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

 

Faisal Al-Asaad: Gaza: McCully’s Calls For Restraint On Both Sides Is Side-Taking Itself

Since June 12th, the world’s attention has been squarely focused on the events unfolding in the West Bank, Gaza and the occupied territories. The disappearance of three Israeli youths who were later found dead prompted a flurry of condemnations ... More>>

ALSO:

Tania Billingsley: Demand For Accountability On Sexual Assault

Since my assault I feel that people have been assuming that my idea of justice is to have Rizalman found guilty in a New Zealand court. While it is an important part of justice being done, my main reason for wanting this is not for my own sense of ... More>>

Leslie Bravery: Hold The Perpetrator To Account, Not The Victim!

In a 4 July 2014 statement to Scoop Independent News, on the violent deaths of four young people in the Israeli Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully made the following comments: 'The recent killing ... More>>

ALSO:

Santon Tekege: Investigative Report Into Oil Palm In Nabire Regency, Papua

Several companies’ plans to invest in the oil palm sector in Nabire have met with local opposition. People from the Yerisiam and Wate ethnic groups have staged several peaceful actions in Nabire against one of these companies, PT Nabire Baru1. More>>

ALSO:

Redress Information: Putting The Death Of The Israeli Squatter Teens In Context

The Western media are awash with correspondents’ reports on the grief Israelis are experiencing over the death of three teenagers. The teenagers, the sons of Jewish squatters living on stolen Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, who disappeared ... More>>

ALSO:

Liran Antebi: United States: Prepared For Military Intervention In Iraq?

Following the seizure of Iraq’s main cities by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), there has been much discussion about possible US military intervention in Iraq. Since the ISIS campaign began, a small American force of 275 soldiers has been ... More>>

John Chuckman: Iraq, ISIS, And Intervention: Just What Is Going On?

As so often is the case in foreign affairs, we will never know with precision what is happening in Iraq. The governments involved have reasons to disguise what they are doing, and a number of governments are indeed at work there. More>>

Joel Cosgrove: MANA and Industrial Relations: “Between equal rights, force decides”

Fightback participates in the MANA Movement, whose stated mission is to bring “rangatiratanga to the poor, the powerless and the dispossessed.” Capitalism was imposed in Aotearoa through colonisation, and the fight for indigenous self-determination is intimately ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
TEDxAuckland
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news