Taxpayer funding for National and Labour's election campaign broadcast advertising has been cut for this year's election but the Greens and NZ First will enjoy a substantial boost.
The Electoral Commission last night released its allocation of public funding for political parties' TV and radio advertising for the upcoming campaign and the allocation of time for each party in opening and closing addresses broadcast on TVNZ and Radio NZ.
National's funding was trimmed from $1.18 million in 2011 to $1.05 million this year. Labour's funding was cut from $1.18 million to $920,000.
The Greens, who received $307,000 in 2011, will receive $401,000 this year, while Winston Peters' NZ First gets $201,000 — double what it received in 2011.
The Maori Party's funding is slashed by $60,000 to $100,000 while Act suffers an even deeper cut, going from $163,000 to $77,000 — the same amount as new entrants the combined internet Mana party, Peter Dunne's United Future and former NZ First MP Brendan Horan's likely political vehicle, the NZ Independent Coalition.
Colin Craig's Conservative Party receives $60,000, up from $20,000 in 2011.
Among the minnows, satirist Ben Uffindel's Civilian Party gets $33,600.
The total being made available at $3.28 million is the same as 2011 but is being shared among 17 parties rather than 11 at the last election.
Criteria for allocating the funding include the number of voters for each party at the last general election and any subsequent by-election, each party's number of MPs, and any other indicators of public support including polls, membership and even "likes" on Facebook although the commission says it gives that little weight.
The funding covers party broadcast advertising but electorate candidates are free to use their own campaign and party funds to pay for their own broadcast advertising.
Meanwhile, National's share of the 60 minute opening and closing broadcasts on TVNZ and Radio NZ has been cut by 30 seconds to 15.5 minutes while Labour's has been cut by 2.5 minutes to 13.5 minutes.
Taxpayer funding for party political broadcasts during this year's election campaign:
• National: $1.05m
• Labour: $919,829
• Greens: $401,380
• NZ First: $200,690
• Maori Party: $100,345
• Act: $76,930
• Internet Mana: $76,930
• United Future: $76,930
• Conservative: $60,207