Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern says she is re-committing to a "relentlessly positive election campaign" in 2020 that will see the Party voluntarily sign up to Facebook’s new advertising transparency rules and have its major election policy costings independently verified.
“New Zealanders deserve a positive election. I don’t want New Zealand to fall into the trap of the negative fake news style campaigns that have taken place overseas in recent years,” she said.
“I will deliver a positive, factual and robust campaign.
“That isn’t to say we won’t contest others’ views or challenge false claims when they are made. Elections are a contest of ideas for the future. But we’ll do that in a way that fits with the New Zealand style of campaigning and values."
Facebook has introduced authorisation and transparency measures to make elections overseas fairer and Ardern says the Labour Party will voluntarily adopt these measures here.
“It means voters can see who is behind paid advertising online, how much they are spending and who they are targeting. The measures help avoid anonymous fake news style ads.
“If an ad appears in your Facebook feed you should know who it’s from and why you were targeted.
“By being transparent about who is behind ads there is likely to be a flow-on effect of parties ensuring they are accurate too.
“These rules are compulsory in the US, UK, Canada and the EU amongst others, but not here. We think it’s the right thing to do to voluntarily adopt them anyway and set a clean tone for the election.
“Labour is proud of our track record of delivering $13 billion worth of surpluses, prudently balancing the books and keeping debt low. Voters deserve to know that our new policies will continue to deliver a strong economy in a second term.
“We will guarantee that the costings of all our major new policy announcements released during the election campaign will be independently verified so voters can be sure of what they are voting for.
“The Government will continue work on establishing an independent policy costing unit for the 2023 election.
“Having policy costings independently verified improves the quality of information voters have about policies and ensures better policy. It’s a good thing and we are happy to show leadership on this.
“The Government has made good progress in our first term. There is a strong economy and we’re starting to turn around the long-term issues ignored for too long. I’m proud that our positive message for the election will be to keep doing it,” she said.