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National Must Come Clean on EBs Slogan

National must come clean on whether they suggested the slogan to the EBs

21st November 2007

The Green Party is calling on National to come clean on whether their Campaign Manager, Steven Joyce, did or did not suggest the slogan "change the government" to the Exclusive Brethren in light of revelations to that effect by Nicky Hager today.

This is particularly important in light of reports of Joyce's recent appointment to the National Party campaign team for 2008.

"Nicky Hager's article in today's New Zealand Herald states that Steven Joyce proposed to the Exclusive Brethren that they adopt the slogan 'change the government' in their advertising, and National would adopt the slogan 'the only way to change the government is to vote National'," says Dr. Russel Norman, Green Party Co-leader and Electoral Reform Spokesperson.

"The result was that the Brethren effectively ran a parallel 'vote National' campaign outside National's spending cap, and this meant that effectively National had an extra $1 million to spend on the election campaign above their legal limit of $2.4 million.

"It is precisely these kinds of activities that the Electoral Finance Bill is trying to stop. If there are no limits on the campaigns that can be run by non-party groups like the Exclusive Brethren then the caps on political party spending are meaningless.

"So the question to the National Party is: Did their Campaign Manager suggest the slogan to the Exclusive Brethren or not?"

ENDS

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