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How bizarre! Electoral Commission rulings on NZ First

04/08/2008

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Scoopit!

Reproduced below is a complete item from the NZ Herald website. Adam finds the decisions reached somewhat bewildering, indeed bizarre.

NZ First cleared by Electoral Commission

New 9:52AM Monday August 04, 2008

New Zealand First is in the clear over two matters being considered by the Electoral Commission.

The commission has found a series of newspaper advertisements run in April, critical of the China free trade deal, were not election advertising. It has ruled that the adverts were statements of policy.

The commission has also accepted New Zealand First’s reasons for the late filing of its party donations return. The party said the delay was due to staffing changes, internal communication problems and a personal issue affecting one of its members.

– NEWSTALK ZB

Source NZ Herald website

“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice – given the vogue for Lewis Carroll quotations and the story above and the story below:-

On May 2 this article was on the Herald web-site:-

New Zealand First will remain in breach of rules requiring it to reveal donations to the party of more than $10,000 until leader Winston Peters returns from overseas to sign off the paperwork.

Wednesday was the deadline for all political parties to file returns of donations received during 2007 to the Electoral Commission.

Act and New Zealand First missed the deadline. Yesterday, interim New Zealand First president George Groombridge said the party would make its return by mid-May. “It is all in hand, I can assure you of that,” Mr Groombridge said.

“The right honourable Winston Peters will be back in the country on the 16th and he will be tying up the final loose ends, but everything else has been done … and has all been approved by the board.”

Why did the leader sign off on these operational matters, surely the President should do that.

So if the reason was Winston’s absence from the country as per the article of 2 May, then that does not reconcile with the statements made in the item quoted above.

Given everything that has transpired recently, Adam finds the decision by the Electoral Commission strange, what do you think?

This is the advert referred to in the item at top:-

Electoral Commission says this is a statement of policy, not an election advert

Electoral Commission says this is a statement of policy, not an election advert

As a straight forward person, Adam tends to the view that the advert was designed to appeal to those voters inclined to buy into the populist rhetoric espoused by NZ First, to raise NZ First’s profile and to induce them to consider voting for NZ First.

Why else would NZ First spend the money, because you see very few ads from NZ First. Note also that it appears to be taxpayer funded advertising.

Again, what do you think?

Irresistibly Adam finds himself reminded of OMC’s song ‘How bizarre’

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