The polls were being run from Parliamentary offices by former Cabinet minister Rick Barker, who has admitted instructing staff to use false names and claim they were calling from a company that no longer exists...Rick Barker initially lied over the matter. Party President Andrew Little knew nothing about it. Shadow Leader of the House Darren Hughes sez polling companies lie all the time but didn't give examples. Leader Phil Goff refused to answer questions on the matter, despite the polls being run with funds from his office.
The volunteer said Barker instructed all the helpers, including a Parliamentary staffer, to say they worked for a non-existent company called "Data Research", and to not disclose that they were really working for the Labour Party.
And, to rub salt into the wounds, Herald journo Matt Nippert contacts Bryce Edwards from excellent blog liberation for comment:
Bryce Edwards, a politics lecturer at the University of Otago, said that the episode appeared to show a misuse of Parliamentary resources: "I would say that any phone polling at Parliament would fall foul of the rules."This arrogant behaviour is a legacy of the Clark years, when voters were not so much convinced to vote for Labour, but frightened, lied and bullied into submission. This shows no signs of stopping and is a sign that Labour has yet to reach its nadir.
"This is very clearly partisan political activity, and pretty hard to sell as a legitimate use of Parliamentary resources."