About the broadcasting allocation

Each election year, Parliament appropriates an amount of money to enable political parties to fund their broadcasting of election programmes and election advertising for the election. The Electoral Commission is responsible for allocating that money to eligible parties.

The process for determining the broadcasting allocation is set out in the Part 6 of the Broadcasting Act 1989.

A party is only eligible to receive an allocation if the party:

a) has provided notice to the Commission by the date required that the party considers it will be qualified for an allocation

b) is registered on the Register of Political Parties at the time of the dissolution or expiry of Parliament.

The Electoral Commission must allocate the money appropriated by Parliament to eligible parties in accordance with the statutory criteria, which are:

a) the number of persons who voted at the preceding general election for a party and its candidates, and

b) the number of persons who voted at any by-election held since the preceding general election for any candidate for the party, and

c) the number of members of Parliament who were members of that party immediately before the expiration or dissolution of Parliament, and

d) any relationships that exist between a party and any other party, and

e) any other indications of public support for a party such as the results of opinion polls and the number of persons who are members of the party, and

f) the need to provide a fair opportunity for each registered political party to convey its policies to the public by the broadcasting of election programmes on television

How parties can use the allocation

The Broadcasting Act sets out how eligible parties may use their allocation to buy advertising time on TV and radio, buy advertising on the internet, and pay for the production costs of TV, radio and internet advertising.

Placement on TV and radio

Eligible parties may use their allocation to buy advertising time on TV and radio. Parties can only advertise on TV and radio during the election period and are prohibited from TV and radio advertising at any other time. The Act prohibits parties from using their own money to buy time to broadcast TV and radio advertising.

Placement on internet

The allocation may be used to place or promote advertising on the internet so long as it is published during the election period. Parties can spend their own funds for placement costs before and during the election period.

Production costs

Parties may use the allocation to pay for all or part of the production costs of TV and radio programmes. The allocation may also be used for all or part of the production costs of internet advertising that is published during the election period, or both before and during the election period. A party can also use its own funds (within their election expenditure limit) on production costs for all advertising.

2020 Broadcasting Allocation

The following table sets out the allocation of money to eligible political parties for the broadcasting of election programmes and election advertising for the 2020 General Election.

The amount of money appropriated by Parliament for the broadcasting allocation for the 2020 General Election is $3,605,000 plus GST ($4,145, 750 incl GST).

TOTAL allocated $4,145,741 $4,145,750
TOTAL available $4,145,750 $4,145,750
Political Party Original Allocation (inclusive of GST) Varied Allocation (inclusive of GST)
Parties eligible for share of broadcasting allocation
The New Zealand National Party $1,285,182 $1,335,255
New Zealand Labour Party $1,202,267 $1,249,111
The Greens, The Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand $310,931 $323,046
New Zealand First Party $310,931 $323,046
ACT New Zealand $145,101 $150,755
Māori Party $145,101 $150,755
The Opportunities Party (TOP) $145,101 $150,755
Advance New Zealand Party $62,186 $64,609
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party $62,186 $64,609
New Conservative $62,186 $64,609
New Zealand Democratic Party for Social Credit $51,821 $53,840
NZ Outdoors Party $51,821 $53,840
Sustainable New Zealand Party $51,821 $53,840
Vision New Zealand $51,821 $53,840
ONE Party $41,457 $53,840
Parties not eligible for allocation
Direct Democracy New Zealand $41,457  
Future Party $41,457  
Internet Party $41,457  
Oytcho-Visha $41,457  

To be eligible for an allocation, parties must:

  • have given notice to the Commission by 28 February 2020
  • must be registered by the date of dissolution of Parliament on 6 September.
  • must submit a party list by noon on 17 September.

Parties that do not fulfil all these requirements are not eligible to receive an allocation.

The Commission may vary the allocation under certain circumstances provided for in the Broadcasting Act 1989, including, for example, if a party fails to register by 6 September 2020.

Download the Commission’s full written decision (PDF, 162KB)
Download the variation to the decision (PDF, 120KB)

Previous broadcasting allocation decisions

The broadcasting allocation decisions for previous elections can be downloaded below:

2017

Broadcasting Allocation Decision 26 May 2017 (PDF, 1.1MB)
Broadcasting Allocation Variation 23 August 2017 (PDF, 3.5MB)

2014

Broadcasting Allocation Decision 6 June 2014 (PDF, 416KB)
Broadcasting Allocation Variation 20 August 2014 (PDF, 354KB)
Broadcasting Allocation Variation 29 August 2014 (PDF, 415KB)

2011

Broadcasting Allocation Decision 31 May 2011 (PDF, 3.6MB)
Broadcasting Allocation Variation 18 October 2011 (PDF, 912KB)
Broadcasting Allocation Variation 4 November 2011 (PDF, 1MB)

Back to top