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Lobbyists too business-friendly, say Greens

Thursday 26 Jul 2012 6:07 p.m.

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By political Editor Duncan Garner

The Greens have attacked the list of lobbyists accredited to Parliament as being too business-friendly.

The list was finally released late yesterday, and it has been revealed that one Wellington company has three of its directors accredited and a fourth, a former MP also has swipe-card access.

3 News has been pressuring Parliament Speaker Lockwood Smith to release the names and now we can see those on the list include people like unionist Peter Conway, lobbyist Charles Finny, the CTU's Helen Kelly, Sky TV's Tony O'Brien, lobbyist Barrie Saunders, his lobbyist mate Mark Unsworth, anti-MMP campaigner Jordan Williams, Russell McVeagh lawyer Tim Clarke and young Nat Daniel Fielding.

“I was troubled when you kept asking me for the list and I couldn't give it to you but I didn't want to breach people's privacy," says Dr Smith.

So Dr Smith gave the card holders an ultimatum - if they don't want their names released  then give up the cards.

“I think there are some who didn't renew,” he says.

The Greens want a new law to record the activities of lobbyists, and they say the list is too business friendly

“It's an unrepresentative list, there's a huge amount of consultant lobbyists who represent big business coming into Parliament,” says Green MP Holly Walker.

Wellington firm Saunders Unsworth’s four directors all have access cards.

Roger Sowry is a fomer MP with a card, and so are his partners Mark Unsworth, Charles Finny and Barrie Saunders.

“If you're going to start letting in consultant lobbyists, why not others?” says Ms Walker.

And now Dr Smith is urging any members of the public who are frequent visitors to get their own pass.

"I'm happy to give people a pass and I'll put their names on the website,” says Mr Smith.

Yes, the Speaker just gave everyone an open invite; if you want a pass come down and see security and get clearance.

3 News

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