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March 12, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Green Party to Oppose Perks from Non-Governmental Organisations

In a statement this week that they “can’t be bought,” the Green Party has announced it will refuse donations from lobbyists.

This issue was addressed in the Labour Party’s governmental overhaul at the end of 2017, however the Greens’ announcement comes as an attempt to “take a lead” on the issue of transparency in Government.

“Transparency is a hallmark of any functioning democracy,” Green Party leader James Shaw said in a press release on 3 March 2018.

These new changes mean that items gifted to MPs, such as tickets to events or hosted dinners that are not related to their work, will no longer be accepted by members of the Green Party.

Members may on occasion still be in attendance of lobbyist funded dinners if they are relevant to their work, however they will be required to ask for an invoice of costs, and this information will be released to the public after the fact. It is likely that these events will be few and far between, as the Green Party has a proportionately low rate of lobbyist interest, comparative to the Labour and National Parties.

Shaw’s reasoning for minimal amounts of Green lobbyists is not for lack of interest, but for lack of funding. Shaw had the following to say on the matter: “Generally speaking it isn’t community based organisations or environmental groups that have the resources to do this kind of bidding. They’re not usually organisations who advocate for the homeless or for single mums, or groups that are fighting to protect our water, or native bush.”

Time will tell if this move from the Greens is merely political grandstanding, or  if they are able to push Labour and New Zealand First into doing the same and normalise a lack of outside funding in New Zealand Politics.

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