New Zealand Speaker hosts CPA Pacific Region launch of updated CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures  

Rt Hon. Trevor Mallard, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives and CPA New Zealand Branch President has led the CPA Pacific Region launch of the updated CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures at a meeting held at the New Zealand Parliament last week. Speaker Trevor Mallard noted that the CPA Benchmarks are an important tool for Parliaments to continuously challenge themselves and identify areas for improvement.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) Recommended Benchmarks are a set of guidelines for good governance for Parliaments and Legislatures and these Benchmarks were revised to reflect the changed landscape in which democracies now operate. The updated CPA Benchmarks include measurements for Parliaments to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the recommendations contained in the Commonwealth Charter. 

The CPA Benchmarks were revised and updated in 2018, with input from representatives from around the Commonwealth, including the Parliament of New Zealand, to better reflect the needs of modern democratic institutions. This is the first update to the Benchmarks since they were originally published in 2006. Covering a comprehensive range of recommendations, the CPA Benchmarks propose guidelines in areas such as elections and candidate eligibility; political parties; parliamentary staff; legislative procedures; financial and budget oversight; transparency and integrity; diversity and gender sensitivity; and freedom of information.

Other speakers at the CPA Benchmarks event included Lord Fakafanua, Speaker of the Tongan Legislative Assembly; former New Zealand Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon. David Carter, MP; and the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Pacific Chair, Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, MP, who all called on Pacific Parliaments to keep striving for improvement and to champion the use of the CPA Benchmarks.

Speakers from Commonwealth Parliaments around the CPA Pacific Region including the Speaker of the Parliament of Fiji, Hon. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, MP, were in Wellington to attend the regional launch. As a reflection of the tragic events that occurred in Christchurch the previous week, there was a sombre tone to the occasion, with CPA Pacific Region representatives expressing their condolences on behalf of their Parliaments.

To access the updated CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures please click here.

Notes to Editors: 

*CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures: The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) together with its partners conducted the exercise which drew on and convened its network to result in the publication of the CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures in 2006. Partners included the Legislature of Bermuda, the World Bank Group, the United Nations Development Programme, the European Parliament and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. A joint study group in 2018 with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) revised and updated the CPA Benchmarks. The updating of the CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures is part of a wider project, the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy #CP4D in partnership with Westminster Foundation for Democracy, CPA UK Branch and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF). 

Updated 28 March 2019.

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The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 
 
For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Headquarters Secretariat  
T: +44 (0)20 7799 1460
Email hq.sec@cpahq.org
For media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org