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Anderton's party should pay back $72,585

Gerry Brownlee
National Party Deputy Leader

30 July 2006

Anderton's party should pay back $72,585

Taxpayers' money is being used to promote Jim Anderton's Progressive Party under the guise of a pamphlet warning of the dangers of methamphetamine, says National Party Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee.

"This pamphlet is a totally unethical use of taxpayers' money and must be paid back."

Jim Anderton, the Associate Health Minister, has confirmed that 825,847 copies of the 'P is a dangerous drug' pamphlet were printed and distributed at a cost to taxpayers of $72,585.29.

"The main picture, colours and typeface used on the 'P' pamphlet are exactly the same as those used on the Progressive Party's election pamphlet on raising the drinking age, and on other Progressive pamphlets and on their newsletter," says Mr Brownlee. "They are also the same colours and typefaces as on their website.

"This is an attempt by Jim Anderton to use taxpayers' money to put pamphlets modelled exactly on his party's election pamphlet into 825,847 letterboxes. They are nothing less than a form of subliminal advertising for his party.

"They unnecessarily and extravagantly contain a list of Jim Anderton's other Government portfolios, as if they were somehow relevant to the fight against 'P'.

"He should do the right thing and have his party write a cheque to taxpayers for $72,585.29. If that is not forthcoming I will ask the Auditor-General to investigate.

"Quite apart from that, is the fact that this Government is using pamphlets to attack the 'P' problem. That's a bit like using a fly swat against a plague of locusts.

"Labour's first instinct is always to throw money at an advertising campaign, rather than fighting fire with fire.

"There is more to beating 'P' than sending out pretty pictures. Beating 'P' is about giving police the tools to break down gangs, about no bail for people suspected in dealing in it, and about no parole for violent and repeat offenders.

"Fancy words on glossy pamphlets from this Government will do nothing to stop this scourge."
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