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Election spending: Clark back to her old tricks

Bill English MP
National Party Deputy Leader

30 July 2008

Election spending: Clark back to her old tricks

National Party Deputy Leader Bill English says Helen Clark and the Labour Party are back to their old trick of campaigning on the public purse, if stickers being distributed by MP Lynne Pillay are anything to go by.

"The stickers feature two ticks and the phrase 'Labour-led government', and they're funded by the Prime Minister's Office. They appear to directly contradict advice from the State Services Commission not to use the phrase 'Labour-led'.

"Helen Clark's dipping into her Leader's fund yet again, just as she did with Labour's pledge card at the last election. The taxpayer is yet again paying the bill for Labour's election advertisements."

Mr English says the State Services Commission recently sent out a memo to the chief executives of 120 state agencies telling them that the use of the term 'Labour-led Government' in departmental material and websites was not appropriate.

The commission found 13,600 uses of the term 'Labour-led Government' on websites operated by government departments.

"The State Services Commission makes it clear that the use of the term 'Labour-led government' by government departments is a breach of the Electoral Finance Act, while section 67 of the act bars the publication of electoral advertisement by government departments.

"The Department of Internal Affairs, through Ministerial Services, is effectively publishing unauthorised election advertisements.

"These are just the latest in a catalogue of problems which have swirled around Labour's anti-democratic Electoral Finance Act, which seeks to regulate free speech in an election year.

"Meanwhile, Helen Clark's office is spending up on stickers that feature two ticks and no party authorisation. The Prime Minister should explain."

ENDS

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