Below are some frequently asked questions on the Election Access Fund. If you have further questions on the Fund or the application process, please contact us on email@example.com or on 0800 36 76 56.
The Election Access Fund will be open to applications for party selection activities from 15 months after the return of the writ for the previous general election, and until nomination day. General election funding will be available to applicants for the last 12 months of a parliamentary term, and only until they are no longer a prospective candidate.
For by-elections, the Fund will be available for both selection and election activity from the date of the notice of vacancy. Selection funding will end at nomination day, which is usually about a month after the vacancy and about a month before election day. Prospective candidates could prepare applications in advance, but the Commission will not approve these until it is certain a by-election will be held.
Yes, we want it to be as easy as possible. You can have someone help you fill in your form, or you can meet with us and we will help you, or you can meet with us and bring someone along with you.
Please tell us what assistance you need and we may be able to help. For example, if you need a NZ Sign Language interpreter to assist you at your meeting with us, we can arrange and pay for that.
Once your application is complete it gets discussed by the panel and then the Electoral Commission makes a decision. This should take no more than 2-3 weeks.
Once your funding agreement is signed, we suggest you start booking in the equipment and/or support you are funded for. It will be up to you to find the equipment and services yourself.
You do not need to have a formal diagnosis. When you apply you will need to sign a legal declaration saying you meet the criteria for funding – including that you have a disability.
People’s costs will be different depending on their needs, the type of activities they are doing and things like how much travel they will be doing. We will take this into account. When you apply, you can list all the things you think you will need.
We expect there to be a higher need for transport support costs in large and rural areas. When you are filling in your form, we suggest you think of everything you might need disability support for, including travel. This might include transport for people who are assisting you, to get to venues and home again. It might also include getting equipment from outside your area sent to you. The Fund can cover transport support costs like these.
There is a limit of $50,000 total funding for a person, per election or by-election. For very high-cost applications we may ask for extra supporting information.
No, the Election Access Fund is only available for use in New Zealand parliamentary elections.
Yes. When you are filling in your form try to think of everything you might need support for. Remember you can contact us to ask questions and we can meet with you. There will be flexibility in the amounts available to you. If your support needs turn out to be lower than what you applied for you will return any unspent funds. If you need more than what you applied for, you can apply for additional funds.
You will need to contact suppliers to get equipment or services yourself. The Fund only covers the costs of the equipment or services. We have a database of services and equipment providers we can share with you, but it will be up to you to choose. You may also choose providers that are not on our list.
Yes, if this is who you prefer. The rate per hour will need to be reasonable, and we have guidance on this. Your assistant will need to keep good records of their service.
Get in touch with us as soon as possible if you think you will need additional support. Depending on what it is, we may be able to adjust your agreement, or we may need to take it back to the panel to discuss.
There will be some flexibility in your agreement so that things that come up can be paid for out of your grant money even if you didn’t know about it when you applied. If your funding is getting low and you know some things are coming up, contact us so that extra funding can be considered.
You will need to gather information on what needs to be done and likely cost, then contact us as soon as you can so we can help with costs.
You will need to check before events what assistance is available. If you need to cancel a booking you have made, you might still have to pay. This will come from your funding so it is best you know ahead of time.
We will not pay for someone to do this for you, but we can pay for help if you need it due to your disability, for example if you need a reader or writer. Please contact us if you think you need this.
You don’t repay any money already spent, as long as the funding was used for what was agreed. You will need to pay back any money you have not spent.
There is no limit on how often you can access the Fund. You will need to apply again for each election or by-election. Please note that the way the Fund runs may change over time. The information we need and the application process may be different if you apply again.
No, the fund covers access needs before an election. If you become a member of Parliament, a relationship manager from Parliamentary Service will be in contact with you just after the General Election. You will be able to discuss your access needs at this time to ensure you have the support you need.
No. You don’t have to file a public return. You do have to show us how you spent the money in your reports, but we won’t publish it.
You should only use the equipment and services for selection or campaigning as per your agreement with us. It is really important that funding for an access need is not instead spent on something that gives an unfair political advantage. Your agreement will say if you can keep equipment after election day or if you must return it to us.
Yes. You will need to explain your situation and we may ask for more supporting information.