Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Back in September the government appointed an expert panel to conduct a review of electoral administration and political party funding. The panel has now called for submissions on the first stage, the review of electoral administration.

Currently, four bodies have a role in overseeing elections: the Representation Commission, which sets electoral boundaries; the Electoral Enrolment Centre, which maintains the electoral roll; the Electoral Commission, which regulates political parties and election funding, and conducts education campaigns to encourage people to vote; and the Chief Electoral Office, which actually runs the elections. The expert panel is basically asking the question of whether this is the best structure, or whether it should be changed. It is also asking whether the current system of getting the police (who are not the sharpest tools in the shed, and have some very fixed ideas about what is a "real" crime and what is a waste of their time) to handle breaches of electoral law is a good idea, or whether investigation and prosecution should be shifted to another body. It's a fairly technical discussion, but one which could have a major impact on how our elections are run and how much our parties can get away with.

If you'd like to have your say on this, you can download the discussion document and list of questions here [DOC]. You can submit online or by email, or by snailmail to

PO Box 5719
Lambton Quay
Submissions are due by Wednesday, 17 December.

The discussion document lists several previous reviews which have touched on the topic. Here's some links in case anyone wants to do some homework:

Plenty of reading there, and some of it might be useful for any debate on the Maori seats as well.