At the left of the masthead for The Courier is an advertisement for Aoraki MP Jo Goodhew with her contact details and the Parliamentary crest and a small National logo which is the sort of thing an electorate MP routinely does.
At the right of the same masthead is an advertisement in which the Labour logo takes up a third of the space and under this is “Timaru Government MPs’ office, your link to Government” with an address, and both a Timaru and 0800 phone number. It also carries the parliamentary crest.
Trouble is there is no person who is the Government MP for Timaru (and the placement of the apostrophe after the s means it’s referring to more than one Timaru Government MP). This means it can’t be a constituency or list MP’s or MPs’ advertisement so it must be an election advertisement – so why does it have the Parliamentary crest (which means you and I have paid for it) and why doesn’t it have authorisation as required by the EFA?
The central vetting committee which Audrey Young reports has been set up to inspect every proposed publication by every Labour MP and candidate can’t have seen this, unless they think Labour Government MPs don’t count. Of maybe the law of common sense doesn’t apply here.
For the record, I rang both numbers and got an answer phone telling me I’d phoned the Timaru Labour Government MP’s (or maybe MPs’) office. Just wondering if you and I pay for that too.