• Tony Ryall
Associate Minister of Justice

"The Electoral Act requires two representatives appointed by Parliament to sit on the Electoral Commission," Associate Minister of Justice Tony Ryall said today. "If these positions are not filled, then no legal mechanism exits to distribute public funds to political parties for broadcasting time at the next election."

Mr Ryall was responding to calls by the Alliance, NZ First and Act parties to scrap parliamentary representation on the Electoral Commission.

"Both the Electoral Commission and the Representation Commission have operated successfully and transparently in a multi-party political environment over the last four years. No-one has questioned the integrity of either commission."

"It's important to look to Parliament on this issue: successive select committees have firmly supported the appointment of two representatives to the Electoral Commission by Parliament."

Mr Ryall said the process of appointment provides for full opportunity to debate the two nominations in the House.

Under the Electoral Act 1993, the six-member Electoral Commission is responsible for allocating election broadcasting time and funds to political parties. On 31st August, Mr Ryall wrote to the leaders of Labour, NZ First, Act, the Alliance and United inviting them to consult one another and put forward a representative for consideration by the House.