The quick guide helps to answer the commonly asked questions about registering a party and logo. It is not a comprehensive explanation of electoral law on registering a party and logo. Readers should consult this booklet and electoral legislation and take their own legal advice when in doubt. The Electoral Commission is also happy to answer any questions.
Does the party need to be incorporated or have special status before we apply for registration?
No. It is up to each party to decide how the party is organised or structured.
Do I need to have a registered trademark over the logo?
No, the applicant must, however, make a statutory declaration that their use of the logo will not be an infringement of an intellectual property right of any person or a breach of any enactment.
What party officials do I need to have?
A party must, at the very least, have a party secretary in order to submit the application for registration. Other party officials you may wish to appoint include a treasurer (to take care of finances) and a membership secretary (to keep membership records).
How long will it take to process my party registration application?
Applications take approximately 8 weeks to process. However, where issues arise, it may take longer.
When should I apply before a general election?
Any party wanting to register in an election year should make their application with sufficient time for it to be processed before writ day and allowing at least 8 weeks for the Commission to process the application. It may take longer if issues arise with the application.
Is there a minimum fee I should charge members?
There is no minimum fee; it just has to be more than $0. However, when setting membership fees, parties should consider the cost of campaigning, ongoing administrative costs of running a party and the costs of submitting a party list and electorate candidates in a general election.
Can I include overseas members?
Yes, but you must be able to show that each overseas member remains eligible to vote by providing evidence that each overseas member has visited New Zealand in the last 12 months (for a permanent resident) or three years (for a New Zealand citizen).
How can I find an auditor?
You can contact Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand at www.charteredaccountantsanz.com
What is the application fee?
The application is $500 which can be paid by bank cheque or direct credit into the Electoral Commission's bank account.
Can the Commission tell us what an acceptable name is?
No. This is a decision for the Commission's Board following the public consultation process. However, Commission staff may be able to provide guidance on the acceptability of a party name based upon current registered party names and names that have been accepted or rejected previously.
Can I reserve a party name?
No. It is not possible to reserve a party name or abbreviation with the Commission before an application for registration is submitted.
Do we get any public funding?
The only public funding available for registered parties is from the broadcasting allocation which provides funding for advertising on television, radio and the internet for general elections. Further information can be found at elections.nz.
Can an unregistered party have its logo on the ballot paper?
No, but a candidate may have the name of an unregistered party on the ballot paper provided the Commission is satisfied the party exists, the candidate is eligible to stand on behalf of the party and the name of the party is not indecent, offensive, excessively long or likely to cause confusion.