Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis living abroad are now ready to vote in the 2023 elections, even though they have been away for years.
The government is extending the three-year limit to six years for next year’s election only because some people have been unable to return home due to Covid restrictions.
The change will affect 407,000 expats who have been away since before Covid hit and who may have missed out because they did not return to New Zealand.
Gabriel Otis, a Kiwi living in Washington, told 1News, “This is probably one of the most important elections of at least my generation and it’s just because so many people have been away for so long. long time.
“Some by choice, some not and we should not penalize people who have not been able to return to New Zealand.”
It is an acknowledgment from Justice Minister Kiri Allan that many Kiwis have been unable to return home because of the MIQ lottery system.
“This is not about partisan politics, this is about what to do for New Zealanders at this time. The reality is that New Zealanders have not been able to return home,” Allan said.
The proposed changes to the electoral system also include political donations.
At this time, donations can be anonymous as long as they are under $15,000. New rules mean you owe anything over $5,000 in your name
“Money talks, people know it and I think New Zealanders have a legitimate right to know who funds us as politicians, our political parties, because it gives people an idea of how our policies can be trained,” Allan said.
But the National Party says there are many reasons people want to keep their donations private.
Chef Christopher Luxon told 1News that some people don’t want their donations disclosed. If you work, you may not want your employer to see it, maybe someone in your family is voting a different way.
“You can even do business with the government and not want it to impact your business,” he said.