A National Party billboard featuring Dunedin North candidate Michael Woodhouse and Prime Minister John Key was defaced, and a photo later posted online. Photo supplied.
National MP Michael Woodhouse has slammed the defacing of
electoral billboards as ''a thuggish and ignorant act of
vandalism'', as opponents boast online about other signs to
A National Party billboard, featuring Dunedin North candidate
Mr Woodhouse and Prime Minister John Key, was tagged with the
phrase ''casual fascists'' at a Purakaunui site on Saturday.
A picture of the defaced billboard was uploaded on Facebook,
with the first comment ''Vote Green not the fascist regime!''
Another post recommends another National Party billboard be
defaced as it was ''gagging for a tagging''.
The offending Facebook page was removed yesterday.
Mr Woodhouse said he was aware ''that there are some posts of
this nature online'', but stopped short of singling out
possible links with official Green Party supporters.
''While some online correspondents are apparently connected
with the Green Party, I don't think one can conclude there is
official Green Party involvement.''
That was confirmed by Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei,
who is also standing in the Dunedin North seat held by Labour
MP David Clark.
''We don't want people defacing ours, and we don't approve
others defacing other parties'.
"They are expensive and they are part of the democratic
process to allow parties to put forward their policies,'' she
She confirmed she knew one of the Facebook posters, but
reiterated the party ''does not endorse the defacement of
During the last election campaign one of her billboards went
missing and was later found on the wall of a student flat.
''A lot of effort goes into political campaigns, a lot of
money is spent and a lot of volunteers spent hours putting up
these billboards and taking care of them, and that work needs
to be respected,'' she said.
Mr Woodhouse said there had been several cases of vandalism
of his billboards since they were erected just over a week
''Democracy involves the promotion of different political
parties that not all will support.
''Nevertheless, the defacing of signs is a thuggish and
ignorant act of vandalism.
"Where evidence is gathered that identifies the perpetrators
of such acts, it will be forwarded to the police and a
prosecution will be sought.''