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Commission to hear parties on broadcasting time and funding

Apr 24, 2008 | News

The Electoral Commission's allocation of funds and time for broadcast election advertising by parties takes significant steps next week with the hearing and consideration of parties' submissions on the process.

The commission will be making an allocation of $3.212m (incl GST) which parties can use on radio and television advertising, along with 72 minutes for opening addresses and 30 minutes for closing addresses broadcast on Television New Zealand (ONE) and Radio New Zealand(National).  The total funds and time available for allocation are the same as in 2005. 

Parties cannot use their own funds to buy broadcast advertising time, although electorate candidates may do so within their $20,000 expense limit.  Broadcast advertising by parties and candidates may only run from writ day (about five weeks before election day) until midnight election eve.

19 parties claim allocation

Nineteen parties gave the required notice to the commission claiming eligibility.  These parties were: 

  • eight parliamentary parties (all except The Kiwi Party and New Zealand Pacific Party)
  • five registered non-parliamentary parties (Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, Democrats for Social Credit, Family Party, Libertarianz, The Alliance)
  • six unregistered parties (Kotahitanga Te Manamotu Kake Tiriti o Waitangi, New World Order, New Zealand Liberals, RAM - Residents Action Movement, South Island Party, Workers Party of New Zealand).

The Broadcasting Act specifies the criteria which the commission must consider when making its allocation, and it also requires the commission to invite submissions from parties on how it should apply the criteria to its decisionmaking.  Making a submission is optional. 

Hearing of submissions

The commission will meet on Monday and Tuesday, 28 and 29 April 2008 to consider 16 written submissions received, hear oral submissions from 12 parties, and to determine an initial allocation. 

The hearing of oral submissions is open to the media and public.  The venue is the Taupo Room, Level 3, Ministry of Social Development, Bowen State Building, Bowen Street, Wellington.  Each party has up to half an hour to make its submission and to respond to questions from commissioners.  

Mon 28 Apr '08

10.00 New Zealand Liberals (by phone)
10.30 Libertarianz
11.00 Workers Party of New Zealand (by phone)
12.30 Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (by phone)

Tue 29 Apr '08

09.00 Māori Party
09.30 The Greens
10.00 New Zealand First
11.00 Jim Anderton's Progressive Party
11.30 ACT New Zealand
12.00 United Future New Zealand
01.30 The New Zealand National Party
02.00 New Zealand Labour Party

Written submissions

Sixteen of the parties claiming eligibility made written submissions which are available as downloads, above right.

Initial allocation announced early June

The commission will make an initial allocation decision after considering the submissions received.  It must then consult with Television New Zealand and Radio New Zealand on the proposed allocation before confirming and releasing its initial decision.  This is expected in early June.

The allocation is finalised after election nominations close (shortly after writ day), as some parties may fail to register or nominate a party list.

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