NZ First was one of those parties who voted in favour of allowing taxpayer money to be used on pledge cards and newspaper ads during the last few weeks of an election campaign. And what is their reason:
New Zealand First deputy leader Peter Brown said: “We need the bill [the Appropriation … ] to protect us from the Auditor-General’s wisdom.”
Yes, this is an MP saying they should be exempt from the Auditor-General. This is an MP who props up the Government led by Helen Clark who is telling NZers not to worry about an exemption for Govt Depts because they need to be approved by the Auditor-General.
When I read someone saying they need to be protected from the Auditor-General, I wonder how many years they have been sentenced to.
Only National, the Maori Party and Gordon Copeland voted against a self serving law which would allow Labour to spend $2 million of taxpayer money the week before the election on material such as election pledge cards.
Parties in favour were Labour, Progressives, New Zealand First, Greens, United Future, Act, and Taito Phillip Field.
And the key thing to remember is that all this expenditure, will be exempt from spending limits in the Electoral Finance Bill. Labour could in fact spend $5 million of taxpayer funds during the last four weeks of the election campaign, and it wouldn’t breach the $2.4 million party spending limit as it will be exempt.