The Auditor-General has spoken out to correct the many inaccurate things being put out over his report,
It has frankly been a disgrace as certain MPs and parties have attacked his judgement, suggesting he has invented some new unfair rule.
He has made crystal clear that only expenditure for the last three months are covered. The reason for this is he did a previous report in June 2005 covering issues up until that point. In that report he explicitly warned MPs to watch their election spending and ensure it is appropriate.
So what we have is not Labour accidentally breaking some new rules with their $445,000 pledge cards. They ignored the advice of not only the Chief Electoral Officer, explicitly given before the election, but also the advice of the Auditor-General that he would be specifically scrutinising the election period.
The Labour spin about how National could be up for huge amounts for previous periods is also demolished. The AG says he investigated all advertising in the year to June 2005 and “nothing in that period” caused concern.
Also of significance is the AG formed his views on the illegality of the advertising before he consulted the Solicitor-General. The SG independently came to the same conclusion.
The excuses for Labour to retrospectively legislate their illegal spending are drying up. If they do so, they will be acting corruptly. No ifs, no buts.