We claim to be a democracy in which equal participation in the political process is open to everyone. It’s simply not true and has never been.

Huge financial advantages lie with existing Parliamentary Parties, notably in travel expenses used for campaigning in election years, paid by the taxpayer plus diverse other ways, not available to proposed new parties.

One reason the NZ Party only 2 years after formation, managed a 12½% election support in 1984 is it was largely a middle-class revolt, thus was able to match advertising expenditure by the Nats and Labour, its membership comprising financially comfortable professionals and the like.

That was unusual and to the best of my knowledge peculiar to it in the post-war era.

Another significant advantage open to abuse is free postage for MPs to write to their electorates’ citizens. Conversely the public can write to their MPs at Parliament without paying postage.

But, the rules on this are strict, such communications to be confined to notification of planned meetings and the like for constituents to air their concerns.

I’m in Chris Bishop’s electorate and regularly receive such missives from him. He sticks to the straight and narrow, advising of his access at various meetings over tea and coffee to hear concerns.

That’s as the scheme was intended albeit one can still argue this well meant process still provides a publicity advantage.

That said, recently I received a tax-payer-paid letter from Chris Hipkins. He is not my electorate MP thus I suspect it’s been sent to every Coneland house-hold. It comprises blatant electioneering and is a gross abuse of this privilege.

For this he should be prosecuted and subject at the least, if not to a fine, then a bill for the massive postage cost.

There’s only one word for this and that is corruption.


Yes, I received one here in Tauranga from Hipkins a few days ago and thought the same thing.

Absolutely spot on Bob – but not mention of this the blatant corruption from his own “mainstream media” of course.
My wife and I stuck them both in the postbox ‘Return to sender’.

Me too. In Paihia. Blatant electioneering by advertising the wonderfulness budget 2 months ago!! As if……

I did also here in St Heliers, who will take this further, the police maybe, not so sure of that.

Yep received the letter. Put it in the bin and steamed about the gross waste of money. Had no idea the message in the letter was also not what was intended for the use of free postage.

Same here. Replied to the PM’s email address [as printed on letter] saying we get enough biased news on Pravda, don’t need any more in the letterbox, especially when we’re expected to stump up for it. You know the irony, and I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised, they’d got the PM’s email address wrong on the printed letterhead! After many bounce backs we googled the correct address and got it through. Eagerly awaiting a reply!

I live in Chippie’s electorate and also received these missives which went straight to the bin. However writing to him on electorate matters or on areas of ministerial responsibility the chances of a reply are zero.

Councillor Ray Chung July 5, 2023 at 7:03 pm

I can’t recall receiving this so may have consigned it to the recycle bin! But I consider that it’s similar to these booklets that the WCC sends out regularly that costs half a million dollars! I consider these to be of doubtful value!

Same old thing from Labour. Tax payer money is just a slush fund for them.

I also received one and sent Chris a return email because he included his email address. I gave him my opinion of the current Labour government and asked him if we could catch up for a beer to discuss further. Bit gutted because he hasn’t replied. Given the current financial mess the government has put us in, if even offered to buy the beers.

I’ve received the same from Anna Lorck.
Could someone with the funds take a private prosecution on this?

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