TINZ Speaks out about weak proposed Lobbying Code of Conduct

We have been vocal in a recent media release and newsletter article emphasising our view that the proposed Voluntary Code of Conduct for Lobbying is so weak to be almost meaningless.

TINZ Deputy Chair Debbie Gee and Chief Executive Officer Julie Haggie went to the airwaves to discuss the proposed Voluntary Lobbying Code of Conduct. The concern is the extent to which the Code has been watered down when compared to an initial draft and to codes of conduct within similar democracies.

Debbie Gee appeared on RNZ ‘From Nine To Noon’ at 9:10 am on 17 April 2024 - Draft code of conduct for lobbyists 'watered down, meaningless.’'  She reviewed a number of the points included in the initial draft removed from the current proposed version. When challenged about interpreting acceptable conduct from several of the initial elements, Debbie reminds us that this was always intended to be a voluntary code. Further definition would be needed if New Zealand moves to regulation of lobbying.

Debbie also points out that the new guidelines are too broad. They try to appeal to almost anyone wanting to present their case to Government, many of whom were not consulted at all about the proposed code.

Julie discussed the proposed Voluntary Code of Conduct for Lobbying along with information about TINZ, the Corruption Perceptions Index and our activities in an almost hour long conversation with James King on Back Chat. 

In the interview, Julie points out that it is all about ethical behaviour. While the current draft is about intent, most elements related to behaviour and conduct, what you do and say, have been removed.

We remain perplexed as to why lobbying organisations are not more forthcoming about self regulation. An industry unwilling to manage its conduct is a call for compulsory regulation.

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