Labour have produced out of their Leader’s Office budget, a pamphlet promoting the 2008 budget. The NZ Herald reports that it is almost certainly an election expense and will come out of the $2.4 million spending cap:
Wellington electoral law specialist Graeme Edgeler said last night the leaflet met the definition of election advertisement under the Electoral Finance Act.
“It doesn’t say vote Labour, but that is the clear implication.”
It had party colours, the Labour logo, and the party’s tax-cut promises this year and in the future.
He did not believe it could be considered under the exception given to an MP producing material in their capacity as MP.
“This is a Labour Party promotional leaflet.”
It was “almost certainly” an election advertisement and as such should be declared in the party’s expenses.
Any postage costs in sending it out, should also be included!
It may also count as a donation:
Mr Edgeler also said that under the new law, the cost of the leaflet might have to be declared as an election donation by the Parliamentary Service to the Labour Party.
“If I gave the Labour Party $30,000 worth of leaflets it would be a donation – just as if they printed off $30,000 worth and sent me the bill and I paid it, that would be a donation.
“I really don’t see the difference between them sending a bill to me, or getting the leaflets from me, and them sending the bill to the Parliamentary Service or getting the leaflets from the Parliamentary Service.”
It will be very interesting to have revealed the total amount of taxpayer funding spent on election advertising.
UPDATE: It appears the Government was unable to find a happy New Zealand family for their publicity campaign, so they have used an American family!
Well done to Skinny for his detective work. Someone has found another photo of the family which more fairly reflects their situation:
This is very very funny.Tags: Budget, Electoral Finance Act, Graeme Edgeler, Labour