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Minister Pleased With Progress On New Electoral Commission

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Simon Power
Simon Power

Justice Minister Simon Power today announced the Government will be supporting the Justice and Electoral select committee's changes to the Electoral (Administration) Amendment Bill.

The bill establishes a new Electoral Commission which will be given overarching responsibility for electoral administration.

"The select committee has made well-considered recommendations, many of which serve to emphasise the independent status of the new Electoral Commission," Mr Power said.

The Justice and Electoral Committee's recommended changes to the bill include:

The appointment and removal of Electoral Commissioners by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the House of Representatives.

A new power allowing the Electoral Commission to provide information and advice to the Minister of Justice or the House at any time and of its own volition.

The committee sought advice from Mr David McGee QC, former Clerk of the House and current Ombudsman, the Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, the Chief Electoral Officer, and the House's Officers of Parliament Committee.

"The recommendations of the committee reflect the widespread parliamentary support this bill has enjoyed so far. This broad consensus is consistent with this Government's approach to progressing electoral matters."

The Government is hoping to have the Electoral (Administration) Amendment Bill enacted in May 2010. The new Electoral Commission will be fully functional on 1 October 2010. It will administer the 2011 general election and referendum on the MMP voting system.

More information can be found online at www.justice.govt.nz under Electoral Reform.

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