Notices are sought from political parties which consider themselves qualified for an allocation of broadcasting time or for an allocation of money appropriated by Parliament for the purpose of broadcasting election programmes at the 2002 General Election.
The Broadcasting Act 1989 ("the Act") describes the responsibilities of the Electoral Commission ("the commission") to allocate time and money to eligible political parties to enable them to broadcast election programmes during an election period.
The "election period" at an election is defined in section
69 of the Act as the period beginning with writ day and ending with the close of the day preceding polling day.
The commission allocates to eligible political parties the time that may be made available by broadcasters free or at discounted rates, in response to an invitation issued by the commission.
The money allocated to such parties is appropriated by Parliament for the purpose of enabling those parties to meet all or part of the costs of broadcasting election programmes during the election period.
Section 75 of the Act sets out the criteria with which the commission is to comply when allocating time or money to a political party at a general election.
Subsection (1) (a) of that section provides 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:
(i) that party was registered on the Register of Political Parties at least 3 months before the dissolution of Parliament for that general election; or
(ii) persons belonging to that party or group of related political parties were, by section 70D of this Act, deemed, at least 3 months before the dissolution of Parliament for that general election, to be constituency candidates at that general election for at least 5 seats in the House of Representatives.
The date of the dissolution of Parliament for the general election will not be known until closer to the date of the general election.
Section 70D of the Act is as follows:
Where a political party states, pursuant to section 70C (g) of this 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 subsections (1) (a) (ii) and (1) (b) (ii) of section 75 of this Act, to be a candidate at that election, whether that person is nominated or not.
Parties to Give Notice of Eligibility
Section 70A (1) of the Act requires the commission to specify, by notice in the New Zealand 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 2002 general election, must notify the commission in writing that it considers itself to be so qualified.
The commission specifies Wednesday, 1 May 2002 as
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.
How Parties Give Notice
Section 70A (3) of the Act 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 that it considers itself to be so qualified.
The notice must be given to the commission not later than the date specified in this notice, i.e. 1 May 2002 (section 70B (1)).
A notice may be given by mail, courier, facsimile or email or it can be delivered by hand to the commission's office.
Contents of Notice
Under section 70C of the Act, every notice given to the commission must state, among other things:
(a) the full name of the political party; and
(b) the name and address of the person providing the notice and the capacity in which he or she provides the notice; and
(c) 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
(e) 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
(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
(g) 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.
The current Parliament is due to expire on 16 December 2002.
The commission recommends that any currently unregistered party which gives notice under section 70C (f) (ii) and which also considers that it is eligible for an allocation of time and money under section 75 (1) (a) (ii) of the Act, should provide the information required by section 70C (g) in case the party is not registered as required by section 75 (1) (a) (i) of the Act.
Where to Give Notice
The commission's postal address is P.O. Box 3050, Wellington.
The commission is located at Level Six, Greenock House, 39 The Terrace, Wellington. Telephone: (04) 474 0670. Facsimile: (04) 474 0674. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notices should be addressed to the Chief Executive of the Commission.
Dated at Wellington this 11th day of April 2002.
DR P. HARRIS, Chief Executive, Electoral Commission.