Vic Crone and Penny Bright both break the law

And they don’t give a toss. To be honest, why should they? Not a single political candidate has ever suffered financially, or by being disqualified after the fact, for breaking election by-laws. They know it is open season.

Ms Crone and another mayoral candidate, Penny Bright, believe the Bill of Rights overrides a bylaw which prohibits “election signs” until August 6, nine weeks out from the local body elections on October 9.

“I don’t consider our billboards any more distracting than a billboard of Dan Carter in his boxers,” Ms Crone said.

The businesswoman unveiled two billboards in the CBD and Parnell in March. They stated “Vic Crone for Auckland” and referred to her website “vic4mayor.co.nz”– an apparent breach of the Auckland Transport Election Signs bylaw.

At the time, Auckland electoral officer Dale Ofsoske said in his view the billboards were an election sign.

Ms Crone took the signs down when the rental period expired, She has since taken legal advice on the issue.

The advice, she said, was the bylaw was unlawful and unjustifiably breached the Bill or Rights Act.

“It looks to me that the bylaw is being selectively applied to political campaigns as some kind of political censorship.

“That’s exactly the type of nonsense that Aucklanders are sick and tired of.

Not at all. It is people trying to be cute and not paying their rates or putting up signs and then pretending it is some kind of moral stance instead of what we all know it really is: attention grabbing and being a dick.  

“Ms Bright advised me [on Thursday] that she has written to the Minister inviting him to revoke the bylaw on the basis that it is in breach of certain Bill of Rights requirements.

Mr Ofsoske said the minister had the power under the Land Transport Act to revoke the bylaw.

“Please note that, absent the bylaw being revoked by the minister, set aside by a court, or amended by a special consultative procedure, it remains in force and will continue to regulate election signage throughout the election period,” Mr Ofsoske said.

In a statement, Transport Minister Simon Bridges said he had sought legal advice on the bylaw as well as his powers as minister to disallow transport-related bylaws.

“I’ve written to Auckland Transport asking them to clarify the original purpose of the bylaw and to advise how they believe the bylaw is consistent with the Land Transport Act 1998 and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

This is what Aucklanders really care about?

I think the undercurrent is that a mayoral candidate who doesn’t respect the rules as they stand is just as likely to turn into another Len Brown.

Ratepayers are hounded by debt collection agencies for overdue book fees. They get significant fines or are towed if they are 11 minutes or more over time in their parking spot.

If it’s good enough for the council to insist on strict rules, then I don’t think much of politicians who start off breaking rules they don’t like. If you really care enough, then work towards changing the rules. In the meantime, show the voters that you can be trusted to do the right thing.

 

– Bernard Orsman, NZ Herald


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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