Monday, July 07, 2008

New kiwi blog

08 Wire - from the people who brought us KeepLeftNZ. But while it is indeed amusing (the John the Chameleon video is priceless, as well as accurate), and has some interesting wonkery as well, it's also a blatant attempt to evade the Electoral Finance Act. The site and its editor are both outside New Zealand, which makes the point moot in a practical sense, but according to their self-justifying statement, they have "decided, for reasons of equity, to behave consistently with the Act in any case". The problem is that both of the exemptions they cite look decidedly dodgy - it all looks a bit slick and well funded to be "non-commercial", while their declaration that they are "ready to ensure the election of an LPG Government" blows their appeal to the media exemption out of the water. Many people, I think, will be concerned whether those videos are really being produced outside New Zealand - and National will no doubt seek to counter them by claiming they are really being hatched in the Beehive. By allowing that, they're undermining their cause, and the credibility of fair controls to prevent the rich from buying elections.

None of this would be an issue of course if they simply included a promoter statement. And given that those videos are clearly intended to go viral anyway, and hence won't fall under the blog exemption, that's probably a necessity. As for whether they have to register as a third party, maybe not: hosting is cheap and time is free, so a group of people with talent and the right tools could probably produce this sort of material while keeping within the spending limit.