The Conservative Party of New Zealand has appealed the level of broadcasting allocation decided by the Electoral Commission. “The level of allocation is a slap in the face for democracy and justice,” says Party Leader, Leighton Baker.

Conservative has been grouped in Category 7 with the Internet and Mana Parties, and have therefore been allocated the same funding as each of those parties. To decide the level of allocation, the Electoral Commission considers criteria for which there is quantifiable evidence, for example numbers of MPs, polling, and byelection/general election results, alongside the wider discretion to consider “fairness”.

Internet and Mana campaigned as one during the 2014 election, and combined received less than half the Party votes and less than half the Candidate votes that Conservative Party received. The polling since the last election has also shown Conservative Party has more than twice the support of either Internet or Mana.

None of these Parties have an MP, but Conservative got close to having 6 at least. So on the quantifiable evidence, it is clear that Conservative Party has a much greater level of support.

When considering the wider discretion of fairness, is it really fair that both Internet and Mana, separately, receive the same funding as Conservative, when combined they have not been able to demonstrate even half the level of support Conservative Party has?

Conservative has also consistently shown multiple times the level of support either ACT or United Future has, but falls short on MPs in the quantifiable evidence. These MPs have no grounds to be there on the basis of their own Party support, and yet these parties have each been allocated close to twice as much funding as the Conservative Party. Does this meet the benchmark of “fairness”?

The Electoral Commission Board will consider the appeal at its next Board meeting on June 30.
Leighton Baker Party Leader