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May 14, 2018 | by  | in Politics |
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Political Round-Up

Waka Jumping Bill
The controversial Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill — commonly known as the “Waka Jumping” Bill — passed its first reading in the House on 30 January 2018, and is now at the select committee stage. The Bill aims to restore confidence in the integrity of Parliament and improve the way MPs are elected.

The Bill recently came under fire by numerous groups who have reiterated that it undermines democracy in New Zealand and that it restricts the ways in which the legislature of New Zealand can run. Departing National MP Nick Smith, who sits on the Justice Select Committee, says that all submissions received were against the Bill being passed into law.

“The major concern is giving the power to party leaders to be able to dismiss an MP and effectively a transfer of power to party leader at the expense of MPs and voters.”

The public will be able to make submissions to the committee until the end of July.
Billion Dollar Gap and Other Education Mishaps
Education Minister Chris Hipkins has accused the previous National Government of ignoring a $1 billion dollar cost involved in the development of Christchurch schools.

This is the latest “fiscal hole” that has come to light, and the Minister claims that National did not account for population growth when it set aside funding for the education sector during the Budgets of 2009-2017.

Hipkins said that it would be difficult to get the money to fix this shortfall and still have enough to establish repairs on Christchurch schools. “It’s one thing to try to boost the economy by increasing the population size, but having no plans to pay for the infrastructure to support those extra people is short-sighted.”

National Party Wins the Donations Race

The annual return released by the Electoral Commission showed that during the 2017 Election the National Party, with $4,579,086, received around three times as many donations as the Labour Party, who recieved $1,611,073. The Opportunities Party received double the amount made by Labour, a large majority of it from tycoon Gareth Morgan. Despite this, TOP only received 2.2% of the total vote.

If any donations made to a party exceed $30,000 dollars, they must file official reports to the Electoral Commission. Major donations received by parties include two whopping six figure sums to the ACT Party.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and the Democrats for Social Credit both received $0 in donations for the 2017 campaign.

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