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NZ First rejection of MP's register says it all

4 August 2005

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

NZ First rejection of MPs' register of interests says it all

The far-right parties of New Zealand politics last night voted against the public interest when they opposed setting up a register for Members of Parliament to declare their financial interests, says Progressive MP Matt Robson.

"All parties in favour of the public interest supported the proposal to incorporate the new Register in Parliament's procedural rules, or Standing Orders," he said.

"NZ First, a party that is forever putting out statements demanding transparency, accountability and so forth, doesn’t think transparency is a good idea when it affects themselves.

"The stance of NZ First is the very opposite of putting New Zealand First.

"The public have every right to now know whether any National-led coalition involving NZ First will over-turn the important step in favour of transparency made by Parliament last night, no matter how many years away that may be," the Progressive MP said.

The change adopted on Wednesday means that Members of Parliament in the future will be required to disclose their financial interests on a public register, updated every year. The change will help avoid, and highlight, possible conflicts of interest, in a similar way to the rules that already operate for ministers in the Labour-Progressive Cabinet.

NZ First and ACT alone voted against transparency because they favour two standards in politics: One, high standard for members of the Labour-Progressive cabinet, and a lower standard for the right-wing Opposition led by National.

ENDS

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