Declaration of electoral donations and expenses
Candidates must keep a record of all donations received and expenses incurred in their election campaign. Election expenditure limits will apply, these depending on the population size of the area of the election the candidate is standing for.
Every candidate must, by law, complete an Electoral Donations and Expenses Return declaring all donations and expenses and forwarded to the electoral office by Friday 13 December 2019.
Electoral expenses are defined as relating to electoral activity which can comprise advertising, broadcasting or communicating material to the public (electronically or otherwise).
These electoral expenses are generally funded by the candidate and are not reimbursable from the organisation the candidate is standing for.
If a candidate is standing for more than one position (e.g. mayor and council) then the higher limit applies (not both combined).
The population distribution for Western Bay of Plenty District Council (population estimates as at 30 June 2018) is:
The estimated expenditure limit for the mayor is $30,000 (including GST), based on a 50,100 population (as at 30 June 2018).
The period for which campaign expenditure limits apply is three months before Election Day (i.e. 12 July 2019 to 12 October 2019). However legislation further specifies that all expenses incurred before the three month period for campaign expenditure and used during the three month period, must be fairly apportioned and included in the Return of Electoral Donations and Expenses.
Donations consist of money, goods or services that is made for use in the candidate’s campaign.
Candidate donations, and contributions to donations, of more than $1500 (inc GST) are required to be declared in the candidate return of donations and expenses. A series of donations made by one person that adds up to more than $1500 must also be declared.
Examples of donations include;
- goods or services free of charge that have a reasonable market value greater than $300;
- discounted goods or services and the reasonable market value of the goods or services is greater than $300, the difference between the contract or agreed price and the reasonable market value of those goods and services is a donation;
- if a candidate sells over-valued goods or services the difference between the price paid and the reasonable market value is a donation, for example a fundraising auction or dinner.
Donations made up of contributions:
Donations to candidates can also be made up of pooled funds contributed by more than one person (referred to as donations funded from contributions).
These types of donations include, for example, campaign donations made through a trust, or where there is a fundraising collection for a candidate’s campaign. The total proceeds of a collection are treated as a donation.
The person who collects the money will normally be the donor. The individuals who contribute to the collection are contributors.
For more information on expenses and donations read the 2019 Information Booklet for Candidates.
For further information regarding this election, please contact the electoral office:
Dale Ofsoske, Electoral Officer
Western Bay of Plenty District Council
C/o PO Box 5135, Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141
Phone: 0800 922 822