The controversial Electoral Finance Act will be repealed by the end of next week and all but the donations disclosure regime will be replaced with the old the Electoral Act 1993 as an interim measure.
The old law will be in place for any byelection, such as would be triggered if former Prime Minister Helen Clark landed the job she has applied for at the United Nations.
The penalties under the present act will be retained in case there are any offences over returns yet to be made on expenditure for the last election.
But the Government will then embark on a cross-party consultation process to rewrite the electoral law.
It has already abandoned the review of the act that was to have been headed by Otago University Associate Professor Andrew Geddis.
Justice Minister Simon Power will take the repeal bill, the Electoral Amendment Bill, through all stages.
He said the plan involved all political parties in consultation.
National's inclusive attitude to electoral law is refreshing, and is in stark contrast with the arrogance shown by Labour, the Greens, Jim the Progressive and NZ First who thought that they knew best, and pushed through legislation which concerned even supporters of the Helen Clark government. We are sure that anti-EFA sentiment was a significant contributing factor to Labour's electoral defeat, and to the demise of Winston Peters.
And most significantly, this is another of National's election promises honoured. Reflect on John Key's words from the Third Reading debate on 18 December 2007:
So there can be only two explanations for this legislation, and they are quite simple. One is desperation and the other is breathtaking arrogance. One of them is a good reason to boot Labour out; with both of them combined it is a necessity.
Let me say this to the people of New Zealand who are engaged in this debate and who are interested: National will repeal this legislation. We will go back to basics. We will go back to the way it was. We will ask independent people to go out there and come up with electoral law. You see, electoral law is not owned by the Labour Party for the benefit of the Labour Party. Electoral law is owned by the people of New Zealand so that we can have a democracy.
This is a sad day for New Zealand. It is the day the Labour Party admitted publicly, and through legislation, that it cannot win unless it changes the law. That is what happened today. National will repeal the law. We will go back to a bipartisan basis where independent people will come up with some recommendations. I say this, and this alone: history will mark this day. This is the day when Helen Clark arrogantly inflicted anti-democratic legislation upon the people of New Zealand, and when the collective voters of New Zealand know once and for all that it is time for a change.
Keeping Stock began as a result of our concerns over the EFA and the effect it would have on our democracy. We will go on, while this dreadful piece of legislation is headed for the dustbin. And we reckon you can't ask for more than that!