Coalition Government to ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates

The Coalition Government will be banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, ahead of next year’s general elections.

Legislation will be introduced to Parliament and passed under urgency – emphasising the need for such restrictions to safeguard our democracy.

The bill introduces a new requirement that party secretaries and candidates must take reasonable steps to ensure that a donation, or a contribution to a donation over a $50 threshold, is not from an overseas person.

That threshold is to ensure that small-scale fundraising activities such as bucket donations and whip-rounds won't be affected - but big donations will.

There will also be a requirement to include name and address details on election advertisements to apply to election advertisements in all mediums.

The bill also requires party secretaries to reside in New Zealand.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said the risk of foreign interference in elections was a growing international phenomenon and could take many forms, including donations.

New Zealand was not immune from this risk.

The integrity of our country's elections had to be protected, and these electoral donation changes the Coalition Government wants to introduce would reduce the risk of foreign money influencing election outcomes.

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