There will be no spending limits on parallel campaigners under new election rules proposed by the Government, but those spending more than $12,000 will be required to register with the Electoral Commission.

In other proposed changes revealed by Justice Minister Simon Power today, parties will have to disclose the total amount of all donations they receive - a change from current laws which require them to disclose only individual donations of more than $10,000.

Mr Power released the changes the government proposes to have in place by the 2011 election today. Late last year the government repealed the controversial Electoral Finance Act, and reinstated the previous electoral laws as a holding pattern while it drew up new law. Only the new donations regime and higher penalties for electoral offences, such as fraud, were retained.

Under the changes, the traditional three month campaign period will also be reinstated after the Electoral Finance Act extended it to cover the entire year in an election year.

The new regime also allows for the spending cap on parties and candidates to increase by inflation each election. The current limits are $1 million for parties and $20,000 for each constituency a party contests. Candidates also have a $20,000 spending cap.

The new rules for 'third parties' were the most controversial of the Electoral Finance Act - and placed spending limits, donations disclosure rules and reporting requirements on people and groups mounting their own campaigns in an election year.

They were written in response to the expensive 2005 Exclusive Brethren campaign against rival parties to National using fake addresses.

Mr Power said requiring those spending more that $12,000 to register with the Electoral Commission would ensure there was transparency over their identity. It was the only area in which there was a clear consensus as there were strong differing opinions on spending limits.

Changes to the definition of election advertisement are also proposed to better align the Electoral Act definition and the definition used by Parliamentary Services. Parliamentary Services currently allows public money to be used for material issued by MPs for all but direct electioneering.

The Electoral Commission will also be required to give parties and candidates advice and an opinion on whether material they wish to use amounts to election advertising.

Its refusal to do so before the material was used was one of the main bones of contention for parties in the last election under the new, broader definition of election advertising.

The most vocal complainant was Progressives leader Jim Anderton whose advertisement on drug law changes was referred to police for a prima facie breach of the rules but later dismissed.

Mr Power said all parliamentary parties were consulted during the review of electoral laws and would be represented on a select committee set up to consider the legislation. He was hoping for as broad support as possible for the final legislation.