A spat has broken out between two political rivals over the use of a prominent Hamilton billboard in the lead-up to October’s council elections.
City Councillor and mayoral hopeful Rob Pascoe has accused fellow Councillor Andrew King of stymieing free speech after he rejected a request by Pascoe to hire a billboard above King’s Frankton business.
King owns several billboards on the corner of Greenwood Street and Killarney Road, as well as at other sites in the city.
Pascoe made inquiries to hire a billboard above King’s business during the month of September as part of Pascoe’s mayoral campaign.
However, his bid was rejected on the grounds the billboard was “politically incompatible” with King’s own views.
Pascoe was told King’s other billboards were also off-limits.
He has since booked billboard space in Whitiora and along Anzac Parade in Hamilton East.
“I guess it’s disappointing as I have a limited budget and booking billboards at three different sites would have given me coverage over the city,” Pascoe said.
“I feel Andrew is negating free speech by not allowing me to use his billboards.
No he isn’t. That’s ridiculous. King owns those billboards. They are his personal property. You have no more right to put your own skins on them than you do to stick up a hoarding in his backyard or on his car.