Police warn Cunliffe over tweet

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 18:05 20/12/2013
TWITTER: A screenshot of the tweet.
TWITTER: A screenshot of the tweet.
David Cunliffe
STACY SQUIRES
LABOUR LEADER: David Cunliffe

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Labour leader David Cunliffe has been warned by police over a message he posted on Twitter on November 30, the day of the Christchurch East by-election.

Cunliffe's tweet urged residents to vote for Labour candidate Poto Williams, breaching electoral laws which ban any campaigning on election day.

"If you are resident in Christchurch East don't forget to vote today - for Labour and Poto Williams!" Cunliffe wrote.

The Electoral Commission referred the tweet to police, with Cunliffe revealing today he had been warned.

"It was an inadvertent mistake which I regret. I took steps to rectify the error by immediately deleting the tweet and Labour also notified the returning officer as soon as possible," he said.

"I have taken the warning on board and will not repeat the error."

Cunliffe said he would make a $1000 donation to Christchurch's Stepping Stone Foundation, which provides counselling services to earthquake-affected children.

Guidelines about election coverage which were sent out to prior to the by-election won by Williams said the ban on campaigning on election day included any statement that was likely to influence a voter to vote or not to vote for any candidate, or to abstain from voting.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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