Labour spending okayed

As I predicted the Auditor-General has ruled the parliamentary Labour spending on Kiwisaver etc is legal. But look at the precise statement made by the Auditor-General:

The Auditor-General has decided that the publicity carried out by the Labour parliamentary party relating to an announcement on 1 July complies with the current rules and was appropriately paid for by the Parliamentary Service.

Five complaints were received that the publicity was electioneering.

The publicity was assessed against the Parliamentary Travel, Accommodation, Attendance, and Communications Determination 2006 and the Appropriation (Parliamentary Expenditure Validation) Act 2006, which sets parameters around operational expenditure incurred by members of Parliament and parliamentary parties.

The publicity was consistent with the rules.

Note the references to the 2006 Act and Determination. Labour and allies passed a law which not only validated their previous breaches, but widened the law so something such as their pledge card would be legal in future. It is near impossible to break the current spending rules unless a publication explicitly asks for votes, money or members.

The AG of course has made no finding as to whether the spending would be legal under the old rules. Would be most improper of him to do so. But he does seem to have gone out of his way to highlight that his ruling is based on the new rules only.

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