Parliamentary Inquiry into last election says cheat away, basically

After every election there is a parliamentary inquiry into the last election. They make recommendations and almost always do nothing. This cycle the inquiry has made a few recommendations but not any really important ones.

Arts, lifestyle and travel blogger, David Farrar, is scathing…or as scathing as he ever gets.

Overall it is barely tepid with no significant changes recommended despite massive problems in the area of enforcement (The Police simply don’t enforce electoral laws, and no one else is able to).

Here’s their major recommendations:

  • Having more advance voting places available over 12 days
  • Enabling voters of Maori descent to change between general and maori rolls every three years instead of every five as present. This is a bad recommendation as boundaries are done every five years and running the Maori option out of sync with the boundaries review means you may get some gerrymandered seats with very low or very high electoral populations. If however they also review boundaries every three years, then it is okay.
  • Considering providing clarification or exemptions to the restrictions on broadcasting election programmes to address satirical, humorous, and creative programmes. (this is good)
  • Prohibiting campaigning and the display of campaign material within, and in the immediate vicinity of, advance voting places. (this is good)  

Overall it is more about what they didn’t recommend, such as finally sacking the Police as the electoral law enforcement agency after their incompetence or unwillingness to enforce electoral law in the 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014 elections.

I agree with David on the lack of results over complaints handed over to Police from the Electoral Commission. So far not a single person has ever been charged, despite electoral law breaches. By failing to address these issues Parliament has effectively said to all candidates that they shouldn’t worry about following electoral law, there will be no penalty and no sanction, and the Police won’t even investigate…fill yer boots, cheat away.

If laws aren’t enforced then why have them? Or does someone have to be utterly blatant in their offending for action to be taken?

It is little wonder that electoral violence and vandalism is increasing with each election, especially when cheating and dodgy candidates don’t even get prosecuted.


– Parliament, Kiwiblog


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  • shykiwibloke

    Laws are made for normal people to observe following outcry from those that are believe they are above the law. Lawmakers have demonstrated they are also immune. In rare cases when caught breaking a law – urgent legislation has backdated a suitable change. So if I was the Police – why would I bother wasting time on it?

  • Nige.

    The next election is going to be wicked. Bad wicked. Each John key election has had the frothers getting more and more out of control. It wouldn’t be unreasonable for the precedent to be set for new protection laws around the the prime minister at election time.

    Question is though: “how far are the police prepared to let this stuff go?”

    We have seen people doing their police work for them by identifying those defacing hoardings through social media and still no prosecution.

  • johnandali

    I wonder what morale is like in the Police force at the moment? After all, anybody they prosecute gets virtually no punishment, and they walk away with a smirk on their faces, and they’re on the streets again the next day. So with that support from the judiciary, who would be a cop?

    • MarcWills

      Correct. The two 19 & 18 yo men charged with aggravated robbery (and other offences) in Dargaville this week were REMANDED on BAIL after their court appearance yesterday. In what is a fairly open and shut case, these two are free to terrorise other tourists until their next date with a crim-hugging judge next month.

  • cows4me

    It’s claimed for evil to triumph all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing. Seems those in control are happy to do nothing and i wonder at what stage they will do something. When they do you can be assured that it will be way to little way to late. One would have to believe that a strong and corruption free democracy would be one of the most important law and order issues facing any government claiming to represent a free society. They may chose to do nothing but at least in this issue they will be the first to suffer it’s effects.

  • earthyundertones

    One issue I have is with the grey area around satire, commentary etc. I have no problem with true satire but there are instances from the last election that appeared to be orchestrated by the party underground. Good ol boys having a poke at Key with a video and catchy song, or a well timed book, can look innocent. But if there is a connection to a political party or party members then it becomes part of an organised attempt to destabilise a govt or election rather than independent satire.

  • FornaK

    Why can’t, or haven’t the Police charged, or even investigated these matters.
    What has been their “official line?”

  • WaveAtTheBridge

    I think the police are running scared. Let’s face it the chances of any successful convictions are very low regardless of how strong the evidence might be. Also as soon the police were to show any interest they would be crucified by the left and their chorus line in the Media Party.

    If, heaven forbid, a three headed monster led by the Labour Party were to emerge victorious at the next election, then I’m sure the election laws and the police themselves would face serious examination of their “bias” against the saintly Left.

  • duve

    There is very little enforcement of any laws in New Zealand – drug laws, public order, truancy, dog laws, you name it. So why should we expect electoral law to be treated any differently? We all know that the most heinous crime in this country is to drive more than 10kph over the speed limit (or 4kph on holiday weekends).