• Tony Ryall
Local Government

"The left are always looking for an excuse for why they can't get elected. In their minds, it's always a question of money and never anything to do with the fact that their policies put up taxes and rates and make them unelectable," Local Government Minister Tony Ryall said today.

Mr Ryall was responding to a statement from Labour MP Judith Tizard.

"The issue of limiting campaign spending in local body elections has already been considered and rejected by Parliament. On 30 July 1997, the House voted not to proceed with MP Richard Northey's Limits on Campaign Spending for Candidates in Local Elections Bill," Mr Ryall said.

"Nor did this Bill receive support from a majority of local authorities.

"The Bill was rejected for a number of reasons. Parliament found that the principle of limiting campaign expenses in Parliamentary elections, where candidates can stand in one electorate only, is unworkable in local body elections where candidates can run for a number of positions within a local authority.

"And unlike Parliamentary electorates, the wards and constituencies of local body elections vary greatly in size and population. No limit on expenses could apply equally to a candidate for Auckland city and a candidate in the Waimana ward, Whakatane district, which has 1000 residents."