Auditor General asked to investigate National

Published: Tue 5 Sep 2006 10:28 AM
5 September 2006
Auditor General asked to investigate National
Labour strategist Pete Hodgson has today referred to the Auditor General a National Party pledge pamphlet from the 2002 election which was paid for from Parliamentary Services funding.
Supplying copies of newspaper advertisements and a National Party pledge pamphlet – paid for with Parliamentary Services money – Pete Hodgson said National’s 2002 material was no different from Labour’s 2005 pledge card.
“The only material difference between 2002 and 2005 was a small rule change which made it explicit that the Parliamentary crest must be displayed on all material," Pete Hodgson said.
“What Labour did in 2005 was precisely what National did in 2002, and what all the other parties in Parliament have also been doing for many, many years.
“I challenge Don Brash to tell the New Zealand public:
- What is the difference in form between National’s 2002 pledge pamphlet and Labour’s pledge card?
- Why, if he finds Labour’s 2005 pledge card so offensive, didn’t he raise similar concerns about National’s 2002 pledge pamphlet – a campaign he personally benefited from as a high-ranking list candidate?
“The reason National didn’t repeat their 2002 tactics within the campaign period last year was because their coffers were so awash with secret big money donations. They spent an enormous amount of money prior to the three month campaign period on their billboards and advertisements.
"It is clear to everyone that we need to get clarity on what is and isn't allowed to be spent during election campaigns. Labour and all parties in Parliament except National accept that.
"What we can't allow and what the public shouldn't accept is the National Party using the issue for their own cheap political purposes. This is especially true as we have proof that in 2002 they did exactly what they are now attacking Labour for doing in 2005.
"While we need clarity on is where we go from here on the use of Parliamentary Services funding, there are a number of issues that we can be certain about today.
"We know definitively that National had an illegal advantage in television advertising in the 2005 campaign and that they still owe over $100,000 to broadcasters for it. We know for sure that Don Brash lied to the public about the $1.2 million role of the Exclusive Brethren in National's campaign.
"Labour and many other parties genuinely believe that their use of Parliamentary Services funding last year was well within the rules. National knows they've pushed a bulldozer through electoral law and they are being dishonest with New Zealanders," Pete Hodgson said.
2002 National Election Pamphlet

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