Greens bill puts political openness at risk – lobbyist

Jordan Williams
Holly Walker

A back passage storm is brewing between a political lobbyist and a Greenie who wants tighter control around lobbying.

Holly Walker’s Lobbying Disclosure Bill, which is at select committee stage, wants to set out rules and regulations around New Zealanders’ access to politicians.

But in a Dominion Post opinion piece today, Franks & Ogilvie lawyer and one-time anti-MMP campaigner Jordan Williams criticises the bill because he says it moves “closer to the American-style lobbying industry the bill's supporters are hoping to avoid”.

Mr Williams, who has swipe card access to parliament himself, says the bill will make lobbying a criminal offence for everyone but organisations who have pre-registered with the auditor-general.

“It covers even the most modest or ancillary advocacy," he says.

"An accountant emailing an MP about a tax policy on behalf of a client will be committing a criminal offence unless the accountant is a registered lobbyist. A fine of up to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for companies can be imposed.

"Even a local farm manager complaining to the local MP at the supermarket about emissions policy would be covered.”

He says even voluntary organisations, such as a local RSA, are included in the bill.

In reply, Ms Walker blogged Mr Williams is hardly “a neutral bystander”.

She refuses to accept the bill will harm the democratic right to access MPs.

But she admits the current draft has a very wide definition, so as to “capture influence whenever and wherever it takes place”.

Ms Walker also acknowledges New Zealand does not have high-profile scandals seen overseas.

“As part of this open and accessible system, we need to be transparent about who has that access – the public has a right to know who is lobbying MPs on which issues, which is the purpose of the bill.

"Lobbying transparency will help to level the playing field in terms on influence on decision making.”

Mr Williams says the Greens’ bill risks New Zealand’s open and accessible political system.

“MPs run constituency clinics. It's not hard to have half an hour of an MP's time. We are a small country with very accessible MPs.

"Why introduce 'big-city' barriers between the people and their representatives?”

Submissions on the bill to the select committee close on October 5.


16 · Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.


This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

Post Comment

16 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

The Greens are anti West, anti growth, pro collectivist extreme Left collectivists pushing failed theories under the ppretence of caring for the planet.

They merely want to control it and us.

And now a few words from their sponsors:

o "The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself."
- Club of Rome, premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations

"No matter if the science of global warming is all phony... climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about
justice and equality in the world."
- Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

"It doesn't matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true."
- Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace

"The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe."
- emeritus professor Daniel Botkin

"We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis..."
- David Rockefeller, Club of Rome executive member

"Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?"
- Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme

"Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control."
- Professor Maurice King

"My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species,returning throughout the world."
- Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!

"A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people.
We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.''
- Prof Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb

"A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible."
- United Nations, Global Biodiversity Assessment
"... the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence more than 500 million but less than one billion."
- Club of Rome, Goals for Mankind

"One America burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say. In order to
stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it's just as bad not
to say it." - Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier

"I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems."
- John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

"The extinction of the human species may not only be
inevitable but a good thing."
- Christopher Manes, Earth First!

“The extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on Earth - social and environmental.”
- Ingrid Newkirk, former President of PETA

"Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential
parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing."
- David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Hardly a representative summation of the views of people that love the environment more than money. Some of those statements I would completely agree with but others are a load of bull. And many of those quotes are likely quite meaningless taken out of their original context. Besides I thought we were talking about lobbyists?

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

"Why introduce 'big-city' barriers between the people and their representatives?”

This is always the way with statists. In the 'name' of the people they seek to centralise power thereby removing themselves from public scrutiny.

The Greens are internationalists with no loyalty to the nation state that is NZ.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

The doers are the ones who invent, produce and sell, who work voluntarily with others to their mutual benefit, and who adapt to ever-changing circumstances. They are the ones responsible for our science and medicine; our roads, bridges and buildings; our oil, gas and electricity; our computers, telephones and televisions; our cars, buses and planes; our commerce, jobs and means to a better life. Being good at producing and providing these things has long been the route to worldly success, and rightly so.

Then there are the talkers. These people don’t produce anything of substance. They are perhaps well-read, intelligent and articulate, filled with clever ideas and good intentions, but on the whole there is no practical end to their talents. As such, there is little demand or reward for their skills. They might expand our understanding, or feed our spiritual and emotional needs, but when people are asked to value their efforts with their money, the talkers find themselves somewhat under-appreciated compared to those who specialise in more pragmatic, material concerns.

The talkers think they should be as successful and important and the doers, but cannot find any social endorsement for their sense of entitlement. Therefore, they set about talking up the significance of their own qualities (intellect and virtue) and undermining those of the people they envy and resent (an ability and willingness to satisfy other people’s needs).

They tell us that society rewards the wrong people and the wrong values. They tell us that the world’s ills can be solved through the application of the clever theories and good intentions they specialise in, and are caused by the stupidity, prejudice and greed of those who currently enjoy the power and influence they crave. Even our basic understanding of better and worse, of good and bad, is muddied to portray all judgment as prejudice, thus undermining the judgment that has deemed them less wonderful than they think they are. Essentially, they are constantly trying to usurp the doers and create a world in which the talkers hold sway.

The talkers highlight every disparity in the natural world as proof of their pet theory – namely, that the strong benefit at the expense of the weak; a state of affairs that could be remedied if only power was transferred away from the doers and into the hands of the talkers. There is no human relationship they will not exploit to prove their point: man versus woman, adult versus child, black versus white, rich versus poor, human versus animal, mankind versus nature. There can be no willing consent to power, there can be no universal understanding of better or worse. Until such time as the talkers have absolute control, every vestige of personal sovereignty is a threat to their dominance, and a reminder of their humiliation.

Unfortunately for us, the talkers are far more prominent in public life than the doers. They fill the media, politics, education, the judiciary and the public sector. Since their talents are limited to words and ideas, they rely on the power of the state to turn them into physical reality. They are inclined to see the state as an extension of themselves – as an instrument for dispensing wisdom and benevolence upon the nation, of protecting the ‘victims’ who serve to showcase their superior virtue stand as a proxy for themselves, of wreaking vengeance on those who have achieved the happiness and success forever denied to them.

Because they pride themselves on being wise and compassionate, talkers tend the perceive the world in whatever way allows them to express the most indignation and concern. To this end, they prefer not to acknowledge that we live in a world of limited options, where every decision is really only a trade-off, and every benefit has its costs. That would deny them the opportunity to chastise the rest of society for lacking their virtue or to portray a world uncontrolled by them as anything other than evil and chaotic.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

And you are saying you're NOT a talker, even after that massive spiel? Why can't people be both talkers and doers?

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

The pseudo-Greens really like Stalin. Think Mussolini was great and reckon that well-known German house-painter was pretty okay. And hey, Putin gets things done too, and likes the outdoors....
Surprised?

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

NBR Spam filter is broken - Rejecting legitimate comment.
"Your submission has triggered the spam filter and will not be accepted."

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Sounds totally screwy if it is as reported.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Another example of how removed from the real world the Greens are.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Go Greens!

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

A great pity that the Greens can't find something useful to do, but then all countries have their left wing nutters so why should we be any different?
liberte

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Let's be honest.

Lobbyist who give money to political parties are giving a bribe.
They want more influence than individual voters.
Doesn't matter whether it is unions, road lobby, business round table, green peace or a business; it is soft corruption.
Support democracy, one person, one portion of influence.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Surely this Greens bill is contrary to the Bill of Rights?

Don't we all have a right to access MPs?

Don't all MPs have an obligation to represent our interests, regardless of whether they agree or whether we are members of their party?

Isn't that why parliament is formally called the House of Representatives?

Wouldn't the Green's proposal prevent our interests being represented?

Is that what the Green Party really wants to achieve? Are they aiming for a free-er hand without interruptions from those they are supposed to represent?

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

So under this bill which Ms Walker admits has a wide definition so as to “capture influence whenever and wherever it takes place”. I could be fined up to $10,000 for writing a letter to try and influence say the PM (i.e. Lobbying).

I wish these people would focus on encouraging people who have the capability to create jobs especially ones that focus on external activities that bring wealth into the country.

Laws designed for countries of 300 million or so are perhaps not warranted in a small country. And once the lawyers get hold of it and the various political interests it will be another mess that will do harm to ordinary kiwis.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Want to know who has access to lobby politicians? Everybody has access. I thought that was the point? Why are we looking to change it?

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

So much for rational comments on this issue.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7273 -0.0016 -0.22%
AUD 0.9139 -0.0015 -0.16%
EUR 0.6099 -0.0014 -0.23%
GBP 0.5376 -0.0021 -0.39%
HKD 5.6797 -0.0122 -0.21%
JPY 81.6390 -0.2950 -0.36%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1293.3 6.130 2017-09-22T00:
Oil Brent 56.4 0.420 2017-09-22T00:
Oil Nymex 50.7 0.110 2017-09-22T00:
Silver Index 16.9 -0.034 2017-09-22T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 7795.4 7814.8 7795.4 0.25%
NASDAQ 6401.4 6429.5 6422.7 0.07%
DAX 12569.7 12646.6 12600.0 -0.06%
DJI 22334.1 22364.3 22359.2 -0.04%
FTSE 7263.9 7320.3 7263.9 0.64%
HKSE 27949.8 27960.9 28110.3 -0.82%
NI225 20413.6 20417.1 20347.5 -0.25%
ASX 5655.4 5688.2 5655.4 0.47%