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Code of Ethics Bill being drafted

29 February 2008

Code of Ethics Bill being drafted

Assistant Speaker and Manukau East MP, Ross Robertson, is drafting a Private Member’s Bill in order to introduce his proposed Code of Ethics to Parliament.

“The proposed code is a principles-based set of rules for conduct which include integrity, accountability and trust,” said Ross Robertson.

“It is high time that Parliament agreed that all its Members should improve their professional conduct and guarantee standards of integrity and respect for the institution,” he said.

Ross Robertson has long proposed that Parliament adopt a set of rules to govern the conduct of MPs. He originally suggested a code of conduct for MPs in 2001, which has developed into the current code of ethics.

This code of ethics has been brought to Parliament’s Standing Orders Committee three times, but has not progressed onwards from there.

“My first preference was always to have the code as an appendix in Standing Orders, as is the case with the Register of Members’ Pecuniary Interests, and the introduction of an Induction Handbook for all Members of Parliament,” said Ross Robertson.

“Failing that, my second preference would be for a resolution of the whole House endorsing the Code, and the publication of an Induction Handbook for MPs which includes the code.

“Clearly, it is time that my code was put to Parliament itself, and therefore the bill being drafted will be put into a future ballot. If and when the Bill goes to the Select Committee for consideration, I would naturally be open to any reasonable suggestions about what form the accountability regime for Members of Parliament should take,” he said.

“By adopting a code of ethics and following it accordingly, MPs will set an example for others to follow and this will go a long way towards helping improve public confidence in Parliament and its members,” he concluded.


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