Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


National Pushes Limits Of Campaign Spending

National Pushes Limits Of Campaign Spending In 2005

By Kevin List

In the battle for the hearts and minds of the New Zealand voter in 2005 National spent more than two million dollars attempting to get their message across. According to figures that have just become available at the Electoral Commission National spent $2,128,028 (incl GST) on election advertising for the 2005 election campaign. Under section 214B(2) of the electoral Act 1993 the cap on election expenses for National in the 2005 General Election was $2,240,000 (incl GST).

Just prior to Christmas it was revealed that National had exceeded by more than $100,000 the amount it was allowed to spend on broadcasting time for its election advertisements. According to a National press release the reason for the overspending was "due to a misunderstanding between the Party and its advertising booking agency, the agency booked advertising for National on radio and television for the campaign totalling $900,000 excluding GST, instead of $900,000 including GST."

Also revealed prior to Christmas was the fact that while he hadn't broken the law National's Tauranga candidate Bob Clarkson had underestimated his election spending. After a High Court tussle brought about by a petition from NZ First leader Winston Peters, Justices Randerson, Goddard and Panckhurst concluded that Mr Clarkson's campaign cost $18.159.79. While safely under the $20,000 mark that is allowed by the Electoral Act this figure was greatly in excess of Mr Clarkson's initial campaign spending estimate of around $10,000.

National's taxathon pamphlet
*******

National's biggest single expense by far in the 2005 campaign was Billboard rental, which according to their election expense return, exceeded $600,000. Other big expenses incurred by National related to "mailouts". The election expenses involving "mailouts" presumably related to the cost of printing and sending out a 'Taxathon Pamphlet' in which the Prime Minister was referred to as the Prime Money Waster and Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen was characterised as the Wastemaster-General. Getting across the message that Labour wasted money cost National nearly a million dollars.

Not included in National's campaign spending was of course the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by the religious sect the Exclusive Brethren - aimed at 'changing the Government' – presumably to one led by the major opposition party, ie National.

After a complaint from the Green Party last year regarding the Exclusive Brethren's pamphlet campaign the Chief Electoral Officer was of the opinion that "the [Exclusive Brethren's] leaflet does appear to promote the party vote for National. I have decided to refer the matter to police for investigation as to whether an person has breached section 221 of the Electoral Act 1993, and if so, whether any prosecution in terms of section 221(4) is appropriate."

National leader Dr Don Brash, who had been involved in meetings with the Exclusive Brethren where their pamphlet campaign had been discussed, distanced his party from any official ties to the Exclusive Brethren prior to the election. In a press statement dated 8 September 2005 Dr Brash confirmed that National had no formal relationship with the Exclusive Brethren Church.

Dr Brash did concede after discussions with his campaign manager (Steven Joyce) that some Exclusive Brethren members had been assisting with "canvassing" and "billboards". Dr Brash however considered that the Exclusive Brethren were just "keen to change the Government".

Labour, United Future, NZ First And ACT's Expenses Remain A Mystery

Whether or not National has any competition for what is likely to be the most expensive election campaign in New Zealand history remains something of a mystery as returns for Labour, ACT, NZ First and United Future are currently not yet available for public scrutiny. According to the Electoral Commission these parties have been asked to clarify various details relating to their returns.

Of the other parties represented in Parliament the Maori Party got the best return for their money - gaining four seats and only spending a tad over $100,000. The Green Party just scraped back in to Parliament clearing the 5% MMP threshold and spending around half a million dollars. Jim Anderton's Progressive Party spent more than $200,000 on election advertising . Sadly, for Matt Robson, this advertising spend up was not enough to keep his job as an MP. Currently, Jim Anderton's Progressive Party, is represented in Parliament by only Mr Anderton.

Where National's Campaign Funds Went

Click for big version

Click for big version

Click for big version

Click for big version

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Syed Atiq ul Hassan: Eye-Opener For Islamic Community

An event of siege, terror and killing carried out by Haron Monis in the heart of Sydney business district has been an eye-opener for the Islamic Community in Australia. Haron was shot down before he killed two innocent people, a lawyer and a manager ... More>>

Jonathan Cook: US Feels The Heat On Palestine Vote At UN

The floodgates have begun to open across Europe on recognition of Palestinian statehood. On 12 December the Portuguese parliament became the latest European legislature to call on its government to back statehood, joining Sweden, Britain, Ireland, France ... More>>

ALSO:


Fightback: MANA Movement Regroups, Call For Mana Wahine Policy

In the wake of this years’ electoral defeat, the MANA Movement is regrouping. On November 29th, Fightback members attended a Members’ Hui in Tāmaki/Auckland, with around 70 attending from around the country. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: The Mockingjay Of Palestine: “If We Burn, You Burn With Us”

Raed Mu’anis was my best friend. The small scar on top of his left eyebrow was my doing at the age of five. I urged him to quit hanging on a rope where my mother was drying our laundry. He wouldn’t listen, so I threw a rock at him. More>>

ALSO:

Don Franks: Future Of Work Commission: Labour's Shrewd Move

Lunging boldly towards John Key, shouting 'Cut the crap!' - Andrew Little was great, wasn't he? Labour's new leader spoke for many people fed up with Key's flippant arrogant deceit. Andrew Little nailing the Prime minister on lying about contacting a rightwing ... More>>

Asia-Pacific Journal: MSG Headache, West Papuan Heartache? Indonesia’s Melanesian Foray

Asia and the Pacific--these two geographic, political and cultural regions encompass entire life-worlds, cosmologies and cultures. Yet Indonesia’s recent enthusiastic outreach to Melanesia indicates an attempt to bridge both the constructed and actual ... More>>

Valerie Morse: The Security State: We Should Not Be Surprised, But We Should Be Worried

On the very day that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released her report into the actions of people the Prime Minister’s office in leaking classified Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) documents to right-wing smearmonger Cameron ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: PFLP Soul-Searching: Rise And Fall Of Palestine’s Socialists

When news reports alleged that the two cousins behind the Jerusalem synagogue attack on 18 November were affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a level of confusion reigned. Why the PFLP? Why now? More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news