Thursday, October 18, 2012

National hates transparency

Last night, the National-led government voted down Darien Fenton's Local Government (Council-Controlled Organisations) Amendment Bill. The bill would have removed a longstanding anomaly from our official information laws, which allows council-owned port companies to escape the scrutiny faced by every other council-controlled organisation. It would have led to better oversight of these companies, and hence better governance and greater accountability for public money. But National, it appears, opposes all those things. They want ports - and other agencies, such as charter schools, and private prisons - to be able to operate in secret, and to be unaccountable to the New Zealand public.

In short, National hates transparency. That is not a position which should be acceptable in the government of a free and democratic society. The sooner this pack of secretive would-be autocrats are out of office, the better.