisement to include promoter statement(1) A person may publish or cause or permit to be published an election advertisement only if theadvertisement includes a promoter statement.(2) A promoter statement referred to in subsection (1) must state the name and address of thepromoter of the election advertisement.(3) If the promoter is a registered promoter, the name and address of the promoter stated in the Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 20
    • promoter statement must be the same name and address of the promoter that appear in theregister.(4) If the promoter is an unregistered promoter and is a body corporate or unincorporated, thepromoter statement must also include the name of a member of the body who is the dulyauthorised representative of the promoter.(5) If the election advertisement is published in a visual form, the promoter statement must beclearly displayed in the advertisement.(6) If the election advertisement is published only in an audible form, the promoter statementwhen published must be no less audible than the other content of the advertisement.(7) A person who wilfully contravenes any of subsections (1) to (6) is guilty of an illegalpractice.204G Publication of candidate advertisement promoting candidate(1) A person may publish or cause or permit to be published a candidate advertisement that mayreasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading voters to vote for a constituency candidateonly if the publication of the advertisement is authorised in writing by the candidate.(2) A person may publish or cause or permit to be published an election advertisementcomprising 2 or more candidate advertisements of the kind described in subsection (1) only if thepublication of the advertisement is authorised in writing by each of the candidates.(3) A person who wilfully contravenes subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an illegal practice.204H Publication of party advertisement promoting party(1) A person may publish or cause or permit to be published a party advertisement that mayreasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading voters to vote for a party only if thepublication of the advertisement is authorised in writing by the party secretary.(2) A person who wilfully contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an illegal practice.221A Electoral advertisements(1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall publish or cause or permit to be published in anynewspaper, periodical, poster, or handbill, or broadcast or cause or permit to be broadcast overany radio or television station, any advertisement relating to an election (not being an electionadvertisement as defined in section 3A) unless the advertisement contains a statement setting outthe true name of the person for whom or at whose direction it is published and the address of thatperson’s place of residence or business.(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any advertisement published or broadcast, or caused orpermitted to be published or broadcast, by the Chief Registrar of Electors, the ElectoralCommission, or any other agency charged with responsibilities in relation to the conduct of anyofficial publicity or information campaign to be conducted on behalf of the Government of NewZealand and relating to electoral matters or the conduct of any general election or by-electionand which either contains a statement indicating that the advertisement has been authorised bythat officer or agency, or contains a symbol indicating that the advertisement has been authorisedby that officer or agency. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 21
    • 221B Display of advertisement of a specified kind(1) During the period beginning 2 months before polling day and ending with the close of theday before polling day, the display of an advertisement of a specified kind is not subject to—(a) any prohibition or restriction imposed in any other enactment or bylaw, or imposed by anylocal authority, that applies in relation to the period when an advertisement of a specified kindmay be displayed; or(b) any prohibition or restriction imposed in any bylaw, or imposed by any local authority, thatapplies in relation to the content or language used in an advertisement of a specified kind.(2) In this section, advertisement of a specified kind means an advertisement displayed in apublic place or on private property that does not exceed 3 square metres in size and that—(a) encourages or persuades, or appears to encourage or persuade, voters to vote for a partyregistered under Part 4; or(b) is used, or appears to be used, to promote or procure the election of a candidate; but(c) does not include— (i) an advertisement published in any newspaper, periodical, or handbill, or in any poster less than 150 square centimetres in size; or (ii) an advertisement broadcast by any television station or by any electronic means of communication.(3) Nothing in this section limits or prevents the display before polling day of any advertisementrelating to an election that complies with any prohibition or restriction imposed in any enactmentor bylaw, or imposed by any local authority.Broadcasting Act 198970 Prohibition on paid election programmes(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (2A), no broadcaster shall permit the broadcasting,within or outside an election period, of an election programme.(2) Nothing in subsection (1) applies in respect of—(a) an opening address or closing address that is broadcast—(i) for a political party or group of related political parties; and(ii) by TVNZ or RNZ during time allocated to that political party or group of related politicalparties under section 73(1); or(b) an election programme broadcast for a political party or group of related political parties andpaid for with money allocated to that political party or group of related political partiesunder section 74A; or(c) an election programme—(i) broadcast for a fee or other consideration; and(ii) relating solely to 1 named constituency candidate at an election; and Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 22
    • (iii) used or appearing to be used to promote or procure the election of the candidate; and(iv) broadcast by the candidate or with the candidates authority within the election period; or(d) any advertisement placed by the Electoral Commission or by the Chief Registrar of Electors,a Registrar of Electors, a Returning Officer, or other official for the purposes of the Electoral Act1993; or(e) any non-partisan advertisement broadcast, as a community service, by the broadcaster.(2A) Nothing in subsection (1) restricts the amount of money that a political party or group ofrelated political parties may spend on the production costs of an election programme.(2B) Nothing in this Act derogates from section 214B of the Electoral Act 1993.(3) Nothing in subsection (1) restricts the broadcasting, in relation to an election, of news orof comments or of current affairs programmes.(4) For the purposes of subsection (2)(c)(ii), the term constituency candidate includes a personwho has declared his or her intention of becoming a constituency candidate.70A Obligation of political parties to give notice to Electoral Commission(1) In every year in which a Parliament is due to expire, the Electoral Commission shall specify,by notice in the Gazette, a date by which any political party that considers that it will qualify foran allocation of time under section 73 or of money under section 74A, in respect of the electionperiod that will apply in relation to the general election to be held in that year, must notify theElectoral Commission in writing that it considers itself to be so qualified.(2) The date specified under subsection (1) may be a date before the beginning of the electionperiod.(3) Each political party that considers that it will qualify for an allocation of time under section73 or of money under section 74A in respect of an election period shall notify the ElectoralCommission in writing that it considers itself to be so qualified.71 Opening addresses and closing addresses to be broadcast free(1) TVNZ and RNZ must each provide time, free of charge, for the broadcasting, in an electionperiod, of the opening addresses and closing addresses of political parties.(2) TVNZ must broadcast opening addresses and closing addresses on 1 free-to-air channelwith national coverage.(3) RNZ must broadcast opening addresses and closing addresses on the service known asNational Radio.(4) Opening addresses and closing addresses must be broadcast in accordance with section77A (which sets out when, and at what time, opening addresses and closing addresses are tobe broadcast, and certain other provisions relating to the broadcasting of openingaddresses and closing addresses).73 Allocation of time to political parties(1) In respect of each election period, the Electoral Commission must allocate to political parties, Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 23
    • in such proportions as the Electoral Commission considers appropriate, the time that TVNZ andRNZ have made available for opening addresses and closing addresses in accordancewith section 71A.(2) In allocating time to political parties under subsection (1), the Electoral Commission—(a) must consider whether any proposals made under section 71A(3)(a) for the allocation ofbroadcasting time can be adopted either in full or with modifications specified by the ElectoralCommission; and(b) must modify proposals made under section 71A(3)(a) if, in the opinion of the ElectoralCommission, the proposals are not consistent with the provisions of section 75.(3) The Electoral Commission must not allocate any time to an individual political party underthis section if that political party has received an allocation of time under this section as part of agroup of related political parties.74A Allocation of money to political parties(1) The Electoral Commission shall, in respect of each election period, decide the allocation topolitical parties of the amount of any money appropriated by Parliament, or deemed to have beenappropriated by Parliament, for the purpose of enabling political parties to meet all or part of thecosts of broadcasting election programmes during that election period.(2) The decision made under subsection (1)—(a) shall set out the allocations (which shall be in such proportions as the Electoral Commissionthinks fit); and(b) may include conditions concerning the manner in which any political party is to expend itsallocation.(3) Conditions included in a decision pursuant to subsection (2)(b) may include conditionsrequiring the political party or group of related political parties to advise the ElectoralCommission of the value of election programme bookings made by the political party or groupof related political parties.(4) Where the Electoral Commission decides under subsection (1) to allocate a sum of money toa political party, the Electoral Commission shall supply a copy of its decision to—(a) that political party; and(b) the Secretary for Justice.(5) The Electoral Commission shall not under this section allocate any money to an individualpolitical party if that political party has received an allocation of money under this section as partof a group of related political parties.75 Criteria in relation to allocation of time and money to political parties(1) The Electoral Commission must not allocate any time to a political party under section 73, ormake an allocation of money to a political party under section 74A, in respect of an electionunless—(a) that party was registered on the Register of Political Parties at the time of the dissolution of Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 24
    • Parliament for the election or, as the case requires, at the time that Parliament expired; and(b) that party has given to the Electoral Commission, in relation to that election, a notice thatcomplies with the requirements of sections 70A(3), 70B, and 70C.(2) The Electoral Commission shall, in allocating time to a political party under section 73 or inmaking under section 74A an allocation of money to a political party, have regard to—(a) the number of persons who voted at the immediately preceding general election for that partyand for candidates belonging to that political party; and(b) the number of persons who voted at any by-election held since the immediately precedinggeneral election for any candidate belonging to that political party; and(c) the number of members of Parliament who were members of that political party immediatelybefore the dissolution or expiration of Parliament; and(d) any relationships that exist between a political party and any other political party; and(e) any other indications of public support for that political party such as the results of publicopinion polls and the number of persons who are members of that political party; and(f) the need to provide a fair opportunity for each political party to which subsection (1) appliesto convey its policies to the public by the broadcasting of election programmes on television.(3) Despite anything in subsection (1) or subsection (2), an allocation of time to a political partymade under section 73 in respect of an election period, or a decision made under section 74A inrespect of an election period, may be made before the beginning of the election period.76 Consultation with political parties(1) The Electoral Commission must comply with subsection (2)—(a) before allocating time to a political party under section 73; and(b) before allocating any money under section 74A; and(c) before making any determination under section 77A(5)(a).(2) Before doing any of the things referred to in subsection (1), the Electoral Commission mustgrant to every political party that has given a notice to the Electoral Commission under section70A(3) the opportunity to meet with and be heard by the Electoral Commission.(3) If, after complying with subsection (2), the Electoral Commission later modifies an allocationor a determination, the Electoral Commission does not have to provide any political party withany further opportunity to meet with and be heard by the Electoral Commission.(4) The failure of any political party to make use of the opportunity to meet with and be heard bythe Electoral Commission under subsection (2), or to comply with any other request of theElectoral Commission,—(a) does not prevent the Commission making—(i) an allocation of time under section 73; or(ii) an allocation of money under section 74A; or Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 25
    • (iii) a determination under section 77A(5)(a); and(b) does not affect the validity of any allocation or determination made under any of thosesections.76A Power of Electoral Commission to vary allocations(1) If, after any allocation is made under section 73 or section 74A,—(a) a broadcaster in respect of which an allocation of time has been made ceases to be abroadcaster; or(b) a political party does not accept any allocation of time under section 73 or any allocation ofmoney under section 74A; or(c) the party ceases to be registered; or(d) the party fails to submit a list of candidates for election to the seats reserved for thosemembers of Parliament elected from lists pursuant to section 127 of the Electoral Act 1993; or(da) the party fails to comply with any conditions imposed by the Electoral Commissionunder section 74A(2)(b) requiring the political party or group of related political parties to advisethe Electoral Commission of the value of election programme bookings made by the politicalparty or group of related parties; or(e) the relationship of the party with any other political party has changed to a significant extent;or(f) [Repealed]the Electoral Commission may, subject to subsection (4), vary the allocation under section73 or section 74A, as the case may require.(2) The varying of any allocation pursuant to this section shall not require the ElectoralCommission to grant to any political party the opportunity to meet with and be heard by theElectoral Commission.(3) The Electoral Commission shall, in varying any allocation pursuant to this section, haveregard to—(a) the views of political parties received by the Electoral Commission in the course ofconsultations undertaken in accordance with section 76; and(b) such of the matters referred to in sections 73, 74A, and 75, as the case may require.(4) Where effect has been given in whole or in part to an allocation made under section73 or section 74A to a political party, the Electoral Commission shall not vary the allocationpursuant to this section unless—(a) the registration of that political party is cancelled under section 70 of the Electoral Act 1993;or(b) the secretary of a political party has failed to submit a list of candidates for electionunder section 127 of the Electoral Act 1993. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 26
    • 76B Recovery of money from political party(1) Where effect has been given in whole or in part to an allocation made under section 74A andthe Electoral Commission, acting under section 76A, varies that allocation, the ElectoralCommission may determine that the whole or part of the money paid by or on behalf of thepolitical party or to the political party as a result of that allocation be repaid to the Crown by thepolitical party79B Obligation to give identical terms to each political party or candidate(1) No broadcaster shall offer or give to any political party terms for broadcasting time that aremore favourable than those offered or given to any other political party that buys or expresses aninterest in buying comparable time from that broadcaster.(2) No broadcaster shall offer or give to any candidate terms for broadcasting time that are morefavourable than those offered or given to any other candidate who buys or expresses an interestin buying comparable time from that broadcaster.79C Returns in relation to broadcasting time(1) After each election, every broadcaster must give the Electoral Commission a complete andaccurate written statement of the election programmes broadcast by that broadcaster during the3-month period immediately preceding polling day for the election.(2) The statement must be given to the Electoral Commission no later than 10 working days afterthe end of the month in which the election was held.(3) The statement must set out the following information in relation to each election programme:(a) the candidate or political party for whom the election programme was broadcast:(b) the length of the election programme and the time at which it was broadcast:(c) the date on which the election programme was broadcast:(d) the amount paid for the broadcasting of the election programme, and the rate or rates bywhich that amount was fixed.(4) The statement must be signed by or on behalf of the broadcaster. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 27
    • Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 28
    • The Electoral Knowledge Network: New Zealands Mixed Member Proportional System:As in Germany, in parliamentary elections in New Zealand the electors have two votes—onefor a political party (called the party vote in New Zealand) in a nationwide constituency,and one for a candidate in a single-member district. Whereas representatives for single-member districts (called electorates in New Zealand) are elected by FPTP, the overall share ofthe seats in Parliament allocated to political parties stems directly from and is inproportion to the number of party votes they receive. If a party wins 25 per cent of theparty votes, it will be entitled to (roughly) a quarter of all the seats in the 120-memberParliament, that is, about 30 seats. If a party that is entitled to a total of 30 seats hasalready won 23 electorate seats, then it will be given another seven seats drawn from therank-ordered candidates on its party list who have not already been elected in a single-member district. Likewise, if a party entitled to 30 seats has won only 11 single-member districtseats, then it will acquire another 19 MPs from its party list.There are two thresholds for MMP in New Zealand. To win a share of the seats in Parliamentbased on the party votes, a party must either win at least 5 per cent of all the party votescast in a general election or win at least one single-member district seat. In the 1996 generalelection, five parties crossed the 5 per cent threshold and one won a single-member district seatbut did not clear the 5 per cent threshold. Three years later, five parties again cleared the 5 percent threshold. Two other parties failed to do so but won single-member district seats, whichqualified one of them for an additional four seats in Parliament (it had won 4.3 per cent of theparty votes cast in the election). In the 2002 general election, six parties cleared the 5 per centparty vote hurdle, and a seventh party won a single-member district seat that enabled it to bringone other person into Parliament from the party’s list.These figures point to one major change caused by the introduction of MMP. Established, at leastin part, to ensure ‘fairness between political parties’, the new voting system has seen the index ofdisproportionality plummet from an average of 11 per cent for the 17 FPTP elections heldbetween 1946 and 1993, to an average of 3 per cent for the first three MMP elections. EveryFPTP election in New Zealand from 1935 until 1993 saw one of the country’s two larger parties—Labour or National—gain an absolute majority in the House of Representatives. Oneconsequence of MMP has been that, in the three elections to date, no single party has won morethan half the seats in Parliament. In 1996, the largest party won 44 out of the 120 seats; in 1999the largest party won 49 seats; and in 2002 the largest party won 52 seats.Not surprisingly, then, New Zealand has changed from being a country accustomed to single-party majority governments to being a country governed by coalitions. After the first MMPelection, two parties formed a coalition government that commanded a small majority (61 out of120 seats) in Parliament. Since that coalition disintegrated in August 1998, New Zealand has hadminority coalition governments that have had to rely on either formal or informal supportingarrangements (negotiated with other parties or, on occasion, with individual MPs) to ensure thattheir legislative programmes have been able to win majorities in Parliament. One of the othercriteria used by the Royal Commission on the Electoral System was ‘effective government’. Thecommission noted that electoral systems should ‘allow governments ... to meet theirresponsibilities. Governments should have the ability to act decisively when that is appropriate’. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 29
    • In this regard it should be stressed that MMP governments in New Zealand have had littletrouble governing: all have had their budgets passed without any real difficulty, and none hasfaced the likelihood of defeat in a parliamentary vote of no confidence. At the same time, NewZealand parliaments have fulfilled another of the royal commission’s criteria by also becomingmore effective. Governments can no longer rely on (indeed, they seldom have) majorities onparliamentary committees, and there is a far greater degree of consultation—of give and take—between government and opposition parties in MMP parliaments.The Royal Commission on the Electoral System also envisaged that under MMP the Parliamentwould represent the Maori (New Zealand’s indigenous Polynesian minority) and other special-interest groups such as women, Asians and Pacific Islanders more effectively. This has happened.In the last FPTP Parliament, Maori accounted for 7 per cent of the MPs. They nowconstitute 16 per cent of the members of the legislature. The proportion of female MPs hasrisen from 21 per cent in 1993 to an average of 29 per cent in the first three MMP parliaments.During the period 1993–2002, the proportion of Pacific Island MPs went up from 1 per cent to 3per cent, and the number of Asian MPs rose from 0 to 2 per cent.Maori Electorates:Number of electoratesFrom 1868 to 1996, four Māori electorates existed (out of a total that slowly changed from 76 to99).[1] They comprised:[2] 1. Eastern Maori 2. Northern Maori 3. Southern Maori 4. Western MaoriWith the introduction of the MMP electoral system after 1993, the rules regarding the Māorielectorates changed. Today, the number of electorates floats, meaning that the electoralpopulation of a Māori seat can remain roughly equivalent to that of a general seat. In the firstMMP vote (the 1996 election), the Electoral Commission defined five Māori electorates: 1. Te Puku O Te Whenua 2. Te Tai Hauauru 3. Te Tai Rawhiti 4. Te Tai Tokerau 5. Te Tai TongaFor the second MMP election (the 1999 election), six Māori electorates existed: 1. Hauraki 2. Ikaroa-Rawhiti 3. Te Tai Hauāuru 4. Te Tai Tokerau 5. Te Tai Tonga 6. Waiariki Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 30
    • The 2002 and 2005 elections had seven: 1. Ikaroa-Rāwhiti 2. Tainui 3. Tāmaki Makaurau (roughly equivalent to greater Auckland) 4. Te Tai Hauāuru 5. Te Tai Tokerau 6. Te Tai Tonga 7. WaiarikiThe 2008 election also had seven: 1. Hauraki-Waikato - (North Western North Island, includes Hamilton and Papakura) 2. Ikaroa-Rāwhiti - (East and South North Island, includes Gisborne and Masterton) 3. Tāmaki Makaurau - (Roughly equivalent to greater Auckland) 4. Te Tai Hauāuru - (Western North Island, includes Taranaki and Manawatu-Wanganui regions) 5. Te Tai Tokerau - (Northernmost seat, includes Whangarei and North and West Auckland) 6. Te Tai Tonga - (All of South Island and nearby islands. Largest electorate by area) 7. Waiariki - (Includes Tauranga, Whakatane, Rotorua, Taupo)While seven out of 70 (10 %) does not nearly reflect the proportion of New Zealanders whoidentify as being of Māori descent (about 18%), many Māori choose to enrol in generalelectorates, so the proportion reflects the proportion of voters on the Māori roll.Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Equality of Candidates and Parties:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 7.1/10.Rational for Score:There are no restriction on the medias political content. State broadcasters are now subject to themarketplace for survival.There is an Electoral Commission which administers the electoral system impartially, efficiently,and effectively. This commission has certain powers and functions.Applications for creation of political parties must be made to the Electoral Commission.In order to apply to create a political party, there must be at least 500 financial members who areeligible to enrol as electors, and must have at least one constituency candidate stand for the partyor submit a list of candidates.Only certain people related to the campaign may promote election advertisements: partysecretaries, candidates, registered promoters, and unregistered promoters (whose ad expenses do Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 31
    • not exceed $12,000).Unregistered promoters must retain records to verify advertising expenses.Election advertisements must state who the promoter is (name and address).Election advertisements must be authorised in writing by the candidate(s) that they address, or bytheparty secretary of the party that they address.Election advertisements must contain a statement regarding the name of the person who does thepublishing, or for whom they are published.Political billboards can be placed in the two months leading up to election day, as long as they donot exceed 3 square metres in size.Election programmes can be broadcast during the election period; these programmes can be paidfor by political parties under certain guidelines.Opening and closing addresses for political parties are to be broadcast free of charge.The Electoral Commission consults with political parties and broadcasters to determine theamount of time given to each party, and the amount of public funds that are to be given to eachpolitical party.Each broadcaster must give identical terms to each political party or candidate.After each election, broadcasters must give a written statement of the election programmesbroadcast during the three months leading up to voting day.New Zealand has a mixed member proportional system, based on one vote for political partiesand one for vote for candidate in constituency. 70 constituency seats are decided by first past thepost. The remaining seats, 50, are decided by popular vote for political parties. The minimumthreshold for the 50 seats are at least 5% of the popular vote or win one constituency seat.Maori population guaranteed representation from seven out of seventy total constituencies.Maori seats not subject to proportional representation.Finances:Candidate and party expenses are inclusive of goods and services tax. (This provision favorsdominant, established candidates and parties, and wealthy candidates and parties.)For Candidates: Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 32
    • Election expenses must not exceed $25,000 in general elections, or $50,000 in by- elections Receipts are required for election expenses of $50 or more Within 70 days after polling day the candidate must submit a return of his/her election expenses to the Electoral Commission, this return must be publicly availableFor Parties: Election expenses must not exceed $1,065,000 and $25,000 for each electoral district contested by a candidate for the party Receipts are required for election expenses of $100 or more Within 50 days after declaring candidates to be elected, the party secretary must file a return of the partys expenses to the Electoral Commission, this return must be publicly available Parties must appoint an auditorDonations: There is no defined limit on political donations Contributors are to be identified by name and address if they contribute more than $1500 Anonymous donations cannot exceed $1500 Overseas donations cannot exceed $1500 Donations can be protected from disclosure under certain stipulations Returns must be filed on donations exceeding $30,000 Expenditure limits are adjusted each year by Order in CouncilFree broadcasting time based on percentage of votes in previous election, percentage of vote inpreceding by-elections, number of members of parliament, any relationship between one partyand another, any other indication of public support such as polls, number of party members, andfair opportunity to convey message. Broadcasting funds favor significantly dominate, establishedparties as do allocation broadcast allocations. Small and new parties are given insignificantmonies and times. Free broadcasting times are limited to TVNZ and Radio New Zealand (publicbroadcasters). (The New Zealand approach is significantly more fair than Canadas which onlyallows four of nineteen parties in national debates.)The score of 71.25 percent means that the New Zealands laws and regulations on candidate andparty influence are acceptable. There are many elements of fairness in New Zealands laws andregulations such as proportional distribution of fifty parliamentary seats, seven seats guaranteedto the Maori population, state electoral funds distributed based primarily on established popularsupport, and caps on electoral donations and candidate and party expenditures. However, theseelements are weakened by the unfairness of the medias political content and the moredemocratic idea of basing distribution of state electoral funds on equality rather than establishedpopular support, in order to put direct emphasis on parties platforms. Considering the partisanmajor media and broadcasters, an equal distribution of state electoral funds would helpcounteract media and broadcaster unfairness. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 33
    • Chapter Three: Electoral FinanceChapter three will focus on the research and audit results of New Zealander laws andregulations with respect to the equality and fairness of New Zealander electoral finance lawsand regulations.Executive Summary: New Zealand received a score of 77.5 percent for its electoral financelaws. The score means that New Zealands laws and regulations on electoral finance are verysatisfactory. New Zealands finance laws have many elements of fairness such as caps ofelectoral donations and candidate and party expenditures, and comprehensive disclosurerequirements. However, the state electoral funds are based primarily on established publicsupport rather than an equal playing field, and the caps on electoral donations are too high andthereby favor minority support (rather than popular support), and around 25 percent of donationsto a party can be anonymous.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:Electoral Act 1993:Election Expenses of Candidates205C Maximum amount of candidates total election expenses(1) The total election expenses of a candidate in respect of any regulated period must notexceed—(a) $25,000 (or such other amount as is prescribed by the Governor-General by Order in Councilunder section 266A), in the case of a candidate at a general election; and(b) $50,000 (or such other amount as is prescribed by the Governor-General by Order in Councilunder section 266A), in the case of a candidate at a by-election.(2) The amounts in subsection (1) are inclusive of goods and services tax.205D Apportionment of advertising expenses for publication of candidate advertisement bothbefore and during regulated period(1) This section applies if a candidate advertisement—(a) is published both before the commencement of the regulated period and during the regulatedperiod; or(b) is published before the commencement of the regulated period and continues to be publishedduring the regulated period.(2) If this section applies,—(a) the candidate advertisement is deemed to have been published during the regulated period; Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 34
    • but(b) the advertising expenses for the publication of the candidate advertisement must beapportioned so that only a fair proportion of the expenses is attributed to being incurred duringthe regulated period.(3) Only the advertising expenses attributed to being incurred during the regulated period inaccordance with subsection (2) are election expenses.205J Invoice and receipt required for election expenses of $50 or moreEvery payment made in respect of any election expenses of a candidate, other than a paymentthat is less than $50, must be vouched by an invoice stating the particulars and by a receipt.205K Return of candidates election expenses(1) Within 70 working days after polling day, a candidate must file a return of electionexpenses with the Electoral Commission.(2) A return under subsection (1) must be in the form required by the Electoral Commission.205R Return of candidates election expenses to be publicly available(1) The Electoral Commission may publish, in any manner that the Electoral Commissionconsiders appropriate, every return filed under section 205K.(2) During the public inspection period, the Electoral Commission must make available forpublic inspection a copy of every return filed under section 205K.(3) The Electoral Commission may make inspection under subsection (2) subject to the paymentof any charges that may be made under the Official Information Act 1982Election Expenses of Parties206C Maximum amount of partys total election expenses(1) If a party is listed in the part of the ballot paper that relates to the party vote, the totalelection expenses of that party in respect of any regulated period must not exceed—(a) $1,065,000 (or such other amount as is prescribed by the Governor-General by Order inCouncil under section 266A); and(b) $25,000 (or such other amount as is prescribed by the Governor-General by Order in Councilunder section 266A) for each electoral district contested by a candidate for the party.(2) If a party is not listed in the part of the ballot paper that relates to the party vote, the totalelection expenses of that party in respect of any regulated period must not exceed $25,000 foreach electoral district contested by a candidate for the party.(3) The amounts in subsections (1) and (2) are inclusive of goods and services tax.206CA Apportionment of advertising expenses for publication of party advertisement bothbefore and during regulated period(1) This section applies if a party advertisement—(a) is published both before the commencement of the regulated period and during the regulated Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 35
    • period; or(b) is published before the commencement of the regulated period and continues to be publishedduring the regulated period.(2) If this section applies,—(a) the party advertisement is deemed to have been published during the regulated period; but(b) the advertising expenses for the publication of the party advertisement must be apportionedso that only a fair proportion of the expenses is attributed to being incurred during the regulatedperiod.(3) Only the advertising expenses attributed to being incurred during the regulated period inaccordance with subsection (2) are election expenses.206H Invoice and receipt required for election expenses of $100 or moreEvery payment made in respect of any election expenses of a party, other than a payment that isless than $100, must be vouched by an invoice stating the particulars and by a receipt.206I Return of partys election expenses(1) Within 50 working days after the day on which the declaration required by section 193(5) ismade, a party secretary must file a return of the partys election expenses with the ElectoralCommission.(2) The return must be—(a) in the form required by the Electoral Commission; and(b) accompanied by an auditors report obtained under section 206L.206J Appointment of auditor for party(1) A party must appoint an auditor.(2) On the registration of a party under section 67, the person named in the partys applicationunder section 63(2)(c)(v) as the person who is to be appointed as the partys auditor is to be takento have been appointed under subsection (1).(3) A party must without delay appoint another auditor if the auditor appointed by the partyunder subsection (1) or taken to have been appointed under subsection (2)—(a) does not, for any reason, commence to hold office; or(b) ceases to hold office; or(c) becomes ineligible to hold office.(4) If at any time a party appoints a new auditor under subsection (3), the party must—(a) notify the Electoral Commission; and(b) send to the Electoral Commission— (i) the name, address, and contact details of the new auditor; and Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 36
    • (ii) the new auditors signed consent to the appointment.206K Persons eligible to be appointed as auditorA person is eligible to be appointed as an auditor under section 206J unless that person is—(a) a constituency candidate; or(b) a list candidate; or(c) an employee or partner of a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b); or(d) an officer or employee of a party; or(e) a body corporate; or(f) a person who, by virtue of section 199(1) of the Companies Act 1993, may not be appointedor act as an auditor of a company; or(g) a Returning Officer.206Q Return of partys election expenses to be publicly available(1) The Electoral Commission may publish, in any manner that the Electoral Commissionconsiders appropriate, every return and every accompanying auditors report filed under section206I.(2) During the public inspection period, the Electoral Commission must make available forpublic 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 paymentof any charges that may be made under the Official Information Act 1982.Donations207C Contributors to be identified(1) This section applies to a donation (other than an anonymous donation) that is funded fromcontributions.(2) If this section applies to a donation, the donor must, at the time of making the donation,—(a) disclose the fact that the donation is funded from contributions; and(b) if 1 or more contributions are each in sum or value $1,500 or less, disclose the total amountof those contributions; and(c) if 1 or more contributions are each in sum or value more than $1,500, disclose the followinginformation about those contributions: (i) the total amount of those contributions; and (ii) the information described in subsection (3) about those contributions.(3) The information that must be disclosed about contributions under subsection (2)(c)(ii) is—(a) the name and address of each contributor and whether each contributor is an overseas person Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 37
    • within the meaning of section 207K; and(b) the amount of each contributors contribution.(4) A candidate must give back to the donor the entire amount of the donation, or its entire value,if the candidate knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe, that the donor has failed to complywith subsection (2) in any respect.(5) A party secretary must give back to the donor the entire amount of the donation, or its entirevalue, if the party secretary knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe, that the donor hasfailed to comply with subsection (2) in any respect.(6) For the purposes of sections 209 and 210, any amount given back by a candidate undersubsection (4), or by a party secretary under subsection (5), is taken not to have been received bythe candidate or the party secretary, as the case may be.207I Anonymous donation may not exceed $1,500(1) If an anonymous candidate donation exceeding $1,500 is received by a candidate, thecandidate must, within 20 working days of receipt of the donation, pay to the ElectoralCommission the amount of the donation, or its value, less $1,500.(2) If an anonymous party donation exceeding $1,500 is received by a party secretary, the partysecretary must, within 20 working days of receipt of the donation, pay to the ElectoralCommission the amount of the donation, or its value, less $1,500.(3) All amounts received by the Electoral Commission under this section must be paid into aCrown Bank Account.207K Overseas donation or contribution may not exceed $1,500(1) For the purposes of this section, overseas person means—(a) an individual who— (i) resides outside New Zealand; and (ii) is not a New Zealand citizen or registered as an elector; or(b) a body corporate incorporated outside New Zealand; or(c) an unincorporated body that has its head office or principal place of business outside NewZealand.(2) If a candidate receives from an overseas person a donation that either on its own or whenaggregated with all other donations made by or on behalf of the same overseas person for use inthe same campaign exceeds $1,500, the candidate must, within 20 working days of receipt of thedonation,—(a) return to the overseas person the total amount donated by the overseas person, or its value,less $1,500; or(b) if this is not possible, pay the total amount donated by the overseas person, or its value, less$1,500 to the Electoral Commission.(2A) If a party secretary receives from an overseas person a donation that either on its own or Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 38
    • when aggregated with all other donations made by or on behalf of the same overseas personduring the same year ending 31 December exceeds $1,500, the party secretary must, within 20working days of receipt of the donation,—(a) return to the overseas person the total amount donated by the overseas person, or its value,less $1,500; or(b) if this is not possible, pay the total amount donated by the overseas person, or its value, less$1,500 to the Electoral Commission.208A Method of making donation protected from disclosure(1) This section applies to any person who intends to make a donation in excess of $1,500 to aparty while preventing the disclosure of the persons identity to—(a) the party concerned; and(b) the public generally.(2) A person to whom this section applies may send a donation in excess of $1,500 by way of acheque, cash, or a bank draft to the Electoral Commission.(3) A donation under subsection (2) must be accompanied by a statement identifying—(a) the name of the party that is to receive the donation; and(b) the full name and address of the donor; and(c) if the donation made by the donor includes or comprises contributions from others, the nameand address of every person who has contributed in excess of $1,500.(4) The Electoral Commission may request the donor to provide any further information theCommission considers necessary to confirm the identity of the donor or other details provided bythe donor, and the donor must take all reasonable steps to comply with such a request as soon asis practicable.208B Limit on maximum amount of donations protected from disclosure(1) The maximum amount that a party may be paid in donations made to the ElectoralCommission for the benefit of that party during a specified period is 10% (excluding any interestpaid under section 208E(2)) of the maximum amount of election expenses allowed under section206B(1) to be incurred by a party that is listed in the part of the ballot paper that relates to theparty vote and that has a candidate contesting every electoral district.(2) The maximum amount that a party may be paid in donations made to the ElectoralCommission for the benefit of the party from the same donor during any specified period is 15%(excluding any interest paid under section 208E(2)) of the amount that may be paid to that partyunder subsection (1).(3) For the purposes of this section,—(a) a specified period is— (i) the period beginning on 9 November 2008 and ending with the close of the day before polling day for the next general election after that date; and Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 39
    • (ii) any subsequent period between polling day for one general election and polling day for the following general election:(b) to avoid doubt, if there is a change in the name of a donor or party, the donor or party must betreated as the same donor or party (as the case may be) as the donor or party was prior to thechange of name.210C Return of party donation received from same donor exceeding $30,000(1) A party secretary must file with the Electoral Commission a return in respect of everyparty donation that exceeds $30,000.(2) A party secretary must file with the Electoral Commission a return in respect of every partydonation that—(a) the party secretary knows is from a donor who in the 12 months immediately preceding thedate of receipt of the donation (the last 12 months) has made 1 or more previous donations; and(b) when aggregated with all previous donations received from the donor in the last 12 monthsexceeds $30,000.(3) If a return is made under subsection (2), the donations disclosed in that return must bedisregarded when applying this section in relation to a party donation that is made after thatreturn is filed.(4) A return filed under subsection (1) must be in the form required by the Electoral Commissionand set out—(a) the name of the donor (if known); and(b) the address of the donor (if known); and(c) the amount of the donation; and(d) the date the donation was received.(5) A return filed under subsection (2) must be in the form required by the Electoral Commissionand set out—(a) the name of the donor; and(b) the address of the donor; and(c) the amount of the donation; and(d) the amounts of all previous donations; and(e) the date the donation was received; and(f) the dates all previous donations were received.(6) A return must be filed under subsection (1) or (2) within 10 working days of the donationbeing received by the party secretary.266A Expenditure limits to be adjusted each year by Order in Council(1) The Governor-General must, by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 40
    • Minister, in the manner provided in subsections (2) to (6), adjust the amounts specified in thefollowing provisions:(a) section 204B(1)(d) (which relates to the maximum amount of advertising expenses that maybe incurred by an unregistered promoter):(b) section 205C (which relates to the maximum amount of a candidates election expenses):(c) section 206C (which relates to the maximum amount of a partys election expenses):(d) section 206V (which relates to the maximum amount of a registered promoters electionexpenses).(2) The first Order in Council must—(a) come into force on 1 July 2011; and(b) adjust the amount referred to in section 206C(1)(a) to reflect the movement between the CPIfor the quarter ending 30 September 2010 and the CPI for the quarter ending 31 March 2011.(3) Every subsequent Order in Council must—(a) come into force on every following 1 July; and(b) adjust the amounts referred to in subsection (1) to reflect the movement between the CPI forthe quarter ending 31 March of the previous year and the CPI for the quarter ending 31 March ofthe current year.(4) If after adjustment in accordance with subsection (3)(b) any of the amounts specified in thefollowing sections is not a whole number of hundred dollars, the adjusted amount must berounded up to the next whole hundred dollars:(a) section 204B(1)(d):(b) section 205C(1)(a) and (b):(c) section 206C(1)(b) and (2).(5) If after adjustment in accordance with subsection (2)(b) or (3)(b) the amount specifiedin section 206C(1)(a) or 206V is not a whole number of thousand dollars, the adjusted amountmust be rounded up to the next whole thousand dollars.(6) If an adjusted amount has been rounded up in accordance with subsection (4) or (5), theadjustment to that amount made the following year must be based on the adjusted amount as itwas before it was rounded up.(7) In this section CPI means the Consumers Price Index All Groups published by Statistics NewZealand.New Zealand Election Commission:How to make a donation protected from disclosureA donation protected from disclosure is a mechanism for any person who wants to make a Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 41
    • donation of more than $1,500 to a registered political party and does not want their identityto be disclosed to either the public or to the party receiving the donation.The Electoral Commission puts your donation together with others and passes it to the party atregular intervals without identifying the value of individual donations, or the number or names ofdonors involved.A form is provided in the Downloads box on the right hand side of this page to faciliate themaking of a donation protected from disclosure.LimitsPlease note that: • the maximum amount that an individual or body can donate to any one political party through this process is $42,225 between two successive elections (but you may donate to more than one party in this way, and up to a $42,225 limit for each) • no political party may receive more than $281,500 from donations protected from disclosure between two successive elections.If a donation or contribution takes an individual or party over their limit then the ElectoralCommission will return the excess.ConfidentialityIt is an offence under the Electoral Act 1993 to tell a party or anyone else that you intend to, orhave made, a donation or to provide such information that may allow them to deduce that youintend to, or have made, a donation.Offence provisions also apply to people permitted to know this information. The only peoplepermitted to know this information are: • a member or employee or other person engaged by the Electoral Commission • any officer, employee, relative, adviser, or agent of the donor or contributor • any other person to whom the identifying details must be supplied to enable the donation to be made (eg, an employee of a bank who processes a cheque by which the donation is made) • any person to whom the identifying details must be supplied to comply with one or more of the Inland Revenue Acts (within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Tax Administration Act 1994) • the Auditor-General • any other person entitled to the information in question in accordance with any search warrant, summons, or any process under rules of Court, or in the course of any proceedings.The details of those who make a donation protected from disclosure, including all contributionsto a donation, cannot be supplied under the Official Information Act 1982. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 42
    • Electoral Fairness Audit Results for New Zealander Election Finance:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 7.8/10.Rational for Score:Candidate and party expenses are inclusive of goods and services tax. (This provision favorsdominant, established candidates and parties, and wealthy candidates and parties.)For Candidates: Election expenses must not exceed $25,000 in general elections, or $50,000 in by- elections Receipts are required for election expenses of $50 or more Within 70 days after polling day the candidate must submit a return of his/her election expenses to the Electoral Commission, this return must be publicly availableFor Parties: Election expenses must not exceed $1,065,000 and $25,000 for each electoral district contested by a candidate for the party Receipts are required for election expenses of $100 or more Within 50 days after declaring candidates to be elected, the party secretary must file a return of the partys expenses to the Electoral Commission, this return must be publicly available Parties must appoint an auditorDonations: There is no defined limit on political donations Contributors are to be identified by name and address if they contribute more than $1500 Anonymous donations cannot exceed $1500 Overseas donations cannot exceed $1500 Donations can be protected from disclosure under certain stipulations Returns must be filed on donations exceeding $30,000 Expenditure limits are adjusted each year by Order in CouncilFree broadcasting time based on percentage of votes in previous election, percentage of vote inpreceding by-elections, number of members of parliament, any relationship between one partyand another, any other indication of public support such as polls, number of party members, andfair opportunity to convey message. Broadcasting funds favor significantly dominate, establishedparties as do allocation broadcast allocations. Small and new parties are given insignificantmonies and times. Free broadcasting times are limited to TVNZ and Radio New Zealand (public Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 43
    • broadcasters). (The New Zealand approach is significantly more fair than Canadas which onlyallows four out of nineteen registered parties to participate in national debates.)The score of 77.5 percent means that New Zealand laws and regulations on electoral finance arevery satisfactory. New Zealand has comprehensive finance laws, which include caps ondonations and candidate and party expenditures, state electoral funds based on popular support,and comprehensive disclosure of candidate and party finances. However, around 25 percent ofparty donations do not have to be disclosed, and considering the partisan private media andbroadcasters, state electoral funds should be distributed equally, if anything to offset partialmedia and broadcaster coverage and to put the electoral emphasis directly on the partiesplatforms. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 44
    • Chapter Four: Voter SayChapter four will focus on the research and audit results of New Zealander laws and regulationswith respect to the equality of voter say laws and regulations before, during and after anelection.Executive Summary: New Zealand received a score of 60 percent for equality of voter say.According to the FDA grade scale, the score means that the New Zealands laws and regulationson voter say are unacceptable. Although New Zealanders have freedom of expression andassembly, voters with access to major media and broadcasters have an unfair advantage, just asvoters with access to more funds have an unfair advantage through donations and third-partyelectoral spending. New Zealand makes limited attempts to promote equality of voter influence,by allowing unrestricted freedom with the only constraint being a cap of electoral donations. Amore fair democracy would have a lower cap on donations to reduce any favoring of wealthyvoters and to promote popular support, ban commercial political advertisement, and restrict themedias political content to help create fair, democratic political contests based directly on ideasand platforms.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:Bill of Rights Act 199012 Electoral rightsEvery New Zealand citizen who is of or over the age of 18 years—(a) has the right to vote in genuine periodic elections of members of the House ofRepresentatives, which elections shall be by equal suffrage and by secret ballot; and(b) is qualified for membership of the House of Representatives.16 Freedom of peaceful assemblyEveryone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.Electoral Act 199360 Who may voteSubject to the provisions of this Act, the following persons, and no others, shall be qualified tovote at any election in any district, namely,—(a) any person whose name lawfully appears on the main roll or any supplementary roll for thedistrict and who is qualified to be registered as an elector of the district:(b) any person— (i) who is qualified to be registered as an elector of the district; and Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 45
    • (ii) who is registered as an elector of the district as a result of having applied for registration as an elector of the district before polling day:(c) any person who is qualified to be registered as an elector of the district, and was at the time ofthe last preceding election duly registered as an elector of the district or, where a change ofboundaries has intervened, of some other district in which his or her then place of residencewithin the first-mentioned district was then situated:(d) any person— (i) who is qualified to be registered as an elector of the district; and (ii) who is registered as an elector of the district as a result of having applied, since the last preceding election and before polling day, for registration as an elector of the district or, where a change of boundaries has intervened, of some other district in which that person’s then place of residence within the first- mentioned district was then situated:(e) any person who is qualified to be registered as an elector of the district pursuant to section74 and who resides on Campbell Island or Raoul Island or has resided on either of those Islandsat any time in the 1 month before polling day:(f) any member of the Defence Force who is outside New Zealand, if he or she is or will be of orover the age of 18 years on polling day, and his or her place of residence immediately before heor she last left New Zealand is within the district.61 Special voters(1) A person who is qualified to vote at any election in any district may vote as a special voter if—(a) that person’s name does not appear on the main roll or any supplementary roll for the districtor has been wrongly deleted from any such roll:(b) the person intends to be absent or is absent from the district on polling day:(c) the person intends to be outside New Zealand on polling day or is outside New Zealand onpolling day:(d) the person is, by reason of illness, infirmity, pregnancy, or recent childbirth, unable to attendto vote at any polling place in the district:(e) the person is, by reason of a religious objection, unable to attend to vote on the day of theweek on which polling day falls:(f) the person satisfies the Returning Officer or issuing officer that on any other ground it will notbe practicable for that person to vote at a polling place in the district without incurring hardshipor serious inconvenience.(2) A person who is registered as an elector of a Maori electoral district and who is qualified tovote at any election in that district may vote as a special voter not only on the grounds set out insubsection (1) but also on the ground that the person attends to vote on polling day at a pollingplace that is not a polling place for that district. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 46
    • (3) A person whose name appears on the main roll or any supplementary roll for an electoraldistrict and who is qualified to vote at an election in that district may vote as a special voter if theperson—(a) applies to vote in person before polling day; and(b) does so within that district or at an office maintained by the Returning Officer of that district.74 Qualification of electors(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every adult person is qualified to be registered as anelector of an electoral district if—(a) that person is— (i) a New Zealand citizen; or (ii) a permanent resident of New Zealand; and(b) that person has at some time resided continuously in New Zealand for a period of not lessthan 1 year; and(c) that electoral district— (i) is the last in which that person has continuously resided for a period equalling or exceeding 1 month; or (ii) where that person has never resided continuously in any one electoral district for a period equalling or exceeding 1 month, is the electoral district in which that person resides or has last resided.(2) Where a writ has been issued for an election, every person—(a) who resides in an electoral district on the Monday before polling day; and(b) who would, if he or she continued to reside in that electoral district until the close of pollingday, have continuously resided in that electoral district for a period equalling or exceeding 1month,—shall (whether or not he or she does so continue to reside in that electoral district) be deemed, forthe purposes of subsection (1)(c), to have completed on that Monday a period of 1 month’scontinuous residence in that electoral district.76 Maori option(1) Subject to this section and to sections 77 to 79, a Maori who possesses the qualificationsprescribed in that behalf by this Act shall have the option of being registered either as an electorof a Maori electoral district or as an elector of a General electoral district.(2) Every such option shall be exercised—(a) at the time the Maori first qualifies and applies to be registered as an elector of any electoraldistrict; or(b) in the case of a Maori who was not registered as an elector of any electoral district on the firstday of the period last specified in a notice published undersection 77(2), on the first subsequent Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 47
    • application for registration as an elector; or(c) in any other case, in accordance with section 77 or section 78.82 Compulsory registration of electors(1) Every person qualified to be registered as an elector of any electoral district shall, if he or sheis in New Zealand, make application in the prescribed form to a Registrar of Electors forregistration as an elector—(a) within 1 month after the date on which he or she first becomes qualified to be registered as anelector; and also(b) within 1 month after the date on which he or she ceases to be registered as an elector byreason of the inclusion of his or her name on the dormant roll undersection 83C; and also(c) within 1 month after the date on which, following a change in his or her place of residencefrom the electoral district to another, he or she first becomes qualified to be registered as anelector of that other electoral district.(2) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1)(a), any person of or over the age of 17 years maymake application in the prescribed form to a Registrar of Electors for registration as an elector,and that person shall, upon attaining the age of 18 years, be registered as an elector without anyfurther application.(3) Every person qualified to be registered as an elector of any electoral district may, if he or sheis outside New Zealand, make application in the prescribed form to a Registrar of Electors forregistration as an elector of that district at any time.(4) Where a Maori is qualified to be registered as an elector of both a Maori electoral district anda General electoral district, this section shall apply with respect to only one of those districts,being the district in respect of which he or she has exercised his or her option under section 76.(5) Where it appears to the Registrar that an applicant is qualified to be registered as an elector ofanother electoral district, the Registrar shall forthwith send the application to the Registrar of thatdistrict.(6) Every person commits an offence against this section who, being required by this section toapply for registration as an elector during any period, knowingly and wilfully fails to so apply.(7) No person who applies for registration as an elector shall be liable to prosecution for anearlier failure to apply for registration as an elector.(8) Every person who commits an offence against this section shall be liable on summaryconviction to a fine not exceeding $100 on a first conviction, and to a fine not exceeding $200 onany subsequent conviction.(9) Notwithstanding anything in subsections (1) to (7) or in section 72(9), no person is requiredto apply for registration as an elector while that person is living on Campbell Island or RaoulIsland. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 48
    • Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Equality of Voter Say:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 6/10.Rational for Score:Every New Zealand citizen over 18 years of age may vote and may be an MP.Every citizen has a right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.There are provisions for special voters and the Maori population.Public and private media and broadcasters have no restrictions on their political content in termsof news and commentary.The Press Council does not include balanced electoral coverage as part of its principles or fairpolitical content. The New Zealand press is self-regulated through the Press Council.There are no limit on electoral donations by citizens and legal entities. The limits on candidateand party expenditures is an indirect limit on donations. (Election expenses must not exceed$1,065,000 and $25,000 for each electoral district contested by a candidate for the party;Election expenses must not exceed $25,000 in general elections, or $50,000 in by-elections.)Legal entities are allowed to donate to political parties.Free broadcasting time based on percentage of votes in previous election, percentage of vote inpreceding by-elections, number of members of parliament, any relationship between one partyand another, any other indication of public support such as polls, number of party members, andfair opportunity to convey message. Broadcasting funds favor significantly dominate, establishedparties as do allocation broadcast allocations. Small and new parties are given insignificantmonies and times. Free broadcasting times are limited to TVNZ and Radio New Zealand (publicbroadcasters). (The New Zealand approach is significantly more fair than Canadas which onlyallows four of nineteen parties in national debates.)The score of 60 percent means that New Zealands laws and regulations on voter say areunacceptable. The score is representative of voters freedom of expression and assembly, and acap on electoral donations. However, the partisan major media and broadcasters, no ban oncommercial advertisement, no restriction on third-party electoral spending, and the cap ondonations which favors wealthy voters, erodes the equality of voter say. In a pre-socialnetworking era, New Zealands score would have been in the failing zone. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 49
    • Chapter Five: Audit ResultsChapter five will set out the FDA’s scores for each of the areas of the New Zealander electoralsystem as set out above.1. Research and audit results for New Zealander laws and regulations on the political content ofmedia including newspapers, broadcasters, online media, before, during, and after elections.1/102. Research and audit results for New Zealander Laws and regulations on the equality ofcandidates and parties influence before, during and after elections.7.1/103. Research and audit results for New Zealander laws and regulations on electoral finance.7.8/104. Research and audit results for laws and regulations on the equality of voter say before, during,and after an election.6/10Total score: 21.9/4054.75 percent Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 50
    • Chapter Six: AnalysisChapter six will provide a brief analysis of the FDA’s findings.New Zealand received an overall score of 54.75 percent for electoral fairness. With reference tothe FDA grade scale, a score 54.75 percent equates to a D grade: unacceptable laws andregulations for the country (many deficiencies and/or major deficiencies in some of thefollowing: laws and regulations on the equality of political news coverage on major media(including broadcasters and newspapers), candidate and party influence, electoral finance, andvoter say.) (Grade greater than 49.99% and less than 55%)New Zealand received a 10 percent failing score for the medias political content. The scoremeans that New Zealands media laws and regulations are bordering on complete unfairness.Similar to Sweden and Canada, New Zealand allows major media and broadcasters to haveunrestricted political content, and at the expense of electoral fairness and political equality.New Zealand received an acceptable score for candidate and party influence and verysatisfactory score for electoral finance.New Zealand received an unacceptable score for voter say, which reflects the negative impact ofthe major media and broadcasters political content and the cap on donations which favorswealthy voters.New Zealand applies the idea of popular support to the distribution of state electoral funds, butdoes not apply the idea to the cap on donations. To illustrate, a party needs just 71 donations of$1500 each to reach its cap on expenditures. (In the 2008 New Zealand General Election, therewere approximately 2,864,609 eligible voters.)New Zealands score of 60 percent for voter say is consistent with western countries such asCanada, United States, Finland, and Denmark which emphasize unrestricted freedom. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 51
    • Chapter Seven: ConclusionChapter seven will provide a summary of the FDA’s findings.New Zealands score of 54.75 percent is unacceptable. Despite many elements of electoralfairness in its electoral system, New Zealand has overlooked or ignored the significant negativeimpact of no restrictions on the major media and broadcasters political content. Consequently,New Zealands electoral system is bordering on the failing zone for electoral fairness.For New Zealands democracy to advance, it needs to establish at least plurality in the mediaspolitical content, or even better, fair political content, and complete and balanced electoralcoverage. As it stands, New Zealands major major media and broadcasters have an extremelyunfair influence on New Zealands electoral discourse. This negative element undermines NewZealands democratic progression through proportional representation and caps on electoralspending and donations.To make democratic advancement, New Zealanders need to realize that unrestricted freedom interms of political content is counter to the spirit of democracy by allowing minorities to havedisproportionate influence on electoral discourse. Fundamentally, democracy is about the will ofthe people, not the will of a minority as in the case of the New Zealands major media andbroadcast corporations. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 52
    • Chapter Eight: RecommendationsChapter eight will set out the FDA’s recommendations on how New Zealand can improve its electoralfairness score and thereby its electoral fairness.New Zealand needs to reform its electoral system, in order to advance the system to a highstandard of democracy and to avoid moving into the failing zone for electoral fairness. The FDArecommends the following reforms to make this advancement: 1) Like France, Venezuela, and Russia, New Zealand needs to legislate restrictions on the medias political content. Three months prior to an election and during the election period, New Zealands press, media, and broadcasters should be required legally to provide a plurality of political content and balanced electoral coverage of all registered political parties. Like in Venezuela and Russia, media persons should be banned from participating in electoral propaganda during their professional duties. 2) As in the case of France, New Zealand should legislate media ownership concentration restrictions at about 25 percent of the national press media, broadcasters, and radio. 3) Like in Venezuela, New Zealands Election Commission should be empowered legally and financially to ensure a balanced diffusion of electoral propaganda. 4) Like in France, three months prior to an election and during the election period, New Zealand should ban commercial political advertisement. 5) New Zealands cap of donations needs to be lowered from $1500 to $100 in order to eliminate any favoring of wealthy voters and legal entities, and increase the element of popular support in the system. This cap should apply to candidates contributions to their own campaigns. 6) State electoral funds for broadcasting need to be distributed based on equality to all registered parties, so that the emphasis in the New Zealand national debates is directly on the parties platforms and an informed public of all the registered parties. (If the New Zealand Labour Party and New Zealand National Party are so much more better than the other parties, then they should perform well just based on their platforms.)The FDA believes that New Zealand is facing a crisis in its democracy, in which the major mediaand broadcasters have significant unfair influence on electoral discourse. Consequently, it cannotbe said that the New Zealand government represents the will of the people, as the will ofminority corporate interests are interfering with that relationship.New Zealanders face the challenge of overcoming the New Zealand political establishmentwhich is favoring and likely benefiting from a deficient democracy. The people from Canada,USA, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, for examples, are facing similar challenges. To overcome Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 53
    • this undemocratic grip on democracy, New Zealanders will have to struggle for change throughsocial movements and a political party which represents true progression of New Zealandsdemocracy. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 54
    • AppendixFDA global audit results as of August 5, 2011: FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Results Laws and regulations on the equality of political content of the media and broadcasters before, during, and after an election <-- failing range | passing range --> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Russia Venezuela France Lebanon Azerbaijan Denmark Finland Sweden United States Canada Argentina Tunisia New Zealand Yemen Bahrain Camerron Egypt Iran Libya Mexico Saudi Arabia Syria Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 55
    • FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Results Laws and regulations on the equality of candidate and political party influence before, during, and after an election <-- failing range | passing range --> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% France Venezuela New Zealand Finland Lebanon Sweden United States Azerbaijan Argentina Denmark Russia Canada Mexico Bahrian Cameroon Egypt Iran Libya Saudi Arabia Syria Tunisia YemenFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 56
    • FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Results Laws and regulations on the equality of electoral (campaign) finance <-- failing range | passing range --> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% France Venezuela New Zealand Finland Argentina Denmark Lebanon Sweden Tunisia Azerbaijan Cameroon Canada Mexico United States Bahrain Egypt Iran Libya Russia Saudi Arabia Syria YemenFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 57
    • FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Results Laws and regulations on the equality of voter influence before, during, and after an election <-- failing range | passing range --> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% France Venezuela Argentina Mexico Canada Denmark Finland New Zealand United States Sweden Lebanon Russia Azerbaijan Bahrain Cameroon Egypt Iran Libya Saudi Arabia Syria Tunisia YemenFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 58
    • FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Results Overall Electoral Fairness Audit Scores <--failing range|passing range --> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% France Venezuela New Zealand Finland Lebanon Denmark Russia Sweden Argentina United States Canada Azerbaijan Mexico Tunisia Cameroon Yemen Bahrain Egypt Iran Libya Saudi Arabia SyriaFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 59