INDEPENDENT NEWS

National’s ‘Cabinet Club’ is cash-for-access

Published: Wed 7 May 2014 09:00 AM
National’s ‘Cabinet Club’ is cash-for-access
The Green Party has revealed details about the ‘Cabinet Club’, an exclusive club run by the National Party, where members pay a large annual subscription to attend meetings that give them guaranteed access to government Ministers.
“This National Party has put our democracy up for sale,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“Once again, we’re seeing breaches in the thin line between money and political influence in the National Party.
“While many of the details of the Cabinet Club are secret, documents suggest that Ministers are speaking at these meetings in their ministerial capacity on their portfolio areas.
“It’s not ok for the governing political party to provide access to Ministers of the Crown in return for donations to the party.
“In a democracy, access to Ministers shouldn’t depend on how much money you donate to the governing party.
“It’s exactly because of instances like this, and recent behaviour of Ministers like Judith Collins, that we have proposed a ministerial disclosure regime to improve the transparency and accountability of government.
“Ministers are in positions of significant power and influence. It’s important that the public get to know who is gaining access to Ministers.
“Every time the Green Party has proposed better rules around lobbying and access, the National Party has rejected it. It’s easy to see why they don’t want additional scrutiny.”
Ends

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