Petition to Establish an Anti-Corruption Commission
The Opportunities Party is calling on the New Zealand Government and Parliament to create an Anti-Corruption Commission - an independent agency with the power to detect, investigate, and take enforcement action against corrupt conduct in our public institutions.
New Zealanders deserve better. Our politicians should be acting in the wider public’s best interests, not the interests of wealthy donors, special interest groups and lobbyists.
Public trust in our politicians and political parties is under threat, and recent events show that we need to act. There are three issues the Anti-Corruption Commission needs to investigate immediately:
BIG MONEY IN POLITICS
Politics is becoming highly professionalised, with political parties reliant on large donations from a small number of wealthy donors. Ultimately, this means there is a real risk that these donations come with expectations of influence and outcomes on political parties.
The dangers of improper influence are not addressed by our current laws. In 2020, NZ First/NZ First Foundation received large donations from the horse racing industry when Winston Peters was the Racing Minister, and Shane Jones, received thousands from seafood company Talley’s when he was Regional Economic Development Minister.
The role of lobbyists in our democracy is a murky and poorly regulated area of politics. Lobbyists have free run of Parliament, with no public register nor requirements to declare any conflicts of interest.
Recent examples include the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff coming straight from a lobbying agency, raising questions about their influence in the policies Labour recently threw out. And former Minister Kris Faafoi who spearheaded the TVNZ/RNZ media merger, is now heading up a new PR and lobbying firm less than three months after leaving Parliament.
UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR IN CABINET
It has been revealed that former Cabinet Minister Stuart Nash breached Cabinet confidentiality by sharing confidential information to some businessmen, who had previously donated to his campaign. This conduct raises concerns around the possibility an MP had commercial interests in Cabinet decisions.
The Commission would mirror Australia’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) which will begin operations in mid-2023. We believe the New Zealand Law Commission is best placed to draft up the new offence provisions for the Commission after reviewing international examples.
More transparency and accountability in Government is needed to restore trust in our democracy.
Please sign our petition to join us calling for the establishment of an independent Anti-Corruption Commission to review any unethical and illegal behaviour of our elected officials.