Harawira must remove crest from billboards

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 11:28 24/07/2014
Hone Harawira
DAVID WHITE
HONE HARAWIRA

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Mana leader Hone Harawira will remove the Parliamentary crest from his campaign billboards after claims he was using taxpayer funding to pay for the hoardings.

The use of the crest prompted the Taxpayers' Union to lodge a complaint with Speaker David Carter, asking him to investigate.

Parliamentary funding cannot be used for election purposes.

But a spokeswoman for Parliamentary Service said it had already investigated the issue and spoken with Harawira's office. No taxpayer funding had been used to pay for the boards.

"The signs have not been paid for or funded in any way by Parliamentary Service," she said.

"In addition, Mr Harawira's office is ensuring the parliamentary crest will not be visible on any of his election signs."

The spokeswoman said last night that the use of the crest would generally denote the use of parliamentary funding.

Harawira dismissed the claims of Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams, who yesterday branded the apparent breach of rules as "an outrageous use of taxpayer money".

"But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was to make the accusation without checking the facts" Harawira said.

"The billboards were all legitimately paid for from campaign funds."

Harawira then went on to say that "poor taxpayers who are being conned to pay for their [the Taxpayers' Union's] expenses might want to think about putting their money somewhere else ... like Internet-Mana".

However, the Taxpayers' Union is not taxpayer-funded.

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