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Broadcasting decision: “Port in storm”

Bill English MP
National Party Deputy Leader

3 June 2008

Broadcasting decision: “Port in storm”

National Party Deputy Leader Bill English says the decision on election-year broadcasting allocations is a “port in the electoral storm” which has surrounded Labour’s self serving Electoral Finance Act.

“The way broadcasting time is allocated is one of the few things that survived Labour’s attempt the screw the electoral scrum in its favour during the election year.

“The Electoral Finance Act was designed to sow confusion and paralyse Labour’s critics, giving the Government a clear run to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on departmental advertising.

“We now have a ridiculous situation where electoral officials are deciding if logos, newsletters and media statements are election advertisements, and if unions affiliated to Labour should be allowed to register as third parties.

“Those who want to take part in our democracy have to consult a lawyer first.

“Today’s decision on broadcasting allocations involving the two major parties is just about the only thing that’s on the level in the not so level post-EFA playing field.”

Mr English has confirmed that National argued to be granted the same amount of broadcasting time as Labour.

“National was granted slightly less broadcasting time than Labour in 2005. However, today’s decision is a fair reflection that only one seat separates the two major parties in the make-up of the current Parliament.”


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