There’s nothing suspicious in the removal of Labour Party signange from David Benson-Pope’s electorate office – at least that’s his story.
Labour Party signs have been removed from the front of the Dunedin South electorate office to comply with the Electoral Finance Act, Dunedin South MP David Benson-Pope says.
Mr Benson-Pope was contacted yesterday after confusion from the public over the removal of the signs from the King Edward St office, which he shares with Labour MP for Te Tai Tonga, Mahara Okeroa.
“It is nothing anyone should let their imagination work overtime about,” he said.
The removal of party signage from electorate offices was “standard right across the country”, he said.
But the EFA is not supposed to interfere with the work of MPs. Not being able to let your constituents know where your office is would definitely resrtict your effectiveness.
And EFA restrictions on advertising took effect from January 1 so why wait until now to get rid of all the signage?
The Electoral Commission has still to decide whether logos are election advertsiements, and unlike Helen Clark who has a low opinion of the integrity of public servants, I don’t think the commission would leak its ruling to Labour before making it public.
So what’s going on?
Benson-Pope’s explanation sounds like a Tui-truth to me and only lends more credibility to the rumours he’s going to stand for Dunedin South – whether it’s as an independent or for another party, perhaps even New Zealand First as my earlier post suggested remains to be seen.
He could of course stop the speculation by clearly stating he’s not going to be seeking a seat. But it seems he’s been learning from the Winston Peters school of communication which prevents him from giving a straight answer to a simple question.