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Apec Commercials To Advance National's Agenda?

7 June, 1999

Apec commercials to advance National's agenda?

Labour Leader Helen Clark said today that she would be submitting questions to the government asking why Apec organisers have launched a television advertising campaign promoting the event to New Zealanders.

Last night the first stage of a three part campaign promoting Apec began screening on television.

"New Zealanders can make up their own minds about the pros and cons of Apec without being brainwashed by a government advertising campaign," Helen Clark said.

"What seems most odd is that the Prime Minister has repeatedly claimed that September's Apec meeting is a wonderful opportunity to promote New Zealand to a large international audience. Why then is this promotion campaign being directed towards the domestic audience?

"One of the revelations resulting from the Murray McCully fiasco with the Tourism Board was that the National government was intending to try and generate a feel-good mood out of Apec. National hoped it would benefit from this going into the election in October or November.

"With this Apec promotion, it seems that the National Party strategy for trying to cash in on Apec has survived Mr McCully's demise as Tourism Minister.

"The New Zealand taxpayer is already being asked to fork out tens of millions of dollars to host Apec. I think that most would agree that the vast sums that are being lavished on this advertising campaign are a waste of money."

Helen Clark said her office would be submitting parliamentary questions and Official Information Act requests to discover the cost and scope of the advertising campaign.

ENDS

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