Lobbying Isn't a Dirty Word
2 August 2017
Given how busy running a club can be, keeping track of your local MP can be an afterthought. However there are numerous benefits to engaging with politicians at all levels of government.
MPs often congratulate clubs for the good work they do in the community through charity work and fundraising, hosting events and other initiatives that are meaningful to locals.
Lobbying isn't a dirty word. There's no harm in fostering a good relationship with your MP by sending a thank you note or suggesting a meeting, and it may pay dividends in the long term. Most MPs understand the important role that New Zealand's clubs play in the lives of their members and their communities. They also understand that the majority of the members vote; an important factor to keep in mind when building rapport with your local MP. Parliamentarians who are well disposed to their locals clubs are more likely to view the industry as a major stakeholder when deciding policy.
Having a good relationship with you local MP is a win-win. Your MP is seen to be supportive of the community while your club and the industry gain a supporter in Parliament. So while it may sometimes seem that your efforts go unappreciated, remember that politicians are paying attention and they're only to happy to show their support.
(Sourced from Hugo Robinson, ClubsNSW Policy Officer, ClubLIFE July 2017)