Turei: Political policy costing unit would 'cut the spin'
The Green Party believes an independent policy costing unit would help cut spin in New Zealand's political system and bring more clarity to it, especially during elections.
In her State of the Nation speech in Wellington this afternoon, Greens co-leader Metiria Turei laid out the new policy which would look into all policy announcements from political parties.
She says the Policy Costing Unit (PCU) would run within Treasury and be available to all political parties.
"New Zealanders deserve more transparency from their politicians so that they can better engage in the political system," she says.
"It would help cut through the noise of political party promises and deliver New Zealanders unbiased information."
She believes the unit would make election a contest of ideas, rather than who has the best political spin.
"During election campaigns there's always a lot of conflict and shouting between politicians about whose policy costs what, and where the money will come from."
She says the Greens get criticised for the price of their policies, despite the "extensive work" done to get the costings right including preparing audits and fiscal statements.
"National doesn't do that. They don't because there's a perception that they're sensible and trustworthy on economic issues."
She believes the policy would be a small change which would have a "big impact" on democracy.
The Greens have written to other parties to ask for their support on the unit.