Third Party handbook for the 2020 General Election

Intro

You’re a third party promoter if you’re not a candidate or party, but you put out advertising that could be seen as encouraging or persuading voters to vote or not vote for:

  • a candidate
  • a party
  • a type of candidate or party by referencing views they do or don’t hold
  • an option in a referendum.

You can be registered or unregistered, depending on how much money you spend on election or referendum advertising published during the regulated period (18 August to 16 October).

You don’t need to register if you spend $13,600 or less

You can be an unregistered promoter if you spend no more than $13,600 (including GST) on either election advertising or referendum advertising for each referendum published during the regulated period.

You must register if you spend, or intend to spend more than $13,600

You must register with us as a third party promoter if you spend, or intend to spend, over $13,600 (including GST) on election or referendum advertising for each referendum during the regulated period.

You must register separately for the general election and each referendum

There are separate registers and expense limits for the general election, the Cannabis referendum and the End of Life Choice referendum. You can register for one or more of these.

Candidates and registered parties can’t be third party promoters for the general election, but can register for the referendum

You can’t be a third party promoter for the general election if you’re any of the following:

  • an electorate candidate
  • a list candidate
  • a registered party
  • a person involved in running:
    • an electorate candidate’s affairs for their election campaign
    • a registered party’s affairs

People involved in a candidate or party’s affairs act under the authority of that candidate or party

If you’re involved in running the affairs of an electorate candidate or registered party, you can only publish or distribute election advertising under the authority of that candidate or party. The candidate or party is the promoter of that advertisement.Whether you’re involved in a candidate or party’s affairs is a question of fact. You must work it out based on the nature of your involvement in the candidate’s campaign or party’s affairs.

If you’re an ‘overseas person’, you can only be an unregistered promoter

You’re an ‘overseas person’ if you’re any of the following:

  • a person who lives outside New Zealand and isn’t a New Zealand citizen or a registered elector
  • a body corporate that’s incorporated outside New Zealand
  • an unincorporated body that has its head office or main place of business outside New Zealand.

If you’re an overseas person, you can’t become a registered promoter and you can only spend up to $13,600 (including GST) on election advertising and referendum advertising during the regulated period. 

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