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Clark must answer on overspending

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Deputy Leader

10 February 2006

Clark must answer on overspending

National Party Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee says Helen Clark must be the one answering questions on Labour's pledge card overspending.

"My signature is on it. I am accountable for it," - Helen Clark (May 1999) Speech to Labour Party Congress.

"Labour's pledge card and all its associated advertising were a major plank in the Labour re-election campaign, and if Labour did not think the pledge card influenced voters it wouldn't have used them for the past three elections.

"Overspending by accident is one thing, overspending while knowing you're pushing the boundaries is quite another.

"How did Labour fund its previous two pledge cards? Were they paid for by the Party or the Leader's office?

"Using money from the Leader's tax-funded Budget for election campaign material is a serious matter and in the first instance, Helen Clark should promise immediately to repay the money mis-used on her re-election campaign.

"National has consistently argued that the 2005 pledge card appeared to breach both Parliamentary and Electoral Act rules.

"I am pleased the Electoral Commission has referred the matter to the police," says Mr Brownlee.

Extract from Section 124 B of the Electoral Act: "Election activity'', in relation to a party that is registered under Part 4 of this Act, means an activity- (a)Which is carried out by the party or with the party's authority; and (b)Which comprises- (i)Advertising of any kind; or (ii)Radio or television broadcasting; or (iii)Publishing, issuing, distributing, or displaying addresses, notices, posters, pamphlets, handbills, billboards, and cards; and (c)Which- (i)Encourages or persuades or appears to encourage or persuade voters to vote for the party...

ENDS

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