National Abusing Parliamentary Services | The Jackal

4 Jul 2011

National Abusing Parliamentary Services

I received correspondence today from the National Party re Private and Personal Address Details.

I had written to question how the National Party was able to gain the names and addresses specifically for pensioners for John Key's letter dated 22 June 2011.

Here is an excerpt from the first email written by Liam Mcnamara:
The letter in question was written and distributed by the government, not the National Party. I have forwarded on your email to the appropriate department The Research and Communications Unit of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. They should have or be in the processes of replaying to your email.
How amusing. An hour after the first email I received more correspondence from a Willy Trolove, who is the Communications Manager for the Office of Rt Hon John Key:
Please note that the letter was neither initiated nor funded by the National Party. It was initiated by the Rt Hon John Key, and funded by the Parliamentary Service, as per the authorisation statement at the foot of the letter. 

As such, it is has been approved for a parliamentary purpose in accordance with the Parliamentary Service Act. In compliance with that act, the content of the letter is neither electioneering nor campaign material.
 To which I have replied:
The letter contains the National Party logo and website address (advertising). It is therefore promoting the National party.

The Parliamentary Services Act 2000 does not allow for a letter from a member of Parliament to be sent to pensioners at the taxpayers expense when it contains campaign material.

The letter seeks support for votes for the National Party by promoting its policies. Expenditure under Parliamentary Service in respect of the publication of the advertisement is therefore invalid.
You will note that the letter itself is one big National Party promotional document. With only five month's before the next general election, it promotes the 2011 budget arguing that selling our SOE's will reduce debt for our grandchildren.

The truth of the matter is that selling SOE's would increase debt for generations to come. Key lies about New Zealanders having the first chance to buy shares. Another failing is that the letter does not allow the recipient to opt out of the correspondence.

Not only that, the letter attacks the opposition by saying Labour has higher mortgage rates. This is strictly prohibited under law.

Interestingly Willy Trolove used to write for the right wing NZ Herald. Here is what Trolove wrote in 2005 concerning medicine within New Zealand:
At which point you are obliged to ask what medication they are taking, and pretend to be sympathetic, while they blather on for the next half an hour about their allergy to oxygen or their unremitting constipation.
...and Trolove writing about the election process the same year:
Election Day n. The brief period of blissful calm that accompanies those few glorious hours when the election campaign is over and the candidates are quiet, and when the voters convince themselves that they have an important say in how the country will be run for the next three years.
Looks like he's most suited for his current role. The next step is the Ombudsman and the Electoral Commissioner.