Major political parties have found a way around electoral campaign rules by calling hundreds of public meetings across the country.
Like Easter eggs in supermarkets straight after Boxing Day, people have been confronted with a barrage of party political billboards months before the official, regulated election period began midnight, on Thursday.
Gone now, the typically large, party authorised billboards sported sitting MPs and wannabe electorate candidate’s faces and extolled constituents to attend meetings discussing electorate issues.
Yet weeks past the advertised meeting date, the signs lingered in places like public parks often right up until the start of, or even past Thursday’s election advertising oversight period.
I’ve noticed this a lot in seats Labour are desperate to win such as Hutt South and Auckland Central. They organise public meetings purely as a pretext for being able to put up lots of billboards early. And then they leave the billboards up.
The Electoral Commission is getting a legal opinion on whether White’s sign constituted advertising.
Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck …
“I’m a new candidate, meeting billboards are the only way people are going to get to know me,” White said.
Really? Ever heard of door knocking?