John Hartevelt at Stuff reports:
Do National Party candidates have an uncanny knack for having precisely the same thoughts? Or is it a case of words being put in to their mouths?
Since the party started picking new candidates in February, at least eight have issued press statements with exactly the same quotes throughout.
Even veteran broadcaster Maggie Barry and former press secretary Paul Goldsmith have been among those parroting identical party lines.
Labour’s campaign chair Trevor Mallard said any ”fill in the blanks” type press statements were ”subject to ridicule”.
”It’s a sign of both laziness and also disrespects the electorate on the part of the candidate,” Mallard said.
Oh my God, National uses a template press release to announce a new candidate. Shock, horror.
One should understand the context of these press releases. National holds a democratic selection meeting with a secret ballot determining the winner. Hence, unlike Labour, Head Office does not know the winner in advance.
Once a winner is known, around an hour later the party generally sends out a press release. Now of course this is pre-written by a staffer. The winning candidate’s name is stuck in, and they are asked to approve it. They amend and/or approve it and it goes out – sometimes within half an hour of the decision being known.
Having the candidate write their own release from scratch at 10 pm is a rather unrealistic proposition, especially as most successful candidates at that time are off to a place with alcohol to celebrate them winning the nomination.
But I congratulate Labour on discovering the use of press release templates.