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Greens Urge Nats To Fight Fair in Letter

17 Nov 1999

Mr Jeff Grant
Campaign Director
New Zealand National Party

Dear Jeff

The last stages of a political campaign are always when debate becomes robust, as they say euphemistically. I am sure campaign managers and directors from all parties are feeling a bit frazzled now!

I am however concerned that the National campaign in Coromandel appears to be moving beyond this boundary into deliberate disinformation.

Yesterday one of your MPs, Nick Smith, used his "discovery" of an unauthorised website link of our youth branch, the Wild Greens, to allege the Green Party advocates sabotage.

Other examples of your party's slide into a dirty tricks campaign are:

* A National Party billboard has been erected claiming that a vote for Jeanette Fitzsimons means that the expansion of the Kopu Bridge will not proceed. This is simply wrong and I urge you to remove it immediately. Hon Maurice Williamson knows better than anyone that these decisions are made by Transfund.

* The New Zealand Herald reports a proposed National Party billboard saying "Vote Jeanette - and you'll give Sue Bradford a job". This implies that Sue Bradford is not currently employed. She has in fact been continuously employed since 1987, has been a part-time lecturer at Unitec for the last five years, and, along with many other candidates around New Zealand, is currently taking a break from her work to campaign.

Your Coromandel candidate Murray McLean approached Jeanette in Parliament before the House rose, and said words to the effect of, "Lets have a clean campaign". Jeanette and Murray shook on this.

Jeanette and the Green Party have kept our word. I am disturbed that this agreement seems to have been discarded now that Jeanette is leading in Coromandel. I can only assume Murray has been overridden by those higher up in National.

I urge you and your party to stick to the issues in this campaign. Jeanette Fitzsimons has worked hard for Coromandel for many years. The Green Party is promoting a positive vision for New Zealand. We will gladly discuss and debate our ideas with other parties.

Jeanette Fitzsimons and the Green Party are disgusted by the start of a deliberate misinformation campaign. This is a sign of desperation.

As one campaign manager to another, I urge you to publicly pledge today to a clean, honest campaign in Coromandel.

Your sincerely

Roland Sapsford
Campaign Manager
Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

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