The Labour Party says it has withdrawn an amendment from the Lobbying Disclosure Bill that would have exempted unions from the disclosure regime.
The bill, in the name of Green MP Holly Walker, is being considered by the Government Administration Select Committee.
It is aimed at establishing a disclosure regime for anyone who seeks to influence MPs, their staff or public servants. It would establish a statutory register of lobbyists, and lay out a code of conduct.
Lobbyists would have to disclose the date of their meetings, who was present and the subjects discussed.
Labour MP Charles Chauvel had intended to put forward amendments excluding union and other non-government organisations.
He now says he'll drop the provision relating to unions, but will keep his other amendments.
The Council of Trade Unions has said it is happy to be part of the scheme, as long as it's fair to all parties.
This is sensible politics from Charles Chauvel. The Greens were not supporting the amendment, and it would certainly have failed. And all the while, the focus would have gone on Labour to justify why its union mates should get special treatment over everyone else. Whilst that would have provided lots of fun for those of us on the sidelines, it would have been counter-productive for Labour.
So being helpful bloggers, we have a suggestion. Given that Mr Chauvel has been so adept at swallowing this particular kiore without widespread media comment (we had to go searching to find the link; none of the usual sources like the Herald, Stuff, Scoop or even Labour's website has it), perhaps he could conduct clinics in dead-rat-swallowing for his caucus colleagues.
And as David Shearer continues to get negative headlines over his GCSB allegations, perhaps a private tutorial would be in order for Mr Chauvel's leader!