Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Government legislation anti-democratic

Richard Worth MP

National Party Justice Spokesman

21 April 2004

Government legislation anti-democratic

The Government's intention to conceal its activities through legislation that undermines Parliament's responsibilities represents a serious threat to New Zealand's democratic process, says National's Justice Spokesman Richard Worth.

"The provisions of the Public Finance (State Sector Management) Bill are more characteristic of an authoritarian administration than that of a country which prides itself on its democratic freedoms.

"The Government must carry responsibility for this attack on our fundamental freedoms. It cannot say that it brought this Bill to Parliament without knowing the full implications. An admission that it was not fully appreciative of the impact the Bill can have on Parliament's ability to scrutinise public sector activities would amount to an admission of incompetence.

"When matters reach a stage where the Clerk of the House has to warn that a Bill would erode MP's rights to get information from Government departments and Crown entities, it is time for the media, the Law Society and civil rights groups to question this Government's motives.

"It is rare for the Clerk to be so outspoken on a Government Bill. This in itself should be sufficient to ring alarm bells in all sections of the community.

"Parliament has this session been confronted regularly with evasive tactics by Ministers when questioned about the spending and day-to-day activities of their departments and agencies. Legislative efforts to give them further justification for evading questions are completely unacceptable."

Mr Worth says the Bill allows departments to withhold from Parliament information that could properly be withheld from media under the Official Information Act.

"The Clerk called this a serious danger to parliamentary accountability. I agree with him. It cannot be tolerated. The Government's move to enshrine in law further controls on public information flows is outrageous. Parliament must not be shackled in its ability to hold the Government to account for the activities of the public service," Mr Worth says.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news