The more I look into the case, the more obvious it is becoming that an outrageous spin attack has taken place on the Auditor-General. The fact we can not read his report for ourselves makes the spinning even worse. Here’s some key dates people should know:
2003 – Parliamentary Service spending rules updated and changed
mid 2005 – Auditor-General asks to meet with party leaders to discuss rules for parliamentary spending. Helen Clark refuses to meet with him.
July 2005 – Auditor-General reviews all major expenditure for previous 04/05 year and finds no major issues with it.
July 2005 – Auditor-General publicly wanrs parliamentary parties not to use taxpayer funds for electioneering.
August 2005 – Chief Electoral Officer tells Labour he regards their pledge card as election advertising
September 2005 – Labour agree to include pledge card in their election return
October 2005 – Labour renege on promise to Chief Electoral Officer
August 2006 – Auditor-General finds that at least the $445,000 pledge cards and maybe as much as $900,000 of taxpayer expenditure for Labour was illegal.
As Richard Long points out in the Dominion Post, Labour have introduced state funding of political parties – but just for themselves!! And they have done this “without bothering with parliamentary approval, or, for that matter, with Audit Office, Crown Law Office or Electoral Office approval.”