New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says John Key should also be referred to police over his hosting of a radio show, not just RadioLive.
The hour-long show in which Key interviewed All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson and filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson, aired prior to the election.
The Labour Party complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) and the commission stating the show breached the Broadcasting Act and that it was unfair their leader at the time, Phil Goff, was not allocated equal time.
The BSA cleared the Prime Minister of any wrong-doing but the commission, while finding the show was not an election advertisement, found it did constitute an election programme. As such it has referred the matter to police.
Police this morning announced they had received the complaint and said it would now be assessed.
Peter said this afternoon the show was designed to get around the rules.
"It was a stunt, just like the tea party was and he's been caught out," he said.
There's just one slight problem for Winston Peters, who knows all about stunts; check this out:
Newstalk ZB talkback broadcasts were hosted by Winston Peters and Shane Jones in June 2008. In each of the programmes the hosts told listeners to vote for their respective parties, and there was no evidence that either programme contained a promoter statement at any time.
Now for some reason known only to the Electoral Commission, Shane Jones' programme was found to constitute an election programme whereas Winston Peters' was not, despite, in the words of the Electoral Commission "statements made by the two MP hosts, such as “We don’t mind who you vote for in your first vote, but buy yourself some insurance and give New Zealand First your party vote, your second vote” (Winston Peters, 5 June 2008) and “Vote Labour – see you in November” (Shane Jones, 6 June 2008) can, in the absence of other factors, reasonably be regarded as encouraging voters to vote or not to vote in a particular manner within the meaning of election advertisement in section 5(1) of the Electoral Finance Act."
Winston Peters dodged a bullet here, whereas Shane Jones was referred to the Police, who subsequently declined to charge him with any offence. So it's a bit rich for the NZ First leader to be accusing the PM of wrong-doing.
In fact some may even go as far as to suggest that it might just be a little hypocritical on Peters' part; rather like his insistence that NZ First did not receive donations from "big business" when it was later proved that they did.
Some things just never change, do they...