Wilful disobediance

I’m very surprised that Labour’s trying ignorance as an excuse in their breaches of electoral law. Phil Goff said today at his standup:

“Yeah there was a technical breach there. We should have put the word authorised by. If you look at all political party stuff that’s coming out you’ll find in tiny print at the bottom, authorised by. The rules have changed and the committee that put that together didn’t take that into account.”

Ummmm, this isn’t true.  The rules from 2008 are pretty clear, and Labour broke them multiple times even then…

“A person who wilfully publishes, or causes or permits to be published, an election advertisement in contravention of these requirements commits an offence.  Such matters will be referred to the Police unless the Commission considers that the offence is so inconsequential there is no public interest in reporting the facts to the Police.  Each instance will be considered on its merits.”

It is absolutely insulting for Labour to claim the ignorance non-excuse – again!

Because – alongside the political cripple’s promoter statement breach that I pointed out earlier  – Labour were found to have broken this rule on multiple occasions.

What is it about adding a promoter statement that Labour doesn’t understand?  It’s total nonsense to yet again try to claim they didn’t know the rules.

Electoral Commission decisions on election advertising matters

Two decisions released today: report to the Police a lack of written permission from parties to publish election advertisements in their favour; find that the covering of a billboard promoter statement by an adding a flash was not wilful.  Read more »

Electoral Commission decision 2008-52, Labour Party, election advertisements

Labour Party sign in Mount Maunganui had a slash attached which obscured the promoter statement. No offence committed because the contravention was not wilful.  Read more »

Electoral Commission decision 2008-51, Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa, Labour Party, Maori Party, election advertisements

Advertisement in the Hamilton Press contains election advertisements and its publication was not authorised in writing by the parties. Defects in the promoter statement will not be reported to the Police, however the failure to obtain written authorisation of the Parties will be reported.  Read more »

Electoral Commission decision 2008-32, Labour Party, election advertisement

A generic letter from Pete Hodgson MP in July 2008 seeks contributions to the Labour Century Fund (LCF) and suggests that to do so is a practical way to support the Labour Party and therefore its chances of winning the election again. The letter does not have a promoter statement.

Electoral Commission decision 2008-23, Labour Party, campaign caravan

A campaign caravan lacks a promoter statement, but no offence committed as the contravention is not wilful.

Electoral Commission decision 2008-17, Labour Party, file boxes

The commission is unable to consider the complaint due to Parliamentary privilege. Read more »

Electoral Commission decision 2008-12, Labour, wheel cover

A spare wheel cover with words and a Labour Party logo is an election advertisement without a promoter statement, but not displayed wilfully so no offence committed.  Read more »

However, I do admire Phil Goff’s bold new approach to law and order – it doesn’t matter if it’s a ‘technical breach’?

Really? That’s what you’re going to the public with?

This policy will go down as well as his proposal for new extra taxes, and more borrowing.

In  2008 all parties were warned about these promoter statements – the Greens and Jim Anderton too…

Electoral Commission decision 2008-11, Progressive, newspaper advertisement

Progressive advertisement appearing in the Southland Express on 10 April 2008 re BZP is an election advertisement without a promoter statement and will be reported to the Police.  Read more »

This is just a snapshot of the promoter statement warnings in 2008.  Labour can’t count on ignorance as an excuse in 2011.

I’m with Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn who says Labour is Goffing it up.

Contrary to Grant Robertson’s attempts to minimise the crime, this is not a “minor technical breach”. It is a serious violation of electoral law, with apenalty of a $40,000 fine. And Labour deserves to be socked with it. They have deliberately and premeditatedly flouted a core provision of the laws which ensure our elections have integrity. We should have no pity on them when they are held to account.

Grant Robertson gave us the heads up on who is responsible. It is Phil Goff and he must go, by his own choice or by the will of his caucus.


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  • Idiot/Savant has gone up several notches in my estimation in the last few days. First-up he apologised for accusing Wayne Mapp of being drunk in the House, and tonight he’s giving Goff and Labour an absolute kicking. Even though he’s a Leftie, he’s got some integrity.

    BTW: No-one at The Standard has yet apologised to Mapp, and today Zetetic blogs about “Wayne “Tipple” Mapp”; I’d go and berate them, but Lynn banned me on Friday because I called them on their bullshit.

  • reid

    It is a seri­ous vio­la­tion of elec­toral law, with apenalty of a $40,000 fine. And Labour deserves to be socked with it.

    Well that would see them need to do a whip round for I fear the online donation line hasn’t exactly been running hot last time and they only had $26k for the whole election back last month.

    Oh dear.

  • Is there a “naughty corner” like three strikes and you have to sit out the election (not that their support could fall a lot lower anyway)? They must be bloody close by now if there is. Alternatively, what happens if they don’t pay the fine? Do they get “Unite-d”, proscribed, wound up?

    • reid

      Never mind, TGG. Silent-T will leap in and revive them like a breath of fresh lemon minto, you’ll see.

      It’ll be wonderful.

  • gazzaw

    Did Winston ever pay up?

    • Nope, not a cent.

      • Didn’t he once claim to have donated the whole lot to charity (and refuse to provide a receipt, of course)?

  • rouppe

    I have no confidence that a prosecution will ensue.

    After all, the Police have much better things to do, such as prosecute people for doing 111kph at the end of a passing lane…