Proposed changes to political donation rules in our electoral law

Closes 25 Jan 2022

Opened 3 Dec 2021

Overview

The Ministry of Justice wants to hear your views about possible changes to the political donation rules in the Electoral Act 1993.

Consultation is open from Friday, 3 December 2021 to Tuesday, 25 January 2022.

Your feedback will help inform Government decisions on whether changes to this area should be made ahead of the next General Election in 2023.

What is happening?

The Minister of Justice has asked for advice on whether there are improvements that could be made to political donation settings before the 2023 General Election. Of particular interest are issues relating to openness and transparency of donations to parties and candidates under the current settings.

Electoral Act 1993

The Electoral Act 1993 includes rules that determine how political donations can be made, how much donors can contribute, and how these contributions are reported on once they are received.

You can find out more about the rules for political donations on the Electoral Commission website.

What changes are being proposed?

The proposed changes are in two broad categories:

Proposed changes to disclosure rules and thresholds:

  1. Lowering public disclosure threshold for donations to $1,500 for parties
  2. Increasing frequency of donation reporting
  3. Removing the requirement for parties to publicly disclose, within 10 days, the amount donated, and identity of the donor, in cases where the donor has donated over $30,000 within the previous 12 months
  4. Introducing requirements for parties and candidates to disclose more details about in-kind donations.

Proposed changes to reporting:

  1. Introducing reporting requirements for non-anonymous donations under $1,500
  2. Introducing a requirement on political parties to publicly disclose financial statements
  3. Introducing a requirement to publicly report on candidate loans.

We are also interested in your views on whether or not to introduce a ban on anonymous donations, which would potentially have impacts on transparency and also on compliance and reporting requirements. 

Overview of the changes

The changes being proposed are set out in this document:

Summary of proposed changes to political donations rules

This briefing includes information on the context and rationale for considering these particular changes.

Why your views matter

We would like to hear your views about some possible changes to the political donation rules in the Electoral Act.

In particular, we want to know if you think the changes being proposed would improve the transparency and openness of our political donations system.

You are welcome to answer any of the questions but don’t need to answer them all if you don’t want to.

What happens to your feedback?

Your feedback will provide different perspectives on the proposed changes and help inform our advice to the Government.

Your responses will be anonymised. No names of individuals will be identified.

If you have any concerns about potential illegal activity, please contact the Serious Fraud Office or New Zealand Police directly.

Start and close dates

Consultation is open from Friday, 3 December 2021 to Tuesday, 25 January 2022.

Feedback closes at 5pm on Tuesday, 25 January 2022.

Email

If you prefer to send a written submission, you can email us at electoral@justice.govt.nz.

If you have any questions, you can email us at electoral@justice.govt.nz

We may need to release your information under the Official Information Act 1982

We may need to release your feedback after an Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) request. We can withhold personal details under the OIA, including your name and address.

If you do not want us to release any information in your feedback, please state this clearly when you send it to us and explain why. For example, some information may be commercially sensitive or personal. We’ll take your views into account when we respond to OIA requests.

Any personal information you supply when making your submission will be used by us only in relation to the matters covered in this consultation.

Privacy – you can access and correct your personal information

The Privacy Act 2020 governs how we collect and use your personal information. You have the right to access and correct your personal information.

Here’s a link to the Ministry’s privacy policy: https://www.justice.govt.nz/about-this-site/privacy-statement/

Have your say

Audiences

  • All New Zealanders

Interests

  • Feedback