Lobbying bill needs rewrite, Labour says
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 8:51a.m.
By Political Editor Duncan Garner
The Green Party accepts its bill to crack down on lobbyists needs changes.
Green MP Holly Walker says her bill is aimed at shedding light on who is lobbying MPs when and about what.
But she's admitted this morning the bill needs changes and it may have unintended consequences.
“I have no doubt it needs changes,” says Ms Walker.
“I'm very open to this bill looking very different, but the public has a right to know who is influencing who.”
Labour MP Trevor Mallard says it needs a total rewrite.
He says it could mean MPs talking to people in the supermarket or on the sports fields are caught by this proposed law.
Mr Mallard says the Greens should have done more work on the bill before now.
“It's a bad piece of work, why wasn't the work done before it got to select committee,” says Mr Mallard.
Labour wants union officials exempt from the new law but National says that's unacceptable and they must be included.
Ms Walker says it's not her plan to exclude any areas like union engagement with MPs.
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27/09/2012 5:49:35 p.m.
PSWiseacre, like you i'm a political animal, on opposite sides of the fence of course...BUT...What are your thoughts on Unions having 20% of the voting for new leader, looking at the labour cacus so far, as it stands, how many Union members do they need to get to saturation point of actually being a 'union party'. I'm not poking sticks Wiseacre, Im actually curious...how many members already came from Unions..union=parliament, within Labour as of 27/09/12, and how many do you think will join (i'll call it 'infect', you will disagree) when the 20% rule is invoked. This is not political Wiseacre, I'm actually curious what you think being a Left(labour) commentator on posts in general media. Do you agree, do you object?
27/09/2012 5:36:02 p.m.
Wiseacre, the only post you have I agree with...Transparicy...all and every orginisation..Left/Right and in the middle...it's a great idea and If anyone is against it (left or right they need to have a damned good explanation), a cross party good rewrite is needed...as it stands it's like labours EFA, that trapped so many...not poking a stick, just a good example of badly drafted policy (rushed!...yes) Wiseacre.
27/09/2012 11:40:10 a.m.
@EDDIE - Do I agree with unions being exempt? Not at all. The more transparency the better.
27/09/2012 9:45:29 a.m.
What will it actually resolve, a lot of corruption in parliament is done at the party level, free trade deals aside. It would be better to see what a MPs trust has interests in. This will hurt the people in the stret if they want to be whistleblowers on the failures governent agencies. This green bill is a threat to democratic freedom.
27/09/2012 7:06:51 a.m.
So Wiseacre...you agree with Unions being exempt?
26/09/2012 1:09:38 p.m.
Hmmm, Labour want the Unions exempt, are all you lefties happy with that?..or they should be included? I can see the frothing at the mouth if National wanted the business round table or federated farmers excluded. Seems Labours biggest donors are getting rather nervous and Labour (their political wing) are trying hard, but with national and Greens against omiting Unions I can see Labour fillibustering and being pedantic to try and sink the bill rather than have Unions included. Interesting to see what re-writes/inclusions/exclusions Labour demand in drafting it.
26/09/2012 1:03:02 p.m.
The bill is currently in draft form, and amendments can be made during the select committee process. To examine issues in more detail & provide the public with an opportunity to comment on and suggest changes to impending legislation is what select committees are for.
There is no justifiable reason not to support this bill. The Government purportedly represents the people of New Zealand, but more & more instances are reported of what appears to be *legislation for sale*. Corporate interests with deep pockets lobbying Government for preferential treatment & legislation that favours their financial interests over the interests of the people of NZ - Warner's employment law, Sky City pokies, *Skynet* laws, Big Alcohol self-regulation, etc.
The public overwhelmingly supports alcohol law reform yet the Government refuses to do anything substantial to curb alcohol related harm, despite recommendations by the Law Commission - why? Has the alcohol industry been lobbying against socially responsible law reform?
Whose interests are being served by Sensible Sentencing? Do Sensible Sentencing receive funding from the private prison industry? They won't release details about who funds them, so who knows.
The US drug industry wants Pharmac scrapped as the price of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Have the drug firms been knocking on the Government's door, lobbying for it to disband Pharmac? We don't know. What else don't we know?
The Government is supposed to represent the interests of the people and society as a whole, not the financial interests of exploitative multinational corporations with big wallets. The people have every right to know who is trying to influence our Government and *buy* policy.
Any political party that opposes this bill must have shady dealings they would prefer to keep hidden from the public. Anything that creates more openness, transparency and accountability within Government has to be a good thing.
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