Wellington mayoral candidate Jo Coughlan's photo faux pas

Wellington mayoral candidate Jo Coughlan (Supplied)
Wellington mayoral candidate Jo Coughlan (Supplied)

Wellington mayoral candidate Jo Coughlan sent a doctored front page of The Dominion Post to her online mailing list, which had her photoshopped into the main story to replace fellow candidate Nick Leggett.

The image was part of an online campaign brochure addressed to 'Wellingtonians' which aimed to convince voters the race for mayor was a two-horse race between herself and Labour candidate Justin Lester, not a three horse race with Mr Leggett.

Wellington mayoral candidate Jo Coughlan's photo faux pas

 

The two versions of the front page

There's no specific mention in the mailout that Mr Leggett had been digitally removed from the newspaper and replaced with a photo of Ms Coughlan.

The only comment was "Disclaimer: This image has been 'corrected' from what appeared in the Dominion Post on 16.09.2016".

Wellington mayoral candidate Jo Coughlan's photo faux pas

The brochure features comments from Ms Coughlan about how voters should use the STV voting system to ensure Mr Lester doesn’t take the mayoral chains.

"These polls indicate that currently Lester is polling first, Coughlan is second and Leggett is third," she says.

"Leggett voters should seriously consider giving me their first preference vote, unless they want Lester to be their Mayor," says Ms Coughlan in the brochure.

Newshub tried getting comment from Ms Coughlan about the altered front page but to no avail.

Asked to respond to being removed from the newspaper article, Mr Leggett said:

"At this late point in a campaign, exhaustion can overcome good judgment. This is one such case I would say."

The brochure also features an endorsement from Finance Minister Bill English, who happens to be Ms Coughlan's brother-in-law.

He is quoted as saying: "Jo is the only candidate who grasps the opportunity, and the opportunity is about getting stuff done".

It also includes this photo of Mr English wearing one of her 'Go Jo' campaign badges:

Wellington mayoral candidate Jo Coughlan's photo faux pas

Mr English's office says it has nothing to do with the brochure or any of the minister's comments in it.

However, it pointed out that endorsing candidates wasn't in breach of the rules, and Mr English was likely speaking as a family member.

Newshub.

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