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  • rmacculloch

Is Bryce Edward's article on Lobbying in NZ the reason Aucklanders lost faith in Wellington?

American Senator Jon Tester, who has just introduced the Close the Revolving Door Act, says “I came to the Senate to fight for working families .. and I don’t think any Member of Congress should cash out on the privilege of public service .. It’s past time we slam shut the revolving door that has allowed too many folks in Washington to use their elected office as a stepping stone toward high-paying lobbying jobs for special interests, instead of advocating for the people they represent”. Most of us believed lobbying to be more an American thing than a feature of the NZ political landscape. How wrong we were. In an extraordinary article, Victoria University's political scientist, Bryce Edwards, notes:

= "Ex-Labour Minister Kris Faafoi set up a new lobbying firm less than three months after stepping down from his Ministerial roles".

= "Yesterday Kiri Allan set up a new firm that will essentially be lobbying too. Her KLA Consultancy website advertises she will help business clients with “legislative & regulatory reform & advice”. Her sales pitch is around her background as a Cabinet Minister and the “extensive networks” she can utilise “to ensure projects succeed”.

= "Chris Hipkins Chief of Staff Andrew Kirton this year shifted straight from working for Anacta Consulting, a Trans-Tasman “government relations” firm .. to running the Beehive".

= "When Ardern became PM her Chief of Staff, Neale Jones, left to become a lobbyist. She then employed another lobbyist, GJ Thompson, who helped set the Government up, hired staff & then went back to the private sector to help corporates lobby the Beehive".

= Stuart Nash had a high-profile fall from grace, being sacked as a Minister over his dealings with financial donors to his election campaign. He too has announced a new job, starting yesterday. He’s working as a lobbyist for Recruitment company Robert Walters. This firm provides more contractor staffing to government departments than any other".

Gosh. I'm actually speechless.



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