web analytics

Let he who is without sin….

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, August 4th, 2011 - 17 comments
Categories: election 2011, law - Tags:

The Parliamentary exchange relating to the magazine ad is here:

Hon Annette King: Can he remember advertising in the Grey Power magazine recently, stating “We’re working for you. Security. Well-being. Respect.”; if so, does that respect include listening to, and acting on, the advice of those older people who are saying that selling the State assets they paid for is totally unacceptable?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: I do recall some ads in the Grey Power magazine, including one on asset sales, that did not carry an authorisation statement. I think that will be among the material referred to the police, with the Labour Party yet again in trouble for breaking the electoral law.

Hon Annette King: I seek leave to table an advertisement from the National Party in the Grey Power magazine that solicits votes and is unauthorised.

But the Jackel’s compliant is potentially more serious. I’m not so worried about the use of the electoral roll for segmenting the population, but sending an electoral ad, masquerading as a personal letter from the PM, to every person over 65 in the country is a pretty big deal. It makes waving a few hundred stop signs seem like small beer. – Eddie


Police to Investigate John Key

Written by The Jackal at 3:19 PM

Recently I wrote about National being in breach of privacy laws and abusing Parliamentary Servicesconcerning them attaining the address details of pensioners, and targeting that group with electioneering material.John Key’s Communications Manager Willy Trolove pointed out that it was John Key himself who had sent the electioneering advertisement directly to pensioners, through Parliamentary Services, and not the National party.It’s a bit of a grey area, as the electioneering material contained a link to National’s website, promoted National’s policies and had their logo. I was happy that Willy Trolove made the distinction though, as it’s the facts that I’m interested in. Three week’s ago I again wrote to Willy Trolove:

“I’m specifically requesting information on how you were able to separate the pensioners details from the general public’s details as contained in the electoral roll?”

However the only answer I’ve received is that the pensioners details were obtained from the electoral roll, which does not answer my specific question. Willy Trolove is now ignoring my emails and requests for information. When Trolove was responding, he informed me that the letter:

“Has been approved for a parliamentary purpose in accordance with the Parliamentary Service Act. In compliance with that act, the content of the letter is neither electioneering nor campaign material.”

In my opinion, the material was electioneering and campaign material. I was concerned that the National party was abusing their position of power and unhappy that John Key had persuaded Parliamentary Services to disregarded procedure as clearly defined within various Parliamentary Acts.

It’s not acceptable to undertake such an electioneering advertisement at the expense of the taxpayer, when it’s strictly prohibited. So I wrote to the Electoral Commission to gain their opinion on the material in question. They responded:

“The Electoral Commission’s view is that the letter would appear to meet the test of being an “election advertisement” for the purpose of the Electoral Act.”

The Electoral Act states:

Meaning of election advertisement 

(1) In this Act, election advertisement –

(a) means an advertisement in any medium that may reasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading voters to do either or both of the following: 

(i) to vote, or not to vote, for a type of candidate described or indicated by reference to views or positions that are, or are not, held or taken (whether or not the name of the candidate is stated): 

(ii) to vote, or not to vote, for a type of party described or indicated by reference to views or positions that are, or are not, held or taken (whether or not the name of the party is stated).

Therefore in the opinion of the Electoral Commission, John Key et al is in breach of the Electoral Act and therefore the Parliamentary Services Act, which has the same criteria set out to determine what is electioneering and/or campaign material.

John Key’s and National’s election advertisement was published within the regulated period, therefore the taxpayer should not fund it. I have requested that the Electoral Commission refer the matter of John Key and National’s abuse of Parliamentary Services to the Police.

The irony of all of this is the authorisation statement’s purpose is surely to tell us who is doing the advertising. In none of these cases is that in doubt. The Nats and Labour aren’t trying to hide whose putting out the ads, they’re just stuffing up the technical form of words needed. Is the law on authorisation statements an ass? – Eddie

17 comments on “Let he who is without sin…. ”

  1. Bazar 1

    Throw the book at both of them, both National and Labour.

    And no the law isn’t an arse for needing authorisation statements.
    Without it, theres nothing stopping anonymous/untraceable advertising of bullshit.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      …anonymous/untraceable advertising of bullshit.

      That sounds like our MSM and their printing of slightly reworded NAct press releases.

    • Blighty 1.2

      Why an ad be counted as authorised if it is clearly a document published by a political party or other organisation? They are identified by, say their name and logo, in all these documents. They are not anonymous, so why does it matter if the document also says “authorised by”?

      The problem, as micky says, is when a party publishes something that they don’t think is an ad and so they don’t put the statement on it, and then it is found to be an ad. Like National’s letter to pensioners. They are explaining what they see as their policy on super in light of the budget and how people gain from it. They are not asking for votes, they are publishing the policy of the government. So they don’t think it’s an ad, no authorisation statement. EC finds otherwise and suddenly it’s a case for the police

      • Deadly_NZ 1.2.1

        The maybe TV3 with Garnet and Plonker should put up ads before opening their mouths.

  2. Is the law on authorisation statements an ass?
    Yep.  It has caused all sorts of consternation to Labour activists and presumably the Nats as well.  Even simple emails to supporters now have “authorised by” statements on them.
    The law was there to require a publisher to be identified.  The Exclusive Bretheren experience was the genesis.  Where the statement comes from a political party itself the need for an authorised by statement is bizarre.  Nanny state in the extreme.
    I actually do not oppose Key using PS money to publicise National policies as long as all the parties can.  I just wish there was a mature debate about it.  I trust that Cameron and others will now be jumping up and down about the use of their hard paid tax money for political purposes.
    But good on Jackel for publicising what looks like an extraordinary example of hypocrisy.

  3. randal 3

    Itw worse than hypocrisy. Its blatant ignoring of the laws of the land.

  4. Rich 4

    The electoral commission state that an elector’s date of birth is confidential and is not released to anyone. So if they gave dates of birth to the Nats, then it’s a breach of their rules and/or legislation.

    It’s possible that the Nats used other sources (like a credit reference agency) to find dates of birth. That in itself would seem to be a breach of the Privacy Act, as the information wasn’t provided to facilitate political campaigning. Or they could have obtained the data from another department, like MSD, which would also be illegal.

    The only other option I can think of is that they selected on an occupation field (which is available) of “retired”, or did a statistical trick – if the person lives in Tauranga and is called Norman or Gladys, chances are they’re a pensioner.

    • Rich 4.1

      EDIT: Well, the electoral commission site is a bit misleading. They aren’t allowed to provide candidates and MPs with the date of birth. They are required to provide the age group (in 5 year quanta).

      So that’s probably what the Nats did.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        Yes – the electronic roll has a 5 year range in it for each voter as a letter code. From memory something like ‘A’ – ‘S’, S being the 15-20yo and A being something like 120-125yo.

        • jackal

          Thanks for the info lprent. Would you happen to know if the A to S is searchable by Parliamentary Services and MP’s? Usually this information is only available to the relevant authority.

          I wonder if the pensioners details were gained for the specific purpose of John Key’s Electioneering Advertisement, as required under the Electoral Act 1993, and whether the proper fee was paid for the supply of this specific information.

          I’m also wondering if there’s an appropriate accompanying statement, that should be provided by the Chief Registrar, which would define the request and the parameters the information was to be used? I feel an OIA request coming on.

          • lprent

            The electronic electoral roll is made available to political parties, who will usually allow it to be accessed by MP’s and candidates.

            I’d guess that it isn’t allowed to be accessed by Parliamentary Services employees except those in the electorate offices – who are working directly for MP’s. You’d have to look at the Act. It is quite specific about what the electorate rolls and especially the electronic one may be used for.

            • Rich

              This is all documented, you know 🙂

              s114 (2) c sez: “a member of Parliament or person acting on behalf of a member of Parliament who wishes to obtain the information for the purposes of the member of Parliament”

              That would seem to me to include anyone in PS working at the direction of an MP. It wouldn’t allow a PS person to collect the data of their own volition.

              It also sez that you have to state the requester must state that “information is required for purposes permitted by this section” which is defined as “the purposes of the member of Parliament”. That would seem to me to include any kind of information, research or campaigning, all of which are the tasks of an MP. A party (whether inside or outside parliament) can also request information for their purposes.

              My reading, and IANAL, is that the only way you’d breach s114 is by using the data for some non-political purpose, like debt collecting or market research. It wouldn’t even be illegal to give the data to Farrar or someone to hassle people into focus groups, as long as it was kept political and the request originated from a party, candidate or MP.

  5. bbfloyd 5

    well, i’m pleased to see this has finally got peoples attention..

    i wrote this out verbatim on this site’s open mike and got no responses whatsoever… my mother, who is a pensioner living in te aroha gave it to me. she said that all her friends got one, and were confused as to what was actually being said.. the impression was that it was an attempt to confuse rather than inform…

    the letter itself is blatant electioneering…. any other interpretation is either dissembling, or blatant lies to cover for nationals cynical and corrupt political practices..

    i also read the labour pamphlets in question… they were actually a hell of a lot more informative(which says nothing), and did have the proper autherisation…

    attempts to lump labour in with nationals theft of public money for self promotion are no more than the the tried and tested “labour did it too” kaka that has served them so well as long as we have an utterly compliant fourth column…

    i really am getting tired of waiting for an honest, civilised, and responsible dialogue on the real and important issues facing us. i realise that this won’t ever happen until the”elites” stop operating on the basis of total self interest being a “goodness”…and realise the utter stupidity and ultimately self destructive outcome of that approach.

    i speak for the majority of people i know when i say that we are all utterly sick of our futures, and the futures of our children being held hostage to the greed and duplicity of national and their supporters..

    annother few years of this idiocy and we won’t have any young tradesmen/women, or skilled artisans, administrators, or anyone of consequence left… australia, and europe will be thanking the nats for delivering skilled workers to them allowing them to avoid the expense of having to educate them..

  6. Tombstone 6

    I was at the Riccarton Market in CHCH last week and there was a stand set up with National banners all over it and electoral material laid out on the table where 5 -6 young Nationals were trying to rally people to the National cause. Is that not electioneering and can they do that?

  7. Terry 7

    Yes, I am an old age superann. and I received an unwanted and unasked for letter from John Key (for whom never in a life-time would I vote) begging for the support of him and his Party. Never have I had official dealings with this Party so I truly wonder how he know my age, status, or address? It was both an ad AND a plea. I was much irritated.

  8. Rich 8

    See upthread. They’ll have got a list of people with an age group code, and then mailed everyone over 65.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago