Kate Chapman at Stuff reports:
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.
More than just backers. They
- get to write industrial relations and other policies
- have an influential role in list ranking
- are major funders
- can tip electorate selections to a preferred candidate
- will soon have 20% of the vote for future leaders
- provide a major source of campaign workers
So it is no surprise Labour are desperate to exclude them.
Labour MP Trevor Mallard said the bill was a “bad piece of work” and should have been tidied up before going to select committee.
It would currently capture a union official who rang him to help with a constituent’s housing problem, or a foodbank that wanted assistance getting a client welfare entitlements, he said.
It would also capture an employer that rang him on the same issues. Is Trevor proposing an exemption for businesses? Of course not.
The exemptions should be on what types of activities count as lobbying, not on protecting your union overlords.