Hannah Tamaki's party Coalition NZ declined registration over 'misleading' name

Hannah Tamaki's application to register Coalition New Zealand as a political party has been rejected by the Electoral Commission over its "misleading" name. 

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said the party's name would "likely confuse or mislead voters" because of the meanings behind the word "coalition". 

"The word coalition has a specific meaning in elections and politics and means a grouping or alliance of multiple parties," the spokesperson said. 

It highlighted how under mixed-member proportional representation (MMP) - the electoral system New Zealand adopted in 1993 - governments are often referred to as "the coalition". 

"The commission decided the name Coalition New Zealand could confuse voters; lead them to think they are voting for a grouping of other parties, or that they are voting for a party associated with the Government of the day."

The commission said apart from the name and the accompanying logo, other parts of the party's application were in order, and that it could apply for registration under a different name. 

A spokesperson for Coalition New Zealand said the party was aware there might be confusion around the name, but it decided to go ahead with it. 

"We always knew that this could be a possibility but the decision was made at the launch of the party to pursue the name as a preferred option, at that time."

The spokesperson added: "The Electoral Commission has been engaging and informative through the process and the party looks forward to continuing this relationship."

They said the party will "continue to grow its membership and develop policy during this time". 

"We look forward to introducing the vehicle that will lead our membership and every day Kiwis into the 2020 General Election."

The party was launched in May, with Hannah Tamaki, the wife of Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki, announced as its leader. 

Brian Tamaki said the party was launched in response to an "escalating tide of poor decision-making".

Hannah Tamaki has said she would like to see abortion made illegal in New Zealand as she is "pro-life", while child poverty, housing and the level of Māori incarceration were other key concerns. 

It's not the first time Brian Tamaki has ventured into politics. In 2003, Destiny Church members started the Destiny New Zealand political party with Brian as its "spiritual adviser".

It gained less than 1 percent of the vote in the 2005 election and was subsequently deregistered.