Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


PM should say why she’s right and everyone wrong

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

23 August 2006

PM should say why she’s right and everyone else is wrong

“Helen Clark should use today’s general debate in Parliament to explain why her unique interpretation of the rules around election spending is right, and all the official advice is wrong,” says National Party Leader Don Brash.

“Four official bodies have found Labour in the wrong. The Auditor General is merely the latest in a long line to find Labour’s pledge card spending a breach of the rules.”

In a letter to Mike Smith, Secretary of the Labour then chief electoral officer David Henry said the pledge card ‘clearly encourages…voters to vote for the Labour Party’. He believed that the cards were therefore election material, and that ‘the expenses of these publications should be included in your return of election expenses.’

In the letter referring the matter of the pledge card to the Police, the Electoral Commission backed up this view by saying that prima facie ‘there had been expenditure which was over the maximum amount that the party was permitted to spend.’

In his recent opinion for the Auditor-General, the Solicitor General said ‘electioneering material is something that is intended to persuade a voter to favour a candidate or party in an election, and it is not necessary for advertising or publicity to expressly solicit a vote for it to fall into this category.’

And now the Auditor General says ‘if an electioneering purpose can be ascertained from looking at the communication as a whole… then the communication is outside the scope of the appropriation.’

Dr Brash says the overwhelming view from officials is that Labour broke the rules and did so knowingly.

“So today I challenge Helen Clark to take a slot in the general debate and tell the public of New Zealand why they should trust her interpretation rather than the views of several independent officials who had nothing to gain from reaching the conclusions they have.

“For Helen Clark, this is all about self preservation, and the pursuit of power at any cost. It casts a dark shadow across all of Parliament.

“Labour was clearly warned to watch its taxpayer funded advertising in the three months before the election. It was briefed ‘extensively’ by the Auditor General on the rules that would apply.

“New Zealand politics has long been free of corruption, but Helen Clark’s defence of this blatant rort further undermines that reputation,” says Dr Brash.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election