Nothing will happen

The Electoral Commission has referred TV3 to the Police for breaching the Electoral Act.

They needn’t worry because the Police are still sitting on more than 30 complaints from the 2011 election that they have done nothing with.

A skit on TV3’s Jono and Ben at Ten show is being assessed by police after a complaint that it amounted to an illegal election broadcast for NZ First.

The Electoral Commission referred TV3 owner MediaWorks to police on Wednesday over a skit on the comedy show entitled The School Terminator. It featured NZ First leader Winston Peters saying he could not fix education payroll system Novopay now, and could only complain about it.

“But if you vote New Zealand First at the next election, we can sure set out to fix it up.”

The skit was broadcast on June 28. The Electoral Commission said yesterday that it was believed to have broken the law because “it is an offence to broadcast an election programme outside the election period”. 

The law says an election programme “encourages or persuades . . . voters to vote for a political party”. Under section 70 of the Broadcasting Act 1989, it is an offence to broadcast such a programme outside the election period.

The Electoral Commission is obliged to report to police anything believed to be a breach of this provision of the act. A conviction carries a maximum fine of $100,000.

The Police won’t do a thing. They never do. It is time that Judith Collins seriously looked at removing the Police from their role in enforcing electoral breaches.

If they won;t do anything then essentially everyone can cheat all they like because there is no enforcement of election laws.


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