lobbying

Is Holly Walker working for Lobbyists?

The Securities Industry Association are not the first group to warn that Holly?s bill will actually encourage the very type of professional lobbyists she supposedly wants to avoid.? Her bill creates a regulatory monopoly.? Many who lobby part time will be put off by the new law or scared that they will fall foul of it.

Maybe she?s setting up a lobbying industry so she has a job to retire into?

MP Holly Walker’s Lobbying Disclosure Bill could set off a lobbying boom, the Securities Industry Association (SIA) warns.

The SIA, which represents stock brokers, said it supported Walker’s objective – increased transparency around lobbying activity and increased trust in political decision-making – but the approach taken in the bill would have the unintended consequence of forcing companies and interest groups to engage the services of professional lobbyists.

The bill was incorrectly focused on the entities that should be captured or exempted, rather than on information to be disclosed and the most efficient and effective way to ensure that the information was disclosed, the SIA said.

With friends like these?

Holly Walker is taking a flogging from?all sides?with Dave Henderson of the?Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Aotearoa?Do-Gooders Socialist Association of Aotearoa giving her a good slapping.

Ms Walker’s presentation to the select committee considering the bill contains four guiding principles:

1. Lobbying is a legitimate activity.

2. Open and accessible government and Parliament is vital.

. The public has a right to know who is lobbying MPs on which issues.

4. A lobbying disclosure regime needs to be practical, workable and fair.

No-one can disagree with these, but the bill before the House does not meet the last of the four. It is a sledgehammer for a nut.

What is being proposed doesn’t differentiate between the so-called bad lobbyists and those organisations and individuals who are participating in a democratic right to discuss and put forward a particular point of view.

No lobbying regime in the world has been able to come up with a justifiable definition of??good? vs ?evil? lobbying.? Holly?s real motive to have a law that enables her to publicly target groups she doesn?t like when they meet with her political opponents.

What is being proposed doesn’t differentiate between the so-called bad lobbyists and those organisations and individuals who are participating in a democratic right to discuss and put forward a particular point of view.

This latter group accounts for 95 per cent of the lobbying that takes place in New Zealand.

These discussions are often about informing MPs and officials on the impact of particular policies and issues in our communities. These are crucial to a functioning democracy.

The bill is in danger of stifling these discussions through bureaucracy. It appears to be written around an assumption that a few unidentified suppliers of independent advice are somehow acting inappropriately and thus need to be regulated.

Even the lefties are effectively calling the Lobbying Bill undemocratic.

This bill will keep charities and community organisations from fulfilling their purpose as they spend their time, our donations and taxpayer money creating lists of all their interactions with MPs.

How can this work when many people expect to see their MP at the supermarket on a Saturday or at the school fair on a Sunday?

Interestingly, this morning the tip-line has learned that Holly has sought to block certain vocal critics of her Bill from presenting to the select committee.

More on that to come?

How to fix the lobbying bill

Scott Yorke has found a way to fix the lobbying bill…only make evil people register:

People on the left worry about the ability of big corporations to get their way with politicians, while those on the right probably stress over the malign?influence?of unions and teachers.

Do we then require every person or organisation that wants to lobby an MP to register as a lobbyist?

No, don’t be ridiculous!?We need only make the evil ones do it.

Yes, I can anticipate your objection. How do we decide who is evil, you ask?

He has worked out how to tell who the evil people are.

I’ve got that sorted too. In some cases it will be obvious. For example, if someone?wants to establish an adventure park on the outskirts of Hamilton where visitors can pay to squash puppies with large mallets, it’s pretty clear that their people will need to register as lobbyists if they want to go talking to ministers about changing animal welfare rules.

Similarly, the representatives of any large multinational whose goods?kill millions of people a year even when taken as recommended, are probably going to have to register as lobbyists if they want to engage with politicians about maintaining sales of their death-bringing products.

In situations where there is doubt about the evil of the lobbyists concerned, my plan would require them to register at a separate Register of Possibly Evil Lobbyists. Anyone who put their name on the?Register of Possibly Evil Lobbyists would then have 20 working days to submit an application for a hearing before a special board, which would consider whether or not the lobbyists concerned were genuinely evil, or just misunderstood nice folks.

This Evil Lobbyist Consideration Administration Board (ELCAB) would make its determination, and applicants would have the right to appeal adverse decisions to a higher body, the Evil Lobbyist Consideration Appeal Authority (ELCAA). An appeal to the High Court would be allowed from that body.

Following a determination that a lobbyist is evil, the lobbyist would then register on the Register of Lobbyists.

Don’t laugh, Holly Walker is probably amending her bill as we speak.

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Holly, give Jordan a call

Holly Walker scoffed at the offer of Jordan Williams to fix her silly lobbying bill. She should have a snack of humble pie and pick up the phone and give Jordan a call.

A bill seeking to make lobbying of politicians more transparent could have a chilling effect on communication with members of Parliament says Mary Harris, the Clerk of Parliament.

She said the bill would affect daily dealings of MPs and their staff with the public “and potentially could discourage constituents from engaging with members and their offices”.

Because it covered communication with MPs and their staff it could have “significant implications” for the House in the performance of its functions.

She had concerns that what she called the broad definition of lobbying activity in the bill could have “a potential chilling effect on open communication” with MPs.

“Many hundreds of individuals and organisations have contact with members and ministers every day, both in relation to matters of public policy and also in respect of personal grievances and concerns,” she said in her submission yesterday to the government administration select committee considering the bill.

Ms Harris also believed requiring lobbyists to register under law could give them a status or pre-eminent standing in policymaking processes.

“Such standing might be desirable in larger democracies, where the size of the body politic means not all who wish to participate in parliamentary processes can do so,” she said. “This is not the case in New Zealand.”

Ms Harris said the bill as worded meant she and her staff were not exempted. She suggested the bill might be better limited to the decision-making processes of ministers rather than all MPs.

She also questioned the Auditor-General developing lobbying codes in light of her “existing constitutional relationships with members, ministers and the House and her role in auditing the public sector”.

The bill is a dog’s breakfast that has been sicked up on the carpet. It should be substantially amended or withdrawn entirely. At the very least Holly should call Jordan.

Greens pissing off Labour

The Greens need to sort themselves out. ?I outlined the ways the Greens have annoyed Labour over the Lobbying Disclosures Bill but it appears the Greens have been niggling away at Labour for awhile now. ? At first I thought they might be learning something by getting Meteria to front the Lobbying Bill – at least some of the time.

From what I hear the Greens need to learn a few things around the Beltway. ?There is no such thing as something for nothing, especially in politics. ?It appears that Meteria in particular is being a mega bitch to several Labour MPs and staffers. ?The way I hear it is that one MP even used the ‘S’ word to describe the Greens. Yes, that is right…?sanctimonious?. ?The Greens are still of the belief that they do not have to play the political game because their reason for being is of a higher power. ?They are so right that everyone should just do what they say… and no reciprocal relationship should ensue.

It is no wonder Labour are blocking the Lobbying Disclosures Bill so hard.

Walker muzzled by controlling Greens

Oh dear, it looks like Holly Walker has been muzzled by her own party simply because debate on the bill has run away from her… and she can’t catch up.

Yep, Metiria has taken over. ?It’s no surprise as Walker has done a woeful job of putting together consensus from other parties on this issue. ?When the bill was pulled from the ballot, Walker had the best start possible with the PM saying:

?I’m fundamentally not opposed to a bill that might register what lobbyists are up to”

It has become increasingly clear that it is a crap bill and Walker has no idea how to balance different parties’ amendments to make it a better bill. ?It means that Labour have turned on her and the bill will die a horrible death unless someone uses some real political skill,

The irony of the situation is that Walker needs to learn some good old fashioned lobbying skills. ?Perhaps she could go have a chat to Jordan Williams and Mark Unsworth who can school her up on how to work with others for the greater good.

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Labour protecting the unions from Lobbying Bill

While Holly Walker’s bill may be woefully drafted, what is worse is Labour’s attempts to protect their union mates.

Labour wants trade unions excluded from a potential lobbying register and blames the MP who drafted the plan for including them in the first place.

Green MP Holly Walker’s member’s bill would require those who lobby politicians to be registered and adhere to a code of ethics.

It passed its first reading with unanimous support from all parties, but Labour has since put forward an amendment that would exclude trade unions.

The unions are major backers of the Labour Party.

Follow the money.

Labour has no funders outside the union movement, and without union money they are screwed. National are too strategically stupid to make any changes to legislation to make their sworn enemies suffer, so I would expect Comrade Kate will support Labour’s attempts to amend the bill to protect her mates in the union.

Holly Walker’s Woeful Bill Exposed, Ctd

Someone was a bit punchy for an unknown reason yesterday and took it out on his sanctimonious, holier than thou constituent who then had a tantrum accusing that someone of being wrong.

In doing so that someone keeps up the good work of Jordan Williams in exposing Holly Walker’s inadequacy in legal drafting despite the advantage of an Oxford education and a Rhodes Scholarship.

Well done to that someone. ?Jordan will pass by this week using his swipe card with some more tips on how inadequate this Bill is and how you can help combat more of the Greens silliness.

Shearer on Lobbying

David Shearer was interviewed on?BFM this morning.

Full interview:

Full interview

The whole interview is amusing and starts off with him being asked about his invisibility, while he’s in thick fog.

However, at the end he was asked why Labour wants unions exempted from the scrutiny of the lobbyists’ bill.

The reply was articulate David Shearer at his very best and really just delivered more thick fog on?the?issue:

The trouble with Chauvel’s amendment

? Karl Du Fresne

Charles Chauvel inadvertently reinforced for many the belief that Labour is captured ?by the?unions. Karl du Fresne explains why and also how this will likely cause trouble between the Greens and Labour:

In other words, transparency?s all very well when it?s wicked professional lobbyists and corporates who are under scrutiny, but Chauvel thinks people like Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly and secretary Peter Conway ? two of the lobbyists outed last week as having swipe cards giving them special access to Parliament ? should be allowed to continue flying under the radar. They are, he says, ?less sinister? than the other sort of lobbyist. Well, he would say that, given Labour?s need to protect its friends and benefactors in the unions.But hang on. Either we have transparency or we don?t. Chauvel wants us to believe that union lobbyists are all honourable people with unimpeachable motives, so can be relied on to go about their business without scrutiny, while anyone representing business is by definition ?sinister? and cannot be trusted. Good luck with that, as they say. He also expects us to assume that all charities, churches and NGOs are by definition beyond suspicion when many of them are highly politicised and should be subjected to exactly the same rules of transparency as everyone else.

The trouble with Chauvel?s panicky back-pedalling is that it immediately creates the suspicion that Labour and the unions have something to hide. The public are not stupid: they will think it very telling that Labour and the unions are the only people baulking at the Walker bill.

It also hints at the tensions that would inevitably arise in a Labour-Greens coalition, where the well-intentioned idealism of Green MPs like Walker would sit very uncomfortably alongside the murky realpolitik practised by Labour.