Par­lia­ment spe­cial list now just 44

The Dominion Post - - Politics - LAURA WAL­TERS

The Speaker of the House wants to make ac­cess to Par­lia­ment as seam­less as pos­si­ble and says it’s not his job to po­lice lob­by­ists’ move­ments.

Trevor Mallard has re­viewed the list of ap­proved vis­i­tors. It mainly con­sists of lob­by­ists, with some MPs’ spouses, party mem­bers and union rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The 93 ap­proved vis­i­tors had been cut to 44, mainly be­cause many no longer needed ac­cess, or could not be con­tacted.

Mallard said there were two lev­els of se­cu­rity clear­ance – the first level got the card­hold­ers past se­cu­rity into the parliamentary precinct.

The sec­ond level al­lowed some vis­i­tors, who were reg­u­lar at­ten­dees at cau­cus meet­ings, to gain ac­cess to the lead­ers’ of­fices and cau­cus rooms.

‘‘The essence, for me, of the rules go back to keep­ing peo­ple safe, and it’s not my job to fa­cil­i­tate lob­by­ing, but it’s also not my job to to stop it.’’

As far as Mallard was aware, there had not been any in­stances where ac­cess had been abused. If that was the case, the vis­i­tor would lose ac­cess, and any fu­ture re­quests by the MP re­spon­si­ble might not be granted.

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