Third party promoters

This section explains who can be a third party promoter of election advertising at a parliamentary election.

Key messages

  • Anyone other than candidates or registered parties are third parties for the purposes of the election advertising rules.
  • There is a limit to how much unregistered promoters can spend on election advertising published during the regulated period.
  • Promoters who spend, or intend to spend over the limit for unregistered promoters on election advertising during the regulated period are required to register with the Electoral Commission.
  • There is a limit to how much registered promoters can spend during the regulated period.
  • The expense limits for unregistered and registered promoters change with each election. We will update this information with the latest limits on 1 July 2019

Who can promote election advertisements

A promoter is a person or group who initiates or instigates an election advertisement.

Only the following can promote an election advertisement:

  • a party secretary of a registered party
  • an electorate candidate
  • a registered promoter, or
  • an unregistered promoter.

Unregistered promoters

An individual or group may be an unregistered promoter for the purposes of a parliamentary election provided that they do not incur advertising expenses exceeding the limit for unregistered promoters in relation to election advertisements published during the regulated period.

Find out more about what election advertisements and the regulated period are

There is no requirement for an unregistered promoter to disclose how much has been spent on election advertising. However, unregistered promoters are required to keep records of the costs incurred in relation to election advertisements published during the regulated period for verification purposes for three years after election day.

The following cannot be an unregistered promoter:

  • an electorate candidate
  • a list candidate
  • a registered party
  • a person involved in the administration of:
    • the affairs of an electorate candidate in relation to the candidate’s election campaign, or
    • the affairs of a registered party.

Electorate candidate

An electorate candidate includes any person who has made their intention to stand as a candidate at a parliamentary election publicly known i.e. notifying their intention to the press or at a public meeting, or who has been nominated to stand as an electorate candidate and has not withdrawn their nomination.

Electorate candidates are not covered by the rules for third party promoters as there are separate rules for electorate candidates and election advertising in the Electoral Act.

List candidate

A list candidate means any person whose name is specified in a party list submitted to the Electoral Commission in accordance with section 127 of the Electoral Act 1993. As a list candidate is standing on behalf of a party and parties are subject to separate rules, list candidates are not covered by the third party promoter rules.

Party

Party means, for the purposes of the election advertising rules, a political party registered by the Electoral Commission in accordance with Part 4 of the Electoral Act. There are separate rules for registered parties regarding election advertising in the Electoral Act.

Unregistered political parties that promote election advertisements will be third party promoters for the purposes of the Electoral Act.

Person involved in the administration of the candidate or party’s affairs

Election advertisements published or distributed by a person involved in the administration of an electorate candidate or registered party’s affairs must act under the authority of the candidate or the party secretary who is the promoter of the advertisement.

Whether a person is involved in the affairs of a party or candidate is a question of fact, to be determined based on the nature of the person’s involvement in a party’s affairs or candidate’s campaign.

Registered promoters

Any individual or group who is a third party promoter who spends, or intends to spend, over the limit for unregistered promoters on election advertising during the regulated period must register with the Electoral Commission.

There is a limit to how much registered promoters can spend during the regulated period. The limit for registered promoters is currently $330,000 (including GST).

The list of who cannot be a registered promoter is the same as that provided for unregistered promoters with the inclusion of an overseas person.

Overseas person

An overseas person means:

  • an individual who resides outside of New Zealand and is not a New Zealand citizen or registered elector
  • a body corporate incorporated outside of New Zealand, or
  • an unincorporated body that has its head office or principal place of business outside of New Zealand.

Since an overseas person cannot be a registered promoter for the purposes of election advertising, an overseas person may only spend up to the limit for unregistered promoters on election advertising during the regulated period.