NZ First Foundation loophole must be closed at select committee

The Government must use the opportunity of the Electoral Amendment Bill in Parliament to close the loophole in the political donations regime, the Green Party says. 

“We need to get big money out of politics, and the Government has the opportunity to do this with its own Electoral Amendment Bill, up for first reading today,” says Golriz Ghahraman, Green Party spokesperson for electoral reform. 

“The Bill being introduced today partially adopts my Bill’s provisions on limiting anonymous political donations, but protecting transparency requires us to close the loopholes highlighted by the New Zealand First Foundation court case before the next election.”

“The Government has said it will take a closer look at addressing the issues raised by the New Zealand First Foundation court case, but cast doubt on whether it will act before the 2023 election. 

“The Government has no excuses not to close this loophole quickly given electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler has written about the relatively easy fixes to solve this issue

“Waiting until after the next election is just a signal the Government is comfortable with big corporate interests influencing our democracy with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“We know big money has an impact on our democracy, as we have seen climate action impeded again and again by corporate interests around the globe.

“The Green Party will be pushing for changes during the select committee process of the Electoral Amendment Bill to close this loophole, and lower the threshold for donation declarations to $1,000. 

“This is in line with my Electoral (Strengthening Democracy) Amendment Bill, which would also put a top limit of $35,000 a year on political donations,” says Golriz Ghahraman. 

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