Friday, January 29, 2021

Not a priority after all

Before the election, then-Justice Minister Andrew Little was saying that transparency was a priority and promising to rewrite the OIA. But now Labour is back in power, it turns out that its not a priority after all:

A promised review of the Official Information Act will be further delayed, the new justice minister has revealed.

A spokesman for Kris Faafoi said the minister remained committed to a review, but it was likely to be “later in this parliamentary term”.

OIA critics say the continuing delays are disappointing and the Government should stop keeping secret official advice about the future of New Zealand’s openness laws.

The Act is now almost 40 years old, and showing its age. There are obvious problems, which need to be fixed. But the government would rather focus on extending the Parliamentary term than doing the basic work of keeping our democracy functioning; on reducing accountability rather than increasing it. On the one hand, at least it stops them from making things worse (which is a real risk where self-interested politicians are concerned). But on the other, they're basicly saying that under Labour, things are never going to get better. Which is kindof them in a nutshell, isn't it?