Thursday, April 25, 2024

Major error impacts minor party’s candidates list

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The New Zealand Loyal party is led by Liz Gunn, left, with John Armstrong, right, its Botany candidate. Times photo Wayne Martin

One of the minor political parties contesting this year’s general election has made a major mistake while registering its candidates with the Electoral Commission.

New Zealand Loyal, led by former television broadcaster Liz Gunn, is standing candidates in east Auckland’s two general electorates.

John Armstrong is contesting the Botany electorate for the party while Phil Scothern is standing in Pakuranga.

When the Electoral Commission publicly released the names of all political party candidates on September 16 for this year’s general election, NZ Loyal’s candidates list contained only three names, being Liz Gunn, Peter Drew, and Philip George Engel.

Gunn posted an at times emotional video to the party’s website on September 18 explaining the situation.

She says as the party’s leader she’ll own up to that responsibility if something goes wrong, as it has done.

“So what happened here is we as a party elected the bulk nominations process.

“That’s one in which all of the candidates’ documentation goes in together in one pile.

“These required documents were submitted close to the cut-off deadline, admittedly.

“As were the supporting documents from the candidates demonstrating their preference to be both on the electorate and the party lists. So the individual nominations showed that.”

Gunn says one member of her team received “contradictory advice” from the Electoral Commission which confused them.

“The upshot is an administrative error on our part caused the party list to exclude all standing candidates.”

She says the Electoral Commission didn’t inform the party secretary the bulk nomination forms they’d submitted did not reflect the supporting documentation on the individual nominees saying they “wanted to be party and list candidates”.

“It was a stuff-up and a human error. We received no advice of that mistake from the Electoral Commission.”

The party has received legal advice on the situation.

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission says New Zealand Loyal submitted a party list with three candidates and bulk nominated 33 electorate candidates before the deadline of 12pm on September 14.

“These were accepted. They later asked to add candidates to the party list but the deadline had passed.

“There are 33 electorate candidates standing for NZ Loyal in the upcoming election.

“It’s possible to vote for one of the 33 NZ Loyal candidates who are standing in electorate seats.

“If an NZ Loyal candidate wins an electorate seat, they can enter Parliament.

“If NZ Loyal won over five per cent of the party vote, or an electorate seat, they would be allocated seats in Parliament on the basis of their share of the party vote.

“But if there are insufficient list candidates then the remaining seats aren’t filled and remain vacant.”

So the only way Armstrong or Scothern will enter Parliament is by winning the Botany or Pakuranga electorates respectively.

NZ Loyal is campaigning on a policy platform that includes an immigration moratorium, energy independence, removing fluoride from the public water supply, scrapping the current tax system, investigating the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, scrapping all “race-based policies”, and ending the World Economic Forum, World Health Organisation and United Nations.

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