Mystery surrounds a series of billboards that have appeared around Tauranga this week.

They read: ONE LAW FOR ALL!

Are they political messages timed for the election? Or a brand's marketing stunt?

The politically-charged wording and timing - six weeks out from the general election -has Tauranga resident Tommy Wilson suspecting the former.

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He saw one of the signs near Bethlehem, and said he found the message "creepy" and "kind of disturbing".

"There's something sinister behind it that I don't like."

To him, it sent a signal of someone trying to "homogenise" the Maori culture.

The billboards have been spotted on SH29A near Baypark and on the way into Bethlehem from Te Puna.

A spokesman for Bay Venues, which owns the Baypark billboards, said the advertising space was rented to Sign Creations.

A woman at the sign writing business would not reveal who paid for the signs, saying she was bound by a confidentiality agreement.

All she would say was that "all will be revealed on Friday" and that there were five billboards up at the moment.

Don Brash, a spokesman for the Hobson's Pledge lobby group, which currently uses 'one law for all' in its messaging, had no idea who could be behind the billboards.

"Hobson's Pledge is not involved in this one at all."

"One law for all" has, of course, been the slogan of both the National and ACT Parties in the past, but neither of them would erect a sign like that today, least of all devoid of any party identification," Mr Brash said.

John McLean, spokesman for political party 1Law4All, said the billboards were not theirs and he did not know who was behind them.

Messages to the Tauranga candidates standing in this election about the billboards did not elicit responses yesterday, except from Labour candidate Jan Tinetti who said she did not know anything about the signs.

A Electoral Commission spokesperson said the commission did not consider the billboards as election advertisements as it cannot reasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading a voter to vote.

"Nor did it encourage people to vote for a candidate or party, or a type of candidate or party. As such, it does not require a promoter statement under the Electoral Act."

All advertising must also comply with the ASA Codes of Practice, which contain requirements that the advertiser identifies themselves, the spokesperson said.

The codes are available on the ASA website at www.asa.co.nz.