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Judges Financial Interests Bill Progresses

A bill requiring judges to declare their financial interests has been sent to select committee for consideration even though the major parties had reservations about whether it would work.

The first reading of the Register of Pecuniary Interests of Judges Bill was sent to the Justice and Electoral Committee for consideration on a voice vote.

Julie Anne Genter on behalf of the bill’s sponsor Kennedy Graham said a register of pecuniary interests would ensure that the judiciary remained above reproach and retained the confidence of the public.

MPs had been required to submit annual statements on their financial interests for some time and ministers for even longer, and the bill before Parliament was based on those requirements.

Simon Bridges said National would support the bill to select committee, but had reservations about whether it could achieve what it hoped it to.

The issues it raised should be debated in select committee, but he agreed with the Law Commission that it should not proceed beyond that unless it was part of a wider review of the courts.

Labour’s Charles Chauvel said Labour would also support the bill to select committee and it was a sign of its significance that it had triggered a Law Commission report.

Chauvel said Labour also had concerns about the bill which could raise some problems including, who would police it considering the independence of the judiciary.

Earlier the Fair Trading (Soliciting on Behalf of Charities) Amendment Bill passed its third reading on a voice vote

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