6 Apr 2015

Focus Party fuming over electoral complaint

2:33 pm on 6 April 2015

A small political party is angry a complaint has been laid with the Electoral Commission about some of its advertising during last week's Northland by-election.

Focus Party's Northland candidate, Joe Carr.

Focus Party's Northland candidate, Joe Carr. Photo: Supplied / Focus Party

The Focus Party, which seeks to promotes the interests of regional New Zealand, took out newspaper ads telling supporters to vote for New Zealand First's leader, Winston Peters.

Its Northland candidate, farmer Joe Carr, said he authorised the ads but didn't know he needed New Zealand First's consent as well.

He said he has now learned that if a party wants to advertise support for another candidate it must ask that candidate's approval.

"I just think it is damn ridiculous," he said.

He said he understands the rule was created after the Exclusive Brethren lent anonymous support to the National Party some years ago, but it shouldn't apply to parties openly urging supporters to vote strategically.