October 14, 2008
The Spark recently spoke to Workers Party Christchurch East candidate Paul Hopkinson, the first school teacher to be suspended under the undemocratic provisions of the 1993 Electoral Act.
Under the current law most public servants (including teachers) must take unpaid leave for the three weeks between nomination and polling day. Paul Hopkinson refused to take unpaid leave when requested, and as a result has been told by his employer that he is being suspended without pay.
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October 11, 2008
- Spark Financial Appeal
Workers Party Christchurch East candidate and school teacher Paul Hopkinson has been suspended under the undemocratic provisions of the 1993 Electoral Act.
Under the current law most public servants (including teachers) must take unpaid leave for the three weeks between nomination and polling day. Paul Hopkinson refused to take unpaid leave when requested, and as a result has been suspended without pay.
Paul is not going to knuckle under to this law, and he will press on regardless as part of our campaign to make workers’ issues hi-viz this election. But Paul is a working guy with a family who can ill afford three
weeks off the payroll.
Paul is doing his bit to fight for what’s right and he deserves backup. The Workers Party will do what it can to fill the gap, but we are a small group with few financial resources.
We’re appealing to all workers and democrats who hate injustice to help us fight this undemocratic provision of the Electoral Act.
Please send donations to Paul Hopkinson Appeal, c/o PO Box 10-282 Dominion Road, Auckland.
September 8, 2008
- WP Media Release
Workers Party candidate for Christchurch East, Paul Hopkinson, may be forced to step aside as a candidate due to a discriminatory clause in the 1993 Electoral Act.
Because Paul Hopkinson is a school teacher in a state school, he is subject to a clause which could require him to take unpaid leave for the duration of the election campaign.
“This clause is onerous and discriminatory because it prevents people from participating fully in the electoral process,” he said.
“Unless you have the backing of a large wealthy political party, or are independently wealthy, you are unable to participate. I should not have to take leave; I should not have to choose between standing in the elections and supporting myself and my family” he added.
If he was employed by a private school, he would not be subject to the clause.
“This is an important issue because this anti-democratic clause means thousands of New Zealanders are prevented from becoming fully involved in the elections,” he said.