On 6 April, Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) provided a written response to the Justice Select Committee Inquiry into 2020 General Election.
TINZ noted that NZ’s legislative and regulatory response has been flexible and forward thinking around matters such as advance voting and late enrolment options. These enabled voter choice about where, when and how to vote. This could well have contributed to the very high voter turnout.
But at the same time COVID-19 made it difficult for New Zealand candidates and voters to have the level of mutual access, debate and challenge that is the norm in New Zealand elections.
TINZ’s response includes reference to the four recommendations from the TINZ research into online political campaigning in New Zealand during 2020.
- Require suppliers of advertisements to keep a detailed open register of published advertisements targeting New Zealanders
- Similarly require candidates, parties and promoters to provide details of their online advertising purchases
- Expand the enforcement capabilities of the Electoral Commission
- Increase the scope and capacity of the Advertising Standards Authority to address digital election complaints in a timely manner.
When TINZ provides an oral submission to the Select Committee, we will also raise the issue of the apparent inequity generated by the Māori Electoral Option, and how that will impact upon choices for the next election. It is unclear why there is such a sustained restriction on people’s choices. TINZ considers this needs closer review and a legislative response.
Refer to TINZ’s response to the Justice Select Committee Inquiry into the 2020 General Election for details.