In the murky world of election campaigning, not all photographs are as they seem.
Both the Epsom electorate's front-running candidates have appeared in pictures which seemed to undermine their run for Parliament.
On Wednesday, the National Party's Epsom candidate Paul Goldsmith was photographed removing what appeared to be his own campaign signs from Shore Road in Remuera.
Left-leaning blogs said it was embarrassing evidence Goldsmith wanted to turn people off voting for him.
Mr Goldsmith, on the other hand, said he was the victim of a dirty trick.
"It was a silly stunt. Some people blew up pictures of my business card to A3 size, and put four or five of them out unauthorised, in an illegal spot.
"They must have had a photographer waiting, because it was up on a blog that afternoon."
Mr Goldsmith is leading polls for the Epsom seat, despite only campaigning for the party vote. His party's leader John Key has effectively endorsed the Act Party candidate, John Banks.
Last week, photographs were published of Mr Banks apparently disposing of, or even tearing up, a large image of his party's leader Don Brash at a candidate meeting in Mt Eden.
The pictures came at a time when Mr Banks was accused of undermining his party's brand by aligning with National leader John Key.
But, in fact, Mr Banks had just finished delivering a spirited defence of his party leader.
Chairman of the event Tim Watkin said: "It was the first time I'd heard [Banks] talk directly about Brash. He said [Brash] was a true patriot and the best Reserve Bank Governor New Zealand's ever had.
"He said it was a disgraceful attack on his character, picked up the photo and shoved it down the back of the [stage]. It wasn't a violent act."
Political commentators agreed the election lead-up had been pretty clean.
University of Otago political scientist Bryce Edwards said the dirty tricks in Epsom reflected the fact that many voters felt they were witnessing a dishonest deal between National and Act.
"There are quite disingenuous things being done on all sides. National have let themselves in for such things by... having a fake candidate who is effectively saying 'Don't vote for me'."
He added some of the dirty tactics could've been motivated by disenchantment with shallow, publicity-driven politics, epitomised by the National-Act tea party.
University of Auckland emeritus professor of politics Barry Gustafson said most parties appeared to be focused on promoting their brand and not indulging in gutter politics.
"I've been in campaigns where dog poo was dumped on candidates' driveways and their signs were torn down and ripped up.
"The [defacing of National's billboards by a Green Party member] was in some ways quite a clever tactic, not very dirty."
Professor Gustafson said underhand tactics rarely won votes, and the sabotage of 700 National billboards would have distanced, not attracted, undecided voters.