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


Labour exploits loophole in election law

Labour exploits loophole in election law

National Party Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee says New Zealanders will not be surprised to learn that Helen Clark is still trying to exploit electoral laws.

“Labour has been spending a fortune on ‘parliamentary’ advertising, which has actually cleared the hazy hurdles in the Electoral Finance Act – and is, in fact, completely legal.

“But these are not just postcards or letters that Labour is spending your taxes on. They are 50 page booklets that feature the smiley face of whoever your local Labour electorate MP is.

“This is allowed under the Electoral Finance Act, even so close to the election, because Labour deliberately widened the definition of what it could do with taxpayer funding when it was railroading the election laws into place by a slim majority.

“Of course, this parade of taxpayer-funded material puts any challenger who is not in Parliament at a distinct disadvantage because they are allowed to spend only $20,000 for the entire year.

“This is a blatant attempt by Helen Clark to get around her own laws and leave the taxpayer to pick up the bill. Their actions give lie to their stated intentions.”

Mr Brownlee says National accepts that the ‘Over 60s’ booklet does not solicit votes, but it does list a number of things, including the impact of this year’s tax cuts on the pension.

“It’s the sheer volume of material this close to an election that will have the public scratching their heads.”

Mr Brownlee says Labour will be delighted that the Electoral Finance Act has caused so much confusion and silenced those who can’t afford to get legal advice.

“Our democracy is poorer for it. Labour has screwed the scrum in its favour with self-serving laws that have allowed it to silence challengers while its own tax-funded spending binge continues.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>


Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election