Key Points:

The Act Party has been caught out over two pre-election advertisements, with the Advertising Standards Authority upholding complaints against claims the party made in a pair of flyers.

Family Party candidate Samuel Dennis complained when he received an Act flyer in his mailbox claiming it was the only party opposed to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), the only party which would dump it and the only party which would pull out of the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr Dennis told the authority the statements were "blatantly false" as his own party was against the ETS.

Act said the claims "needed to be taken in the context of current political discourse".

It said the Family Party was not likely to get a seat and therefore didn't count.

"The Act Party is the only party that voted against the passing of the bill in parliament and will be the only party elected to parliament after the election that will oppose it."

If the Family Party opposed the statement on the flyer it was welcome to make its own outlining its position.

"That's how elections work," Act said.

The authority found Act's flyer had been misleading and breached advertising standards.

A second Act flyer advertised the party's "zero tolerance for crime" and was headed "'Safe' New Zealand is now almost three times more violent than the US!"

It cited statistics which indicated that since 1999 the crime rate in New Zealand had increased more than 43 per cent.

One recipient believed the statement was "demonstrably" false and complained to the authority.

The complaint was received just days before the election prompting the authority to request a response from Act within 24 hours.

Act's reply was that the complaint lacked "substance and clarity" and without further details to back up the complaint it was impossible to give a response.

However, the next day it amended this saying: "The statement depends on how you compare statistics between New Zealand and the United States.

"There are differences between how offences are defined and classified in both countries."

The authority found the onus was on the advertiser "to provide factual information, in the form of quantifiable data in substantiation of the claim".

As Act had not provided any evidence the authority found its claim had been exaggerated, was misleading and again breached advertising standards.

- NZPA