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Source: Taxpayers Union

The Electoral Commission’s decision not to refer Hutt South MP Ginny Anderson to the Police for not declaring her peppercorn rent in Hutt South as a donation lets down New Zealanders and risks making a joke of electoral law, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.Union spokesman Jordan Williams says, “Labour has been subletting the cheap office space to its local MP, who pays for it using her taxpayer-funded office budget, meaning Labour is pocketing taxpayer money at a great profit. The Commission agrees with us that the deal is unlawful – it is what the Electoral Act calls ‘corrupt’ – but wants to let them off the hook.””This appears to be a case of up to 15 years of electoral fraud by Labour Party MPs but our taxpayer funded agency whose job it is to enforce the law is putting it in the too-hard basket.””When the deal was initially made public by Stuff, the Taxpayers’ Union wrote to every MP asking for an explanation of their office rental arrangement. We received very few responses from Labour MPs, and we suspect this practice is spread far further than Hutt South.””It appears the Labour Party has been filling its coffers with taxpayer money with this deal for more than a decade. That justifies far more than a slap on the wrist with a ‘don’t do it again’ press release.””If the taxpayer-funded Electoral Commission won’t do its job, perhaps it’s time for a public-spirited New Zealander to file a public prosecution for this blatant electoral corruption. Democracy has rules. They need to be upheld – and be seen to be upheld. Clearly the leaders of our Electoral Commission aren’t up to it.”