Are Labour’s ads in breach of the Electoral Act?

This advertisement appeared in a Grey Power magazine. In scanning it the e-mail address phil.goff@parliament.govt.nz got obscured, after the phone number.

Now we know from the minutes Whale published, that Labur have been instructed to use parliamentary service resources to benefit Labour, and this ad is funded by Parliament.

Now up until the regulated period starts on 26 August, this ad can be funded form Labour’s parliamentary budget as it does not explicitly call for votes, money or members. However my recollection is the rules are the party logo must be the same size as the parliamentary crest, and clearly in this ad it is way way larger, and appears twice.

So may have broken PS rules (unless they have amended the rule about logo size) in this advertisement. However it could be worse. They may have broken the Act because there is no authorised by promoter statement.

The Commission has just this month published a booklet with guidance for MPs. They stress that even taxpayer funded advertisements need an authorisation statement if they can be “reasonably regarded as encouraging or persuading voters to vote or not vote for a party”.

In their official guide, the Commission notes a factor that may indicate if an advertisement is an election advertisement is “references to a party’s election policy or what they will do if re-elected”.

Look at the ad and the part that says “Under there will be no asset sales”. Bingo.

The ad is very clearly designed to encourage people to vote Labour. That means it should have an authorisation statement with a name and address.

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