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Electoral Bill passes third reading – political donations and overseas voting rules to change

Electoral Amendment Bill news

The Electoral Amendment Bill is designed to increase transparency around political donations, loans, and the financial statements of registered political parties, says Minister of Justice Kiri Allan.

The Bill requires disclosure of:

  • donor identities for any party donations over $5,000;
  • the number and total value of party donations under $1,500, where the party knows
  • the donor’s identity;
  • the proportion of total party donations that are in-kind (non-monetary) donations (such as fundraising dinners and auctions); and
    loans to candidates from unregistered lenders.

The Bill will also amend the voting rules for New Zealand citizens and residents living overseas. Previously citizens overseas must have been in New Zealand within the last 3 years to be eligible to vote, and for residents the period was 12 months. These periods will be extended to 6 and 4 years respectively. This is earmarked as a temporary measure for the 2023 General Election only, but an independent review of electoral law will consider making the eligibility changes permanent in a report due by the end of 2023.

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