United Future: Electoral Commission changes rules over physical proof

By Kate Shuttleworth

Peter Dunne. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Peter Dunne. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The Electoral Commission has changed its rules meaning United Future will not have to provide original signed application forms to prove it has more than 500 members.

The commission decided it will now accept signed and dated forms submitted to the party electronically.

The party is in the process of collecting those forms and sending them to the commission.

United Future asked the commission to change its policy to accept evidence of membership based on an electronic spreadsheet of membership data, rather than membership applications signed by each member.

The commission cancelled the registration of United Future as a political party on May 31 after it notified the commission it did not have at least 500 current financial members who were eligible to enrol as voters.

On June 11, United Future submitted a new application for registration.

Chief electoral officer Robert Peden said the application was declined because it lacked the signed consent by the party's auditor and there was no evidence the party had the required membership.

The party sent in a spreadsheet of members' names and details on June 12, but it was not supported by any signed and dated evidence from its members.

Under the old rule the party needed to provide the commission signed and dated evidence from at least 500 current financial members.

This included the member's name and residential address, confirmation that the person is eligible to enrol as an elector, and amount of membership fee paid, authorisation for the party to record them as a financial member of the party and authorisation for the party to release their membership details to the commission for the purposes of the application to register the party.

- NZ Herald

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