The main political parties have traded accusations of politicising public holidays and the Rugby World Cup.
The claims and counterclaims come during an increasingly bitter election campaign. Both main political parties have used social media to accuse the other of breaking electoral rules.
On Thursday prominent National Party affiliated blogger and columnist David Farrar claimed on his blogsite Kiwiblog that the Labour Party had been caught red-handed politicising public holidays.
“Why would anyone entrust with government any political party that would stoop so low as to claim the credit for a public holiday? Labour Day? What next? If they are re-elected will they rename Christmas Taito Phillip Field Day?”
But on Friday Labour Party MP Clare Curran accused the Government of using the Rugby World Cup to push National Party propaganda.
“So desperate is our Prime Minister for the limelight that he’s managed to get National’s campaign song played before every All Blacks game,” wrote Ms Curran on the Labour Party blogsite Red Alert.
“I for one am fed up with listening to the National Anthem. Why not a Labour one?”
Ms Curran then accused the Green Party of “white anting”, for having their party colours splashed over the playing surfaces of all of the Rugby World Cup match venues.
ACT leader Dr Don Brash has accused rugby officials of political correctness in their choice of rugby balls.<
“When I was growing up a rugby ball was almost always brown,” said Dr Brash on TVNZ’s Q&A current affairs show.
“Now I have the deepest respect for the Maori culture, but why is it nowadays that the balls are always white? Why is it that the only balls being kicked, rucked and soundly abused are white ones?"
Dr Brash denied that he was trying to play political football over the Rugby World Cup, but he questioned why brown balls were no longer being used.
“I find it frankly astonishing that we don’t see more brown balls in use,” said Dr Brash. “But they don’t do anything to help themselves. The old brown leather balls are much slower and heavier than the new white ones.”
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira responded angrily to Dr Brash’s claims, saying it was about time the white balls got what they deserved.
“After a hundred or so years of the brown balls getting the shit kicked out of them, the racist now complains because a few whitey ones get the same treatment,” he told Newstalk ZB.
“This is Hitler and the Jews all over again.”