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Code of ethics important step in winning back respect

Ross Robertson
MP for Manukau East

10 April 2013

Code of ethics important step in winning back respect

There is an urgent need to restore the public’s confidence in politicians if voter turnout is to improve at future elections, says Labour MP for Manukau East Ross Robertson.

The Justice and Electoral Committee’s report on the Inquiry into the 2011 general election has been reported to Parliament, showing the poorest voter turnout since the 1887 election.

“The overall turnout, as a percentage of those eligible to enrol, was 69.57 per cent, down 6 per cent from 2008.

“When New Zealanders were asked to specify why they decided not to vote 33 per cent said; ‘I don’t trust politicians’.

“This is a worrying trend, and one which I believe my Members Bill, the Members of Parliament (Code of Ethical Conduct) Bill, would address if drawn from the ballot.

“I am frustrated that Kiwis are being put off politics due to often inaccurate perceptions of politicians’ behaviour.

“My proposed Code of Ethical Behaviour is about good governance, integrity, transparency, legitimacy, accountability, an acceptable standard of behaviour, and acting in good faith.

“While progress on my bill is at the mercy of the ballot, I will continue to advocate for these important principals.

“New Zealanders expect parliamentarians to serve out of conviction and a commitment to the public good. We need to demonstrate the relevance of Parliament to the young people being turned off politics in droves,” Ross Robertson said.

ENDS

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