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Name the Secret Lobbyists

5 May 2009

Name the Secret Lobbyists

Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman called today in Parliament for the identity of secret lobbyists to be revealed.

"It is vital for open, honest politics that the role of lobbyists is not kept secret," said Dr Norman.

According to media reports, Parliament's Speaker Hon Lockwood Smith has granted eight people special passes that give them access to the Parliamentary complex to lobby MPs.

"The public have the right to know the identity of the secret lobbyists who have been granted special access to Parliament. MPs are there to work for the people, and the public should know who is being granted special access to their representatives."

Dr Norman raised the issue in Parliament today and has written to the Speaker to ask that this information be made available to the public.

It appears that Parliamentary Services are refusing to identify the lobbyists because it might impact on their privacy.

"It's pretty simple really - if the lobbyists don't want to be identified then they shouldn't be asking for passes that give them special privileges that the average person doesn't have," said Dr Norman.

The Green Party is concerned about the impact that lobbyists acting for special interest groups can have on open, honest Government. It is Green Party policy to set up a registrar of lobbyists - along the lines of the Canadian model - to let the public know who is trying to influence their MPs.

"We don't want to end up with a situation like in the US where millions of dollars are spent on lobbyists http://www.opensecrets.org/influence/index.php by groups such as the tobacco and arms industry," Dr Norman said.

For more information:

Please see the Green Party Open Government Policy http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/open_government

www.opensecrets.org/influence/index.php

ENDS

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