The Green Party is today welcoming proposals to regulate lobbying but is calling on the Government to do more to get big money out of politics.
“If the Government is serious about limiting access to lobbyists, it needs to do more than remove swipe card access. We also need to get big money and corporate interest out of politics in Aotearoa,” says Green Party electoral reform spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman.
“The Green Party has the most consistent track record out of any political party fighting for a more transparent and fair democracy. A code of ethics, and revoking access to swipe cards was in former Green MP Holly Walker’s member’s bill, first introduced in 2012.
“My Strengthening Democracy member’s bill would also have limited the influence of big money - and closed a loophole that protects donations from disclosure if they are given to the Electoral Commission first.
“Action to improve transparency in political donations is too important to sweep under the carpet. The Government needs to make these changes now, to ensure everyone has equal access to our democracy in Aotearoa.
“Last year the Government lowered the limit for public disclosure of donors from $15k to $5k, but as we said at the time, this just isn’t enough. The disclosure threshold needs to be lowered further to $1k and we need a $35k cap on donations annually.
“The Government also needs to close the loophole that means donations can remain anonymous if they are given to the Electoral Commission first.
“The failure to halt big money interests leaves us vulnerable to the kind of interference that may stop a wealth tax, rent controls, building affordable homes, or urgent climate action,” says Golriz Ghahraman.