Taxpayers’ Union willing to work with Greens on member’s bill to end Beehive to Lobbyist revolving door Following revelations that Ministry of Justice officials are concerned that “[m]ovement between roles in government and lobbying agencies can result in misuse of privileged information and unfair access”, the Taxpayers’ Union is reaffirming its commitment to work with any MP, regardless of their party, to end the business of Ministers becoming lobbyists to sell access to and information about the beehive.
Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, said:
“New Zealand is out of step with countries we compare ourselves to. Allowing Ministers to resign from Parliament on one day and begin for-profit lobbying of their colleagues the next is a recipe for corruption and special treatment.
“In recent years, we have seen former Ministers Faafoi, Nash, and now Allan all moving into lobbying roles while their literal Beehive security passes still let them into the building. While no one would suggest they have acted in a corrupt way, the short point is that the revolving door should not be allowed.
“Being a representative in Parliament is a privilege, not a leg-up for politicians to get into the lucrative industry of selling access and information for personal profit. This political revolving door undermines our democratic institutions and must stop.
“If putting a door stop into place means that higher salaries are justified for MPs and Ministers, then so be it. The costs to our democracy, and reduced risk of corruption – whether real or perceived – are so much greater.
“Australia and the UK both require a cooldown period before Government Ministers can move into lobbying roles. We will work with and support any MP to sponsor a member’s bill that implements a cooldown period for Ministers. We’ll even fundraise to commission expert lawyers to do the drafting. This is too important an issue to leave hanging.”