Parliament's Standing Orders Committee has reported back on the Members of Parliament (Pecuniary Interests) Bill and confirmed that it will be put into the Standing orders rather than passed into law. This simply is not good enough. The purpose of financial disclosure regulations is to promote openness and transparency - but under the proposed regime, failure to disclose or falsifying a disclosure would be a breach of standing orders, judged by the Speaker and the Privileges Committee, rather than a crime able to be enforced by the courts. And as the repeated attempts by the Opposition to take government Members (most recently David Benson-Pope) to the Privileges Committee have shown, its "justice" leaves a lot to be desired. The upshot is that rather than having an impartial and enforceable system of disclosure, we are likely to get one which is widely ignored, or enforced in an openly partisan manner for purely political purposes.
The New Zealand public deserves better than this. Our elected representatives must not just not corrupt, they must be seen to be so. This demands not just transparency, but transparency which is actually able to be enforced. We no longer accept the police judging their own; why should we accept it of politicians?
Financial disclosure is not a matter of "Parliamentary sovereignty". It is not a matter of whether MPs trust one another, but whether we trust them. This requires independent and public oversight and open, fair, and impartial enforcement. Politicians cannot provide this. The courts, on the other hand, can.