Matt McCarten Furious About INL Paper Misquote

Published: Mon 1 Oct 2001 09:35 AM
The INL owned paper Auckland City Harbour News published today contains a damaging misquote from Alliance Mayoral Candidate Matt McCarten. Under the headline ‘McCarten plays vote splitter’, the publication quotes him as saying in a speech at the Gay Auckland Business Association on Wednesday night: “a vote for me probably means John Banks will win”.
This is incorrect. A videotape of the event clearly indicates that McCarten said: “I expected the question so I’m going to answer – I’ll probably answer the question in people’s minds – does a vote for me means John Banks wins – I want to address that, ‘cos I think that comes down to a strategic vote for the gay and lesbian community…”
“Right from the start of my campaign I have had to counter the argument that I shouldn’t stand because Banks might get elected instead of Fletcher. But let’s make this clear once and for all: it’s the Right whose vote is being split. People didn’t have a clear centre left alternative to vote for – that’s why I’m running. And if Alliance, Labour and Green voters supported me I’d romp in.”, said Matt McCarten.
“So I’m furious that Auckland City Harbour News makes me out as the vote splitter and claims that I confessed to it in a speech I made. They know I was as always countering the vote-splitting argument, not supporting it”.
“I’ve taken legal and political advice and while I would like to believe the folks at Harbour news that this is a simple case of omission, my advisers are saying it smacks of a clear political agenda. The combination of the headline and article are a dangerous misrepresentation and a threat to the success of my campaign because this story can’t be corrected until Harbour News comes out again next Wednesday”.
“I am therefore asking the editor for a full public retraction and if he won’t come to the party, I’ll be pursuing the matter further through the Press Council. This sort of shoddiness is unacceptable”, said Matt McCarten.
A transcript of the videotaped speech will be available on our website

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