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Labour propaganda at Te Papa unacceptable

Gerry Brownlee National Party State Services Spokesman

26 April 2006

Labour propaganda at Te Papa unacceptable

An interactive computer display at Te Papa which gives the user the option of joining the Labour Party but no other political group is unacceptable propaganda, says National's State Services spokesman, Gerry Brownlee.

The touch-screen computer at the "Passports" exhibition generates a random immigrant. The user chooses where they live, who they marry and what job they take.

Users are also asked what social group the immigrant joins. Along with Plunket, a netball club, the Catholic Church and a number of other choices, they are offered the Labour Party.

"Pifi", a Pacific Islander who comes to New Zealand in 1975, is told when she picks Labour that it's a 'Good Choice. The Labour Party is keen to attract Pacific Island members, and make you feel welcome.'

"Ringo", an English immigrant from 1964 is told when he picks Labour that it's a 'Good Choice. You find a group of other activists who share your anti-nuclear interests.'

"The display is a blatant recuiting tool for the Labour Party, and it's unacceptable in New Zealand's taxpayer-funded national museum," says Mr Brownlee.

"No options to join other political parties are given. The display even features Labour's logo. International and domestic visitors to Te Papa are being bombarded with advertising about how great it is to join the Labour Party.

"The Prime Minister, who is the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, needs to front up and explain how this propaganda got into the display and who in the Government ordered it.

"I also want to know how much this exercise has cost the taxpayer, and whether the Labour Party will be paying the money back.

"One of the founding principles of Te Papa was that it's a 'gateway to New Zealand's natural and cultural heritage' and that it 'provides a forum in which to explore and reflect on our national identity'.

"Obviously, to the people who put this display together and the Government that ordered it, only the Labour Party has any place in that national identity."

ENDS

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