Intimidating democracy/New Zealand Health Ministry memo to NGOs

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The full text of a memo from the New Zealand Ministry of Health was provided by an NGO to the NZ Greens member of Parliament, Sue Bradford. The text of the memo was as follows:

"The Ministry of Health recognises and respects the independence of NGOs including their broad role in society and their right within the law to use resources not funded by government to lobby for change to policy.

The following instruction to Ministry of Health staff is designed to ensure that the Ministry does not fund NGO's lobbying activities. "The Ministry does not fund lobbying activity and such activity will not be included in any contracts".

For the purpose of this instruction lobbying is defined as seeking to influence MPs of whatever party, over specific legislation under consideration by Parliament or targeting MPs on the development or implementation of policy (as distinct from providing evidence based information or advocacy to the "public" in general of which MPs are a part). Lobbying also includes making submissions to Parliamentary Select Committees, and otherwise petitioning Parliament."

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