The New Zealand Law Society says it supports a bill that applies the existing provisions of the Official Information Act to Parliamentary Under-Secretaries in the same way as Ministers, when acting in that official capacity.
The Law Society has presented a submission to parliament's Government Administration Committee on the Official Information (Parliamentary Under-Secretaries) Amendment Bill.
Spokesperson Jason McHerron says Parliamentary Under-Secretaries are part of the executive arm of government, exercise ministerial powers, and are already treated the same as Ministers under other legislation.
"It's therefore appropriate that the public will be able to request official information held by a Parliamentary Under-Secretary in their official capacity," he says.
"Parliamentary Under-Secretaries will also be able to rely on the same grounds as Ministers, when considering whether or not to withhold official information."