Recently there have been a couple of Twitter accounts, GreyPowerNZ and GreyPowerUHutt, claiming to represent Grey Power. They have been taking a very pro Labour/Greens, anti National tone on Twitter. Grey Power state on their website:
Grey Power’s Aims and Objectives
- To advance, support and protect the welfare and well being of older people.
- To affirm and protect that statutory right of every New Zealand resident, to a sufficient New Zealand Superannuation entitlement.
- To strive for a provision of a quality Health Care to all New Zealand residents regardless of income and location.
- To oppose all discriminatory and disadvantageous legislation affecting rights, security and dignity.
- To be non aligned with any political party, and to present a strong united lobby to all Parliament and statutory Bodies on matters affecting New Zealanders.
- To promote and establish links with kindred organizations.
- To promote recognition of the wide-ranging services provided by senior citizens of New Zealand.
- To gain recognition as an appropriate voice for all older New Zealanders. (emphasis added)
So Grey Power obviously take being non aligned seriously, and word of these accounts has obviously got back to Grey Power, as they have this morning issued a media statement:
TO ALL MEDIA
Grey Power has refuted an apparent suggestion on Twitter that the organisation has supported the Labour Party in the run-up to the general election. The message is also critical of Social Development Minister Paula Bennett
National president Terry King said, while he had yet to read the message, he was deeply annoyed that anyone could make such statements under the Grey Power banner without Grey Power authority.
“We are a strictly apolitical group and not aligned to any political party and never have been. Nor do we engage in character assassinations. That is simply not the way we work.”
Mr King said the unofficial post was particularly disappointing as Grey Power enjoyed positive working relationships with all political parties and many ministers.
“We have achieved a lot for our members over the years by keeping out of party politics and developing positive working relationships with several ministers with portfolios which affect our people.”
Mr King said he did not know who had posted the Twitter message but steps would be taken to have it taken down.
Grey Power Federation
Now obviously during a campaign, when people are passionate about politics and trying to help their side win, you will get people who create accounts to try and make a point. But if you see a new account popping up claiming to be associated with an organisation, it is always a good idea to check and see if it is linked from that organisations website.
There is a clear difference between a parody account, such as any of the many that are around at the moment, and an account that is trying to leverage off the name of an organisation without permission.