National MPs reject local election bills
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 4:25p.m.
Labour and the Greens have failed in their bids to introduce bills to tighten up the rules covering local government elections.
All the parties in Parliament agree the legislation needs an overhaul, and Prime Minister John Key has described it as "an ass".
It is loose law with obscure rules about donations which have been highlighted by the controversy over ACT leader John Banks' 2010 mayoral campaign returns.
Labour and the Greens have both drafted bills which are in the ballot box.
They won't get into Parliament unless they are drawn and the parties on Wednesday tried to circumvent that by seeking permission in the debating chamber for immediate first readings.
It's called seeking the leave of Parliament, which can be blocked by an objection from any MP.
There were numerous objections from National MPs and the bills are going to stay in the box.
Labour bill would bring local government electoral law into line with the legislation that covers general elections, which is much tighter on donations and transparency.
The Greens bill would limit the total amount candidates could receive through donations to $5000, and force candidates to identify the source of any donation over $500.
Mr Banks received $50,000 from piracy accused Kim Dotcom and $15,000 from Sky City, listing both as anonymous on his election return.
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