No to state funding

Labour’s Sua William Sio is suggesting local body election candidates get state funding for their campaigns.

Thankfully Local Government Minister Chris Tremain shows no enthusiasm for the idea.

“There hasn’t been an appetite from our government for state funding of local government elections, or national elections for that matter, outside of national television advertising.”

If it was up to me there would be no public funding of TV advertising either.

If individuals and parties want to be elected they should fund their own campaigns or persuade supporters to help them.

There are far greater calls for public funds than political campaigns.

4 Responses to No to state funding

  1. Armchair Critic says:

    Political campaigns are much better funded by anonymous donations, because a lack of transparency is good for democracy? Right.
    This very day anonymous donations are, indirectly, threatening the frail stability of our present government. I hope you have your fingers crossed that Nigel Morrison doesn’t understate his case, Kim Dotcom doesn’t overstate his and John Banks doesn’t start blathering about cabbage boats.
    Anonymous donations, like public funding, are fraught with difficulty.


  2. Paranormal says:

    AC, almost every election is proof that money does not buy votes. You have to have a fairly low opinion of New Zealanders (and not just Winston First voters) if you were believe otherwise. Just have a look at the dollar cost per vote for each party from the past 10 elections.

    You use quite apropros Banks anonymous, and yet legal under the dogs breakfast legislation brought in by Liarbour, funding of his mayoral campaign. it still didn’t win him the election did it.

    Far better anonymous donations than faceless gummint funding.


  3. Tim says:

    I completely agree, Ele, that public funds shouldn’t be available for electioneering – and most especially not at the local govt level (where costs are more modest).

    That said, I do know – as a city councillor myself – that election costs can eat up a fair whack of a councillor’s honorarium. Last election I spent $7,000 and my annual pay was around $25,000. For reasons I’ve never understood IRD won’t even let us claim these “marketing expenses” against our taxable income. Grr!

    Nor do I seek or accept any contributions from others. These are personal expenses.

    And it’s for that reason I wasn’t inclined to agree to our local MP’s urging that I contribute to her own expenses for the General Election. She is limited to $20,000 of election expenses and has a consequential income (as a Minister!!) umpteen times higher than mine. Yes, I contribute to the Party, and help out with mail-drops, banner-waving etc, but not personal election expenses. And of course she has never given me any support of any kind during my local election (not that I would expect it)!


  4. Gravedodger says:

    So many questions.
    Does the pot remain finite and shared equally amongst all contenders following the laws of diminishing returns?
    Do contenders seeking re-election receive advantageous sums?
    Do challengers recieve additional funding to overcome the natural advantage of encumbents ‘name recognition’ factors?
    What about perpetual contenders with well documented history of failing serial campaigns?
    If a candidate cannot raise support from voters by way of funding is it not reasonable to assume their manifesto is tripe?
    Would a candidate be able to augment funding from personal funds or supporters along with that funding from the trough?

    Since the system has elevated remuneration to levels that attract contenders who are able to fund employment way beyond any options in the real world mean we are better served by our elected representatives?
    Does current representation deliver talent better than that from those who might do the job as a community service self funded in donated time?

    Imho much of what passes for current “public service” follows ego enhancing troughing predicated on accumulation of status and reward that has very little to do with delivering a public service to the citizens who are supposedly being served.

    Funding campaigns would be better served and voter desire to participate with more focused representation communities to be represented by a single member in a territory as compact as possible to overcome the annonymous, unresponsive and unnaccountable systems so often in place currently.
    For example the DHB farcical inanity


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