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LGNZ says a stronger response is needed on regulatory issues

LGNZ says a stronger response is needed to fix regulatory issues

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) acknowledges the Government’s response to the March 2013 Productivity Commission’s report “Towards Better Local Regulation” released today, but says it doesn’t go far enough.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says that the proposed action plan is unlikely to make a material difference in the quality of local regulations, nor does the Government’s response appear to do justice to the rigour and depth of the Productivity Commission’s work.

LGNZ believes that good regulatory practice must be institutionalised and not left to the discretion of individual ministers and their departments.

“We need a close working relationship with government agencies when new regulations are being developed, one where local and central government sit at the policy setting table and consider effective regulation and implementation together at the earliest opportunity,” says Mr Yule.

“In particular, we’re disappointed that the Government has not implemented the development of a “partners in regulation” protocol and a forum to ensure both spheres of government agree and understand intended regulatory outcomes” as recommended by the Commission.”

Local government is pleased to see the announcement of the Rules Reduction Taskforce and also asks that a joint central local government taskforce be established to review the framework of statutes and regulations impacting on local authorities to remove unintended consequences and unnecessary regulatory costs.

In its comprehensive report the Productivity Commission highlighted the problems caused by poorly designed legislation which sets out processes that councils must comply with when putting in place local regulations. The result is that local regulation is often seen as inefficient and unresponsive, and creates unnecessary compliance costs for communities.

The Productivity Commission wanted to see real change in the way government departments go about developing and evaluating legislation which gives councils regulatory responsibilities and to ensure local government is closely involved in the design of such legislation – a key area where the Government’s response falls short.

The issues raised by the Commission have been recognised in LGNZ’s Elections Manifesto, also released today at its annual conference, which asks for a regulatory regime that is effective without imposing unnecessary costs on communities or citizens.

*Ends*


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