6 Oct 2008

Commission criticised for stand on electoral act advice

2:07 pm on 6 October 2008

The Electoral Commission is refusing to advise organisations on whether their advertising breaches the Electoral Finance Act, says Healthcare Providers New Zealand.

The health group asked the commission to determine whether its billboards and newspaper advertisements constitute election advertising under the law.

The commission responding by saying it did not have the power to approve advertising material.

Healthcare Providers New Zealand chief executive Martin Taylor says the commission recommended his group get legal advice, but lawyers he spoke to said they did not understand the Electoral Finance Act either.

Mr Taylor says non-governmental organisations are scared they will be prosecuted, but no one will clarify the law for them.