The Labour Party has announced it will no longer be seeking
an exemption for trade unions from the Lobbying Disclosure
MP Ruth Dyson, who chairs the select committee considering
the Bill, told the Public Service Association yesterday
Labour had decided to drop that part of its proposed changes
to the Bill.
PSA secretary Brenda Pilott was making a submission on the
Bill and said it did not want any exemption to the Bill.
The Bill would establish a disclosure regime for people and
groups paid to lobby MPs.
Labour attracted a lot of flak for seeking an exemption for
lobbying by unions on the basis they were "less sinister"
than professional lobbyists or corporates.
Ruth Dyson told the committee Labour had decided to withdraw
that part of its amendment.
Ms Pilott told the committee the PSA supported the principles
of the Bill, but it favoured a light-handed approach.
It supported the Bill's proposed register of lobbyists and a
code of conduct to be overseen by the Auditor-general.
But it asked the committee to consider removing an exemption
under the Bill for senior public servants and to provide a
"cooling off period" before public servants can become
Ms Pilott said the position of influence of senior public
servants, and decisions around procurement, made them a
target for lobbying activities and yet the Bill excluded
- The New Zealand Herald