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of asset sales. After driving the government books deeper into deficit with irresponsible top- end tax cuts and poor-quality spending, [Prime Minister] John Key now tells us that we have to sell our assets to cover the fiscal hole that he created. In fact, asset sales make the government deficit worse and the national accounts worse. “The casino owners, the

miners, the property speculators, the oil companies, those who pollute waterways or our atmosphere—they are all doing really well under John Key’s watch, but National has turned its back on the belief that we are all in this together”.

of any chance of ever leading this country to any sort of economic better position”. However, Hon. David Parker,


Hon. David Parker, MP Hon. Gerry Brownlee, MP Hon. Gerry Brownlee,

MP, Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, expressed surprise about “the apparent lack of worry from other side of the House about New Zealand’s financial situation, and absolutely no recognition that there is throughout the world a crisis going on. New Zealand’s economy is one per cent of the world’s economy. We are like a little leaf on a large, tumultuous ocean that is being battered by a hurricane. “We are keeping our head up

as a nation—no question about that—in quite a remarkable way. But for there to be a denial that the turmoil in the rest of the world’s economic activity is somehow not going to affect New Zealand is, I think, an abdication

MP, (Labour) responded that “John Key and the National Party always blame Christchurch or Greece for New Zealand’s problems. Greece and Europe have problems. Outside of Greece and Europe, average growth in the world has been 1.5 per cent per annum since National has been in government. Over that same period New Zealand has grown under one per cent—not one per cent per annum, but one percent in three years.”

Hon. Clayton Cosgrove,

MP, (Labour) said “If you are in business you would label

Fair Trading (Soliciting on Behalf of Charities) Amendment Bill The Fair Trading (Soliciting on Behalf of Charities) Amendment Bill, a Member’s Bill in the name of Mr Michael Woodhouse (National)—originally introduced by Hon. Amy Adams, MP, (National)— had its third reading on 27 June 2012, and was passed with unanimous support. Mr Woodhouse explained

that the Bill would “provide increased transparency and public accountability for professional third-party collectors who are in the business of collecting funds on behalf of registered charities”. He acknowledged the costs of raising funds, but noted: “a trend has emerged where fund-raising organizations are used by charities to assist with the collection process.” For that reason “those donating money do have a right to be given accurate information about the proportion of those funds that are retained by those groups”. Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga (National)

said: “There is concern that a disproportionate percentage of donated money is retained by third- party collectors to cover their costs, and that the members of the public making those donations are not quite aware of this. “The concern has actually led to

Hon. Clayton Cosgrove, MP

[government Members] as nuts. … They have a plan that flicks a few dollars—a lot of dollars—off the old folks, a few dollars off the youngest and most vulnerable, and flogs off our assets

members of the public not donating, because of grave concern that their moneys are not going to the causes for which they are intended. “Media reports have shown

that it is not uncommon for some collections to actually retain up to 90 per cent of moneys donated by the public.”

Hon. David Cunliffe, MP,

(Labour), saying that the Bill “addresses an area of concern for the public, and that is why we are supporting it”. He explained that “the Bill was rewritten in the Commerce Committee to enable regulations to be made relating to disclosure by fundraisers making requests for charitable purposes. Currently there are no rules on what has to be disclosed, except that no misleading or deceptive statements may be made”. Mr David Clendon (Labour)

called the regulatory approach involving ministerial discretion “the best available outcome”, and Mr Denis O’Rourke (New Zealand First) described the areas of regulation in the Bill: “Those include regulations

for prescribing requirements for disclosure of information about the fundraiser, about the charitable organization itself, and about the relationship between those two parties, which can be very different in nature. “Also included are the financial

benefits the fundraiser would receive, directly or indirectly, from the process, the amount of the donation included in the price of goods and also how the disclosure will take place, and how the financial benefit must be calculated and expressed. Finally included is the financial benefit that the fundraiser would not be required to disclose.” Dr Jian Yang (National) stated

his belief that the Bill “will help restore faith in charities, which rely heavily on the kind generosity of New Zealanders, and ensure that their good work continues and that consumer rights are fully protected”.

The Parliamentarian | 2012: Issue Three | 219

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