Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Election 2011: 'Hold your nose' answer to Epsom 'match-fixing'

Artist Peter Lange with one of the posters he has printed urging Epsom voters to cast their vote for National's Paul Goldsmith in an attempt to counter National's tacit endorsement of Act candidate John Banks. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Artist Peter Lange with one of the posters he has printed urging Epsom voters to cast their vote for National's Paul Goldsmith in an attempt to counter National's tacit endorsement of Act candidate John Banks. Photo / Paul Estcourt

Peter Lange reckons if John Key can indulge in a bit of "match-fixing" in Epsom then so can he.

The brother of former Labour Prime Minister David Lange is encouraging Epsom voters to "hold your nose" and vote for National's Paul Goldsmith.

Mr Lange, a potter who lives in Mt Eden on the liberal western fringes of the bluest of blue seats, said his actions were a counter-attack to the heavy manipulation and "match-fixing" occurring in Epsom.

He was referring to Prime Minister John Key's tacit endorsement over the teacups of Act's John Banks.

Mr Key has all but instructed Epsom's National supporters to cast their party vote for National but give their electorate vote to Mr Banks to ensure Act is returned to Parliament to support a National government.

Mr Goldsmith is toeing the party line by campaigning only for the party vote, which infuriates Mr Lange.

"I just want to frog-march this guy [Goldsmith] across the line," Mr Lange said.

He has created three posters with a humorous message to "Vote Goldsmith" , but chickened out of distributing them when faced with the possibility of being fined for breaching an electoral law that says posters must be officially authorised.

Mr Lange said his unofficial campaign was an attempt to "put Act out of its own misery".

If not, he hoped the loophole that allowed this "coat-tailing" to occur would be addressed by a possible review of the MMP voting system before the 2014 elections.

"My dream is by the next election we will have a free and fair and open election."

It is not the first time the left-leaning Mr Lange has held his nose and voted for a National candidate in Epsom. He voted for Richard Worth at the last elections when Mr Key did a similar deal to get Act's Rodney Hide into Parliament.

"It was a horrible experience ... I could hear my father and grandfather turning in their graves."

- NZ Herald

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