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National Front logo registered with Electoral Comm

National Front logo registered to appear on ballot papers

The Electoral Commission has today (9 February 2006) registered the logo of the New Zealand National Front, an unregistered political party.

Chief executive Dr Helena Catt said the commission found the application to be in order and the proposed logo to meet the legal requirements of not being confusing, misleading, indecent, offensive, or in breach of someone else’s intellectual property rights.

“In reaching its decision commissioners carefully considered 28 objections received in response to public notices advertising the application, 11 of which were the same petition with a total of 127 signatures. Objectors were generally concerned with the cross-like element of the logo, its perceived associations with Christian, Nazi or military imagery, and an alleged offensiveness that resulted. Responses from the applicant and counter-responses were also considered.

“Cross-like imagery is widespread and used in many contexts, so we could not accept objectors’ arguments. Many of the objections were explicitly related to opinions of the applicant party’s policies or beliefs, however these matters are outside the scope of what the law requires the commission to both consider and confine itself to,” Dr Catt explained.

Registration of a logo allows it to appear on ballot papers alongside the party’s name for the party vote in the case of a registered party, and alongside the names of electorate candidates in the case of both registered and unregistered parties. Registration does not confer any intellectual property rights.

Ends

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