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Email shows Brethren sought to get around rules

5 September 2006

Email shows Brethren sought to get around rules

The National Party needs to come clean on their role in encouraging the Exclusive Brethren to pull out all the stops to ensure their $1.2 million pro-Brash campaign could be counted as separate from National's 2005 election spend up, Labour strategist Pete Hodgson said today.

An email circulated by Pete Hodgson shows that the Brethren sought specific advice for how their campaign to "get party votes for National" could be designed to allow National to stay within spending limits.

"We know that Don Brash met with the Exclusive Brethren even though he lied to the public about it," Pete Hodgson said. "We also have proof that the Brethren designed their campaign to allow National to stay within spending limits.

"This raises the question of whether or not Don Brash or anyone in the National Party informed the Brethren that National had already spent its legal limit. If they did, and then encouraged the Brethren to find a way around the rules, then National has very serious questions to answer.

"National doubled its election spending in 2005, and funnelled over 90 per cent of its donations through a secret trust. They then benefited from the Brethren's $1.2 million campaign. Don Brash has ducked questions about why the Brethren's spending wasn't attributed to National's campaign.

"Given the evidence I'm circulating today, Don Brash needs to clarify National's relationship with the Brethren and confirm whether or not he advised the Brethren to dodge spending rules."

Pete Hodgson also circulated draft Brethren pamphlets featuring Don Brash.

"Don Brash needs to tell us if he ever saw these pamphlets and if so, he needs to tell us what advice he gave the Brethren about them."

See also:

  • Brethren emails regarding supporting National
  • ENDS

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