The Green Party has welcomed today’s First Reading of the Electoral Amendment Bill, which will strengthen participatory democracy in New Zealand.
The Green Party will be working to strengthen the Bill as it proceeds through the House.
“Changes outlined in the bill are very welcome, particularly the addition of Election Day enrolment and increasing the number of places where New Zealanders can cast their vote. We know this will reduce barriers to people who are more likely to change addresses, like students, renters, or those without a fixed home”, Green Party Electoral Reform spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman said today.
“We are rightly proud of New Zealand’s open democratic system. With further reform, this system could be even more transparent and easier to access for all New Zealanders.
The Green Party will work to strengthen the legislation at committee stages. We will seek to ensure:
- More transparency and limits applied to money donated to our politicians and parties
- Voters of Māori descent are able to change roll type at any time
- The overturning the prisoner voting ban, giving all people the right to vote
- The implementation of the Electoral Commission’s 2012 MMP Review recommendations for the 2023 General Election.
“Together, these wider electoral reforms will strengthen our democracy.
“Changes to how political parties accept donations would help stop corruption. We should not be seeing political donations from overseas and we need to reduce the anonymity threshold so that we can see who is donating to political parties.
“Māori should be able to choose which roll they are on at any time. Currently Māori can only change roll during the Māori Electoral Option, which is a short window of time once every 5 years. This restriction is unnecessary and removing it will help Māori participation in our democracy.
“Currently we exclude people in prison from voting, this is alienating and only makes rehabilitation harder. Voting during elections would engage them in society and mean they are exercising a fundamental human right – the right to cast a vote.
“These are all changes that will only seek to enhance and improve our democratic system. New Zealanders understand that everyone should be able to exercise their right to vote and that corruption should be prevented whenever possible.
“We will be seeking to insert these four key changes into the legislation so the Bill is providing the strongest possible outcomes for our democracy”.