31 May 2013

United Future's party registration cancelled

9:35 pm on 31 May 2013

The Electoral Commission has cancelled the registration of political party United Future.

The party says it believes it does have the 500 paid-up party members required and there are inconsistencies in its records about current addresses and the financial status of those records.

Peter Dunne.

Peter Dunne. Photo: UNITED FUTURE

Party president Robin Gunston said on Friday that United Future is about a 100 paid-up members short at present and it could take about two months to rectify the situation. He said the party asked the commission to temporarily cancel its registration until it confirms numbers.

"We couldn't validate that we had 500 paid-up members with all of their data - names, addresses everything else that's required to document being complete.

"So we decided at that stage that the right thing to do under the Electoral Act was to apply for a voluntary de-registration."

The cancelled registration does not have any bearing on the ability of the party's only representative in Parliament, Peter Dunne, to continue to serve as an electorate MP or as a minister of the Crown.

However, United Future will need to be re-registered before the 2014 election to be able to campaign for the party vote and to be eligible for the broadcasting allocation.

Mr Gunston says Mr Dunne is not happy that the party has had to de-register, but has been kept in the loop throughout the whole process.

"He's very unhappy that we have not got those renewals done in time, and that's something our board's been discussing for the past couple of months.

"As a board we have to act with integrity and to make sure that things are legal, so that's the stance we've taken."

Mr Gunston said phone and email campaigns are underway to get members to sign up and acknowledged that the situation is embarrassing for the party.