Smaller parties conflict over net use

In the fifth story in our series on political parties using technology in their general election campaigns, IDGNet talks to the smaller parties, where opinions on the benefits of technology seem to be split.

In the fifth story in our series on political parties using technology in their general election campaigns, IDGNet talks to the smaller parties.

Opinion on the benefits of technology seem to be split among the smaller parties.

The Alliance, now without its original leader and trailing in the polls, is using technology to better target voters.

"We have an Access database that is very easy to use because at the most basic level, in the field, that allows the party members to be creative and more flexible than they could with a top-down, locked-down database," says party general secretary Gerard Hehir. The Alliance won't be indulging in online advertising beyond its existing web presence.

"We have a very issue-driven site, that is dynamic. We run polls and columns constantly."

New Zealand First, by way of contrast, is the only political party in parliament at the moment not making use of the electoral roll.

"We've got limited resources and we don't have the time or the manpower to write up things targeting teachers or farmers or what have you," says campaign coordinator Brian Donnelly.

"We have to get our message out in the widest possible spread - a shotgun effect." NZ First is using its own site to display its policies to the world and won't be looking at advertising on other sites at all.

"The advertising budget is for broadcast - TV and radio. No web advertising at all."

The splinter party from the Alliance, Jim Anderton's Progressive Coalition, was approached for this article, however couldn't make time to comment. The Christian Heritage party and UnitedFuture New Zealand did not return IDGNet calls.

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