Act leader Rodney Hide's indignation at the Electoral Finance Act is nothing but a jacket jack-up.
The complaint to the Electoral Commission about Mr Hide's canary-yellow jacket was made by an Act supporter.
It has been revealed the complainant is 21-year-old Andy Moore, a University of Canterbury commerce student and "strong Act supporter".
The Electoral Commission wrote to Mr Hide on Monday, saying that under the act the jacket might be an "election advertisement" and therefore required an authorising statement.
Mr Hide gave the letter to the Herald, which did not carry the complainant's details.
Mr Hide today said he was embarrassed and pissed off at Mr Moore.
Mr Hide claimed he had no knowledge the complaint was made by an Act supporter.
He said the fact the Commission was investigating showed the Electoral Finance Act was absurd, no matter where the complaint was from.
The commission's letter quoted Mr Moore's query as saying the garment that "contains the Act logo [and] the slogan 'the guts to do what's right' was worn in public by you in Newmarket and does not contain a promoter statement".
"On the basis of the information supplied, it appears that the item may be an election advertisement, and if it is an election advertisement, it may not fully comply with these provisions," the commission said.
The act requires "published election advertisements" to carry the authorisation of the party's financial agent - which Mr Hide's jacket does not.
If there is a finding of "illegal practice", Mr Hide could be fined $10,000 and Act's financial agent $40,000.
Prime Minister Helen Clark referred to the revelation as a "stitch-up".
"Act complained wanting their name to be kept out of it, so that they could create a fuss around the Electoral Finance Act.
"If so, that's really foot in mouth territory, that they cook up an issue to try and make the act look bad when there was no substance to it," she said.