The Herald reports:
A Labour Party candidate threatened to bring “negative media coverage” to the business owners of a night market after he failed to get free space and access for leader Jacinda Ardern.
He got the negative media coverage – but for Labour, not the night market operators.
Barry Kirker, Labour’s candidate for Pakuranga, had emailed the Auckland Night Market owners requesting a visit for Ardern to campaign at the Pakuranga night market on September 2.
But he was told there was a change in policy and that political parties this year were being charged between $300 and $500 this year for “exclusive” campaigning at the markets.
Kirker was told Ardern could not campaign on the date he wanted because the National Party had already booked a spot on the evening in question.
Oh my God, the night market has a booking system. How dare they expect the Labour Party to use a booking system.
The Labour candidate wrote an angry email in response saying: “You (sic) shameless attempt to profit off the elect reflects poorly on your organisation.
“There could be some negative media coverage coming your way about this.”
Does Kirker also think billboard owners should give parties free advertising space?
Market owner Paul de Jonge said he was shocked at the email and the “bully tactics” of the Labour candidate.
“This is a party that is wanting to charge royalties for water, but they expect things to be given to them free of charge,” de Jonge said.
“I feel the threat of negative media is just over the top, and is really a bully boy tactic.”
Just like David Parker threatening to double the water tax on farmers if they question him on it.
The decision to have “exclusive rights” for a single political party to campaign on any given night was because parties who campaigned at the night markets before the last election were “disruptive”, de Jonge said.
“They were chanting and shouting, sometimes against the other parties, and this really affected our stall holders and customers,” de Jonge said.
The cost to political parties, which is about double that of food stalls, includes a prime double spot with table and chairs, and all night access for party members to mingle with the market crowd.
Seems very reasonable.