Proposed reforms of election spending include removing spending campaign limits on parallel campaigning, but requiring those who spend more than $12,000 to register, Justice Minister Simon Power said today.
The Government today announced its replacement for Labour's Electoral Finance Act which National campaigned against, labelling it anti-democratic.
Justice Minister Simon Power said the decisions were the result of a thorough process.
"The package comes after extended consultation with all parliamentary parties and the public. As a result, Cabinet has decided to progress reforms only where there is broad public and political support. If we are to have a system which is fair, workable, enduring, and in place before the 2011 election, broad consensus is essential," Mr Power said.
The reform package includes proposals to:
* Require disclosure of the total amount of donations that parties receive in bands.
* Increase the amount of money that parties and candidates can spend on election campaigning at the rate of inflation for each general election.
* Require people who spend more than $12,000 on parallel campaigning to register with the Electoral Commission. The register will be publicly available to ensure openness and transparency concerning the identities of parallel campaigners.
* Maintain the regulated campaign period to be three months before polling day.
Mr Power said there would be no change to the broadcasting regime that has existed since 1990,
"Similarly, as was the case before the 2008 election, we will not impose expenditure limits on parallel campaigners. New Zealanders were strongly divided on these issues," Mr Power said.
"We will introduce legislation in the coming months implementing these decisions. We expect the new rules to be in place before the 2011 general election."