Bryce Edwards:  Why Faafoi’s lobbying position should be illegal

DR BRYCE EDWARDS,  director of the Democracy Project, looks into Kris Faafoi’s entry into the lobbying business within a few weeks of his retirement as a cabinet minister and why this is allowed in New Zealand whereas it is illegal in many overseas democracies… 

Probably the most corrupt and broken part of the New Zealand political system is the role of corporate lobbyists influencing policy decisions of governments on behalf of vested interests. This is a group of political insiders – usually former politicians, party staffers or senior Beehive officials – who work at the centre of power and then depart with inside knowledge and networks that they can leverage to help corporate clients influence government policy.

It’s known as a “revolving door” in which corporate interests can prosper through having insiders who move backwards and forwards in and out of the Beehive and other positions of influence. It’s a growth industry in Wellington.

The extraordinary thing is New Zealand is unique in having no regulations on this part of the policy process. Corporate lobbyists profit greatly from a “wild west” setting, in a country where Government decisions are often made to benefit the wealthy. Continue reading “Bryce Edwards:  Why Faafoi’s lobbying position should be illegal”