Party registration handbook

On receipt of an application to register a party, the Electoral Commission will check the statutory requirements explained in Part 1 are met. This section provides an overview of the Commission’s processes once these statutory requirements have been satisfied.

Public consultation

The Commission will prepare notices to advertise the party name and any abbreviation (and party logo where a party wishes to register a logo at the same time). 

The purpose of the public consultation is to establish whether there is any reason to refuse the registration, under section 65 of the Electoral Act, because the name of the party, or any proposed abbreviation, is:

  • indecent or offensive
  • excessively long
  • likely to cause confusion or mislead electors, or
  • contains any reference to a title or honour or similar form of identification.

The Commission will give notice in the following ways:

  • email to the party secretaries of all registered parties
  • public notice in Christchurch Press, Dominion Post, NZ Herald, Otago Daily Times and Waikato Times
  • information posted on website and Twitter page

A period of two calendar weeks is provided for public comment from the date the public notice is published.

At the end of the consultation phase the Commission will write to the party to confirm whether any comments were received. Where comments are received the party will be provided with an extract of any comment.

To protect the privacy of natural persons, the name and contact details of any individual who has commented will not be disclosed.

The party will be provided with at least five working days to respond to any comments.

Determining the application

The Commission’s Board is responsible for determining the application to register a political party. Matters the Board will consider include:

  • the outcome of the membership checks and any comments from the party where membership checks indicate any non-eligible members
  • whether other registration requirements have been met, and
  • responses to the public consultation and any comment from the party (if any). 

An application will be considered as soon as practicable at the next scheduled Board meeting or by written resolution.

The applicant does not attend the Board meeting where the application is determined.

After the party registration decision

If the party registration is approved the Commission will:

  • update the Register of Political Parties, available at
  • notify the applicant in writing that the Commission has registered the party, and
  • publish notice of registration in the Gazette.

If the party registration application is refused the Commission will notify the party in writing and set out the reasons for the refusal. 

Notification will be given no later than ten working days after the date of the Board’s decision.

The Commission will also notify any submitters, who commented on the application as part of the public consultation exercise, of the decision.

Where the party’s membership and candidate selection rules have not been submitted prior to registration the rules must be supplied within one month of the date notice of registration is published in the Gazette. The rules will be published with the Register of Political Parties.

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