Wellington Scoop

What’s his address?

What’s John Morrison’s address? It’s a question that’s relevant for his mayoral campaign.

The focus of the question is the “authorised by” statement on his John Morrison for Mayor website, which says that the site is:

Authorised by John Morrison, Level 5, 93 Boulcott Street, Wellington

But this could be seen as contravening the rules set down in the Electoral Act, because it’s neither the address of his home nor of his workplace. It’s the address of a Wellington public relations company named Morrison McDougall.

The Electoral Commission gives only two options. Here’s what it states about a legal address for authorising campaign advertising:

“For an individual, the address can be the full street address of either the place where the promoter usually lives or any other place where the promoter can usually be contacted between the hours of 9am and 5pm on any working day.

The Electoral Act does not define what is meant by ‘any other place where he or she can usually be contacted between the hours of 9am and 5pm on any working day’. The Electoral Commission’s view is that this can include for example:

• the individual’s campaign office address, or
• the individual’s work address,

provided that this is where he or she can usually be contacted between the hours of 9am and 5pm on any working day. The individual does not always have to be physically at this address during these hours but it must be an address from where he or she can be contacted within a reasonable period of time. An individual may need to consult their employer before including a work address on any election advertising.”

The “authorised” address on the John Morrison advertising is not where he lives. And – unless he’s taken a job with the PR company – it’s not his work address. But he’s unlikely to be working in PR (and the company’s website doesn’t list him as a staff member), because this wouldn’t leave enough time for his paid employment as a Wellington city councillor. So perhaps the PR company’s office is also his campaign office? If so, it’s curious to think that a councillor with 15 years’ experience needs to cede control of his campaigning to public relations professionals. (Did they write his over-the-top “damning indictment” statement?)

The address regulations have been well tested with the Electoral Commission. Providing the regular business address is accepted as best practice, because it’s the place where people are most likely to be during business hours. Which is why most sitting councillors use the council offices as their address, rather than their homes. Candidates who are not current councillors tend to use their home addresses … aside from the ones listing PO boxes and the like, which is also in contravention of the Act.

The question is: where is Mr Morrison spending most of his working time? Is he mostly at the offices of his PR consultants, as his campaign website indicates? And if he is – then how much time is left for him to work for the people of Wellington, as he’s elected and paid to do?

July 30: Copyright? Or authorisation?


  1. A, 5. August 2013, 9:59

    It only takes 30 seconds of googling to work out there are numerous businesses with offices on the same level of that building. Why jump to the conclusion you have? [The John Morrison for Mayor website says it is “By Morrison McDougall.)

  2. John Clarke, 5. August 2013, 10:26

    If I was John Morrison I would definitely “cede control of his campaigning to public relations professionals”. Anyone who can manage to get himself into a plagiarism scandal, leaky abusive emails and now a basic compliance problem in a matter of months needs all the help he can get.

  3. CPH, 5. August 2013, 10:29

    It only takes 30 seconds of checking the PR company’s website to figure out that they issue his press releases! http://morrimac.co.nz/news/

  4. Michael Gibson, 5. August 2013, 15:42

    With respect, what is required is “the true name of the person …. and the address of his or her place of residence or business”.
    And the maximum penalty under the Local Electoral Act is a paltry $1,000 per transgression which is nothing for a highly-paid Councillor.
    John would know that it is most unlikely to be levied if he claims to do “business” at or with his P.R. people.

  5. John Clarke, 5. August 2013, 17:05

    Given that Mis-Step Morrison can’t manage to write his own articles or press releases or even make public statements without putting his foot in it, I think we can safely assume that his PR consultants will be a large and ongoing cost to Wellington ratepayers if he’s ever elected mayor.