Finally, a sensible election law change

Party political broadcasts are a thing of the past. We will no longer be able to enjoy ads like that above:

MPs voted last night to get rid of the wildly unpopular compulsory party television broadcasts at election time.

Parliament heard the final reading on the Broadcasting and Electoral Amendment Bills yesterday evening, voting 108-12 to axe the messages which air around four weeks out from the election on state-owned networks TVNZ and Radio New Zealand. ?

Justice Minister Amy Adams pointed out that the opening statements which aired on TVNZ before the 2014 General Election saw the channel’s viewing figures drop by 25 percent.

The Labour Party’s Chris Hipkins told the House the broadcasts were outdated, too long, and expensive to produce.

“The idea that we should lock that into law, and lock political parties into spending some of their broadcast allocation to do that simply doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Green MP Gareth Hughes used the debate to argue for a lowered voting age coupled with greater civics education at schools, so that young people could learn their democratic responsibilities at any early age, and therefore vote with their peers.

“All the data shows that if someone votes the first time, they’re subsequently much more likely to vote in succeeding elections,” he claimed.

The law change means political parties will be allowed to spend their campaign budgets on other platforms, including online.

No one watched them, they were mostly dreadful.

The only downside I can see is that no one will get to see how truly bad Labour’s ads will be with Andrew Little in them.


– NewstalkZB