12 Jun 2013

Pressure on Speaker to change ruling

9:28 pm on 12 June 2013

Opposition parties are putting pressure on the Speaker of the House to change his ruling allowing United Future to continue to receive parliamentary funding.

The Electoral Commission says United Future has put forward an incomplete application to re-register itself as a political party.

David Carter.

David Carter. Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

On 31 May, United Future asked the commission to to cancel its registration as it did not believe it had the 500 paid-up party members required.

At the time United Future was de-registered, Speaker David Carter ruled it still had status as a parliamentary party and could continue to access its $100,000 leadership funding. Since then, its leader Peter Dunne has resigned as a government minister.

The Opposition says Mr Carter got it wrong in the first place and should now reconsider his original decision.

Mr Carter told Parliament on Wednesday he will keep an eye on the timing and reconsider if necessary.

"When I ruled last week I was expecting a timetable of six to eight weeks, and I am watching developments currently that may extend that timeline and potentially extend them substantially. And on that basis, I will certainly give consideration to the points that have been raised and I will come back to the House when I've done so."

But Labour's deputy leader Grant Roberston says it could take months before United Future is able to meet the registration requirements.

"I believe the Speaker needs to revisit his decision because circumstances have changed. It's now going to take a lot longer for United Future to become a political party.

"They're not a registered political party and that means under Standing Orders they shouldn't be receiving the benefits of being one."

Re-registration on hold

The Electoral Commission says United Future has put forward an incomplete application so it can't re-register as a political party.

The commission said on Wednesday it has not received a full set of original, written membership forms as is required by law to check all of the party members are legitimate.

A spokesperson said the re-registration is on hold until all of the correct information is supplied.