Review to look at voting age, overseas voting and parliamentary term

An independent review is to scrutinise New Zealand's voting age, overseas voting rules, political party funding, the length of the parliament term and MMP rules such as changes to the party vote threshold. 

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi on Tuesday announced the electoral laws would be reviewed to make sure it was still fit for purpose. 

"Much has changed since the 1950s but most of our electoral rules haven’t," he said. 

"We want to make election rules clearer and fairer to build more trust in the system and better support people to exercise their right to vote."

It will not look at the possibility of online voting, alternatives to MMP (the Mixed Member Proportional voting system) or fundamental constitutional change. 

It would be split into the independent targeted review, which can report back in later 2023, and targeted changes for the 2023 election.

"The next step with the Independent Review is to put together a review panel. The panel will report back by late 2023 with recommendations for change."

The Government was also looking into improving transparency of political donations before the next election.

"Another focus is looking at when people can move between the Māori Electoral Roll and the General Roll. At the moment Māori voters won’t be able move rolls before the 2023 General Election.

"We are looking to make progress on the work before the end of the year."

The Green Party has been calling for changes to overseas voting. Currently, Kiwis must have returned to New Zealand within three years to exercise their right to vote in general or local elections, which is currently difficult in light of the MIQ system and Covid. 

Multiple parties were or are being investigated by the serious fraud office over political party donations.