Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where the bloody hell are we?

Australia has joined the Open Government Partnership, an international body dedicated to greater government openness and transparency. Meanwhile, what do we have from New Zealand? Silence. We missed the initial launch because Murray McCully was "busy" (likely paying attention to rugby). Since then there's been an internal note from MFAT [PDF] talking about the need to consider the issue, but apparently no further progress. This despite an acknowledgement that "the goals and principles of OGP are in line with the commitment of the New Zealand Government to transparency and openness" and a warning that

There are risks that New Zealand's absence from OGP may become increasingly glaring as membership expands, especially given our existing reputation for transparency and openness.

I think we're well past that point. We're being left behind by the Australians on this. Given their record on government secrecy, we should be seriously embarrassed.