Saturday, June 28, 2008

NZ First first to be prosecuted?

The Electoral Commission released a pile of decisions today, and it looks like NZ First will be the first party reported to the police (and possibly prosecuted) for violating the Electoral Finance Act. The complaint concerns two banners displayed on a house in Tauranga which did not bear promoter statements. NZ First's financial agent did not respond to the Electoral Commission's request for an explanation (perhaps they were waiting for Winston to tell them what to say?), the matter was not inconsequential, and so it has been forwarded to police. The full decision is here [PDF].

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission did not uphold Blair Mulholland's complaint against the Greens, as the posters did not appear in the authorised form (which included a promoter statement), or a second complaint against the Greens for having a billboard with an incorrect address on it (it was designed before the EC's educational notice and promptly corrected). It has also ruled that National's "join the conversation" flyer which Audrey Young was complaining about is not an election advertisement and so did not need to bear a promoter statement. Which strongly suggests that contrary to the Herald's fearmongering, they have also decided that party logos are not election advertisements.