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Green Party announces new transparency measures

Green Party Co-leader James Shaw has today announced two important new transparency measures, which will apply to Green Party Ministers, MPs and staff, to help counter the influence of money in politics.

Green Party Ministers will soon proactively release their ministerial diaries, to show who they’ve met with and why. Additionally, Green Ministers, MPs and staff will not accept corporate hospitality, such as free tickets to events unrelated to their work.

The announcement was made at the Party’s summer policy conference in Napier.

“The Green Party has always stood for more transparency around lobbying and access to politicians,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“Now we’re in government, we think it’s important to take the lead on this issue, and to try to counter some of the influence of money in politics.

“There’s no reason why big wealthy corporates should have better or more access to politicians than those organisations who can’t afford to shout free tickets to the rugby or a corporate box at the tennis.

“The organisations doing the shouting aren’t usually representative of the community at large, and tend to benefit from maintaining the status quo, rather than pushing for the progressive change the Green Party stands for.

“MPs often consider this sort of treating as a perk of the job, but it actually isn’t essential to the role.

“It also gives wealthy corporates an advantage when it comes to influencing our country’s decision-makers.

“Additionally, we think New Zealanders deserve to know who’s meeting with our MPs and ministers, and what the purpose of those meetings are.

“Transparency is a hallmark of any functioning democracy, and the Green Party will continue to aim to uphold that, in Parliament and in government,” said Mr Shaw.