Website First Victim Of Electoral Finance Act
Press Release Monday, 28 Jan 08
Don't Vote Labour Website First Victim Of Electoral Finance Act
Due to the threat of prosecution under the Electoral Finance Act, the Don't Vote Labour website at www.dontvotelabour.org.nz has been taken down.
The website, which has cost less than $100, advocated that people do not vote for Labour due to their support of various laws such as the anti-smacking law and the Electoral Finance Act.
The Electoral Commission has advised me (Andy Moore, the site's author), in writing that:
"your website (dontvotelabour.org.nz) is election advertising and must display an authorisation statement in order to comply with the law. It is an offence not to do so. The relevant legislation is the Electoral Finance Act 2007, sections 5, 63, 143."
I was also advised that I may wish to seek my own legal advice. I have spoken informally to a lawyer, however am not able to afford professional legal advice. One shouldn't have to be wealthy enough to afford lawyer's fees to be able to say on your own personal website that you don't support the Government.
As I live at home with my family, there is no way I am going to put my home address on the website. That puts both them and our house at risk.
If I did not pull the website down, I was facing a fine of up to $10,000 and a conviction which would prevent me from travelling overseas to many countries. Hence I have reluctantly removed all the content which advocates against the Government and replaced it with a statement explaining why the website was taken down.