Electoral Commission looking into Te Pāti Māori post after complaint

They are looking into it.
They are looking into it. Photo credit: Getty Images.

The Electoral Commission is looking into an Instagram post by Te Pāti Māori after receiving a complaint that it breached the Electoral Act.

On Monday, the party's account posted on the social media platform asking for volunteers as the party is "gearing up to bring all the 7 Māori seats back home in this year's election"!

"In order for that to happen, we need as much support as we can get; Tangata Whenua mai, Tangata Tiriti mai!".

It then suggests people sign up and "be part of the movement that will bring our seats home"!

A screenshot of the post was shared on Twitter by a user claiming it breached the Electoral Act as there is no promoter statement attached.

The Electoral Commission responded by saying it would look into it.

It confirmed to Newshub it had "received a complaint about the post and whether it has a promoter statement".

A promoter statement is required on any election advertisement, which is defined by the Electoral Commission as any advertisement "that may reasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading voters to vote or not vote for a candidate, party, [or a] type of candidate or party the advertisement described by referencing views they do or don't hold".

"An advertisement’s encouragement or persuasion can be direct or indirect. Whether an advertisement encourages or persuades voters depends on its: content, style, apparent purpose, factual context, effect as a whole.

"We must assess whether something is an election advertisement from the perspective of a reasonable observer, recognising the importance and value of political speech in a democracy."

Election or referendum advertisements don't include editorial content, personal political views online or MPs' contact details.

"Some types of advertisements about an election or referendum need a promoter statement, even if they don’t encourage or persuade voters to vote or not vote for a party or candidate or referendum option and won’t count as an election or referendum expense.

"For example, posters encouraging people to enrol to vote in the election need to include a promoter statement because the posters are related to an election."

Publishing an election advertisement without a promoter statement can lead to fines.

Te Pāti Māori has been contacted for comment.