Key disappointed by billboard vandalism

A National Party hoarding featuring John Key vandalised in Masterton.
A National Party hoarding featuring John Key vandalised in Masterton.

Widespread damage to election hoardings has been described as "pretty disappointing" but "part of the election campaign process" by the Prime Minister.

In the the build-up to the election hoardings have been damaged across the country, from the addition of devil horns to Colin Craig on Conservative Party billboards to swastikas drawn on John Key's forehead.

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Hoardings in Wairarapa have been literally 'de-faced' with the faces of aspiring MPs being physically cut out of the billboards and even the 1968 Bedford fire truck belonging to Labour's Napier candidate Stuart Nash hasn't been spared, being spray-painted with graffiti late last month.

A Facebook page dubbed 'National Party Billboard Makeovers' has more than 6000 'likes' and is described as "a repository of 2014 photos of National Party billboards that have been given a makeover".

Another page describing hoardings as "gagging for a tagging" has been taken down in the past week.

Prime Minister John Key today described the damage as "pretty disappointing" but "part of the election campaign process".

"We've got a lot of great volunteers and they go out there and fix up and repair the damage as best as they possibly can.

""Obviously I wish it wasn't happening, but we understand our political opponents probably wont stop at much so it's just the way it goes."

Meanwhile, Labour MP Chris Hipkins has added his voice to a number of people criticising an internet Mana Party video clip of a frenzied crowd cheering on Kim Dotcom and chanting "f*** John Key".

Mr Hipkins on Twitter today described the video as "alarming", adding there was "no place for that kind of thuggery in NZ politics".

"Getting a bunch of people drunk and getting them to chant abuse isn't political leadership. It's thuggery and megalomania intertwined.

"I want more young NZers to vote to be heard, not because they're being wound up & manipulated by the worst kind of cynicism and thuggery.

"Sad to see argument the only way to get young ppl to vote is to fill them with anger & resentment. This from the party of free information!"

Mr Key today said most New Zealanders would take "a pretty dim view" of the video.

"New Zealanders will at the end make up their own mind, but I wouldn't want to be associated with that so I'm not surprised that Labour MPs don't want to be either."

- APNZ

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