1996 General Election Notices are Sought From Political Parties Seeking Qualification for Allocations of Broadcasting Time and Money Appropriated by Parliament for the Purpose of Broadcasting Election Programmes The Broadcasting Act 1989 (`the Act'), describes the responsibilities of the Electoral Commission (`the Commission') to allocate to political parties which qualify under section 75 of the Act, time and money for political party election programmes. Time may be made available free or at discounted rates by broadcasters, at the invitation of the Commission. The Act provides for the appropriation of money by Parliament for the purpose of enabling political parties which qualify to meet all or part of the costs of broadcasting election programmes during the election period. Section 70a (1) of the Act requires the Commission to specify, by notice in the Gazette, a date by which any political party that considers that it will qualify for an allocation of time under section 73 of the Act or of money under section 74a of the Act in respect of the election period that will apply for the general election to be held this year, must notify the Commission in writing that it considers itself to be so qualified. The Commission specifies 22 July 1996 as that date. Section 70a (3) requires each political party that considers that it will qualify for an allocation of time under section 73 of the Act or of money under section 74a of the Act to notify the Commission in writing by that date. Section 76 (3) of the Act provides, among other things, that the failure of any political party to give such notice or to comply with any other request of the Commission shall not prevent the Commission from making any allocation of time or money or making any determination and shall not affect the validity of such allocations or determinations. Under section 70c of the Act, every notice given to the Authority by any party shall state, among other things `(a) The full name of the political party; and (aa) The name and address of the person providing the notice and the capacity in which he or she provides the notice; and (ab) Where the person providing the notice is not the Secretary of the political party, the name and address of the Secretary of the political party; and (b) Details of any relationships that may exist between that political party and any other political parties in New Zealand which the Electoral Commission may need to take into account in allocating time or money to political parties; and (c) Either (i) That the party is registered on the Register of Political Parties; or (ii) That the party is intending to apply for registration on the Register of Political Parties in order to be registered at least 3 months before the date in that year on which the Parliament is due to expire; or (d) Where the political party considers that it is eligible for an allocation of time and money under section 75 (1) (a) (ii) of this Act, (i) The full name of each person who has declared his or her intention of becoming a constituency candidate for that political party at the general election to be held that year; and (ii) the electoral district for which each person to whom subparagraph (i) of this paragraph applies intends to be a constituency candidate.' Section 75 (1) of the Act provides criteria with which the Commission is to comply when allocating time or money to a political party. In respect of the election to be held in 1996, the criteria under section 75 (1) (a) have been amended by section 23b (3) of the Broadcasting Amendment Act 1996 so that the Commission shall not allocate any time to a political party under section 73 of the Act or make under section 74a of the Act an allocation of money to any political party unless [rt] (i) That party was registered on the Register of Political Parties on the 5th working day after the date of commencement of the Broadcasting Amendment Act 1996; or (ii) Persons belonging to that party or group of related political parties were, on the 5th working day after the date of commencement of the Broadcasting Amendment Act 1996, deemed, by section 70d of this Act, to be constituency candidates at that general election for at least 5 seats in the House of Representatives. The Broadcasting Amendment Act 1996 commenced on 1 July 1996. Section 70d of the Act provides that where a political party states in its notice to the Commission pursuant to section 70c (d) of the Act that a person has declared his or her intention of becoming a constituency candidate at an election, that person shall, until noon on nomination day for that election, be deemed, for the purposes of section 75 (1) (a) (ii) of the Act, to be a candidate at that election, whether that person is nominated or not. Any political party which wishes to give notice to the Commission should provide 10 copies, addressed to Dr Paul Harris, Chief Executive, Electoral Commission, P.O. Box 3050, Wellington. The Commission is located at Level 6, Greenock House, 39 The Terrace, Wellington. Telephone: (04) 474 0670. Facsimile: (04) 474 0674. As amended by the Broadcasting Amendment Act 1996. The `election period' begins with writ day, and ends with the close of the day preceding polling day (section 69 of the Act). See also section 75 (1) below, concerning provisions in force for the 1996 general election. Explanatory Note This note is not part of the notice but is intended to indicate its purpose. The Broadcasting Standards Authority published a notice in the Gazette on 21 March 1996 pursuant to legislation in effect at that time. That notice invited political parties to give notice to the Authority that they considered they qualified (under different criteria) for allocations of time and money for election programmes. The Broadcasting Amendment Act 1996 provides in section 23b that any notice given by the Broadcasting Standards Authority after the 1st day of March 1996 and before the date of commencement of that Act, being a notice published in the Gazette under section 70a of the principal Act, shall on the date of commencement of the Broadcasting Amendment Act 1996 cease to be of any legal effect. The responsibility for the administration of the allocation of time and money to political parties for the broadcasting of election programmes has now passed to the Electoral Commission.