On 20 October 2005 the Chief Electoral Officer refers the breach of Section 221 to the NZ Police. He had warned Labour no less than three times before the election the pledge cards were an electoral advertisement. He has had legal advice from the Ministry of Justice and Crown Law Office. He even had Labour agreeing to include them as an electoral expense and then reneging on that commitment.
Now note the language in the letter from the CEO. He labels the actions a “clear breach”. This is unusual as many referrals from the CEO to the Police do not conclude a clear breach but just ask for an investigation.
The CEO on 20 October also writes back to Labour. He states the arguments put forward by Labour have been considered but he remains of the view that “the advertising clearly encourages or persuades or appears to encourage or persaude voters to vote for the Labour Party”.