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NZBR Welcomes Institute Report

NZBR Welcomes Institute Report

The New Zealand Business Roundtable has welcomed the release of the Institute of Chartered Accountants' report Improving Corporate Reporting in New Zealand: A Shared Responsibility.

"In our view the report is carefully reasoned and, on the whole, offers sensible and principled options for reform," NZBR executive director Roger Kerr said.

"We're particularly pleased to see that the report rejects the reactionary and prescriptive approaches adopted in some countries, in particular the United States. Such kneejerk reforms may get politicians and regulators 'runs on the board', but unnecessary and costly interventions actually do little to serve the interests of investors or the companies in which they invest.

The report also roundly rejects the 'wild west' image of New Zealand's capital markets that some commentators have recklessly promoted. Internationally, New Zealand regulation and the integrity of our markets are well regarded.

It is the insistence of regulators on introducing ever more intrusive, high cost regulation that will ultimately stifle business innovation and deter investors.

Mr Kerr cautioned that the case for regulation needed to be carefully made out.

"That said, compared to the other approaches on corporate governance being discussed in New Zealand, the Institute's idea of reporting against objectives for corporate governance is a superior approach. By recognising that 'best practice' varies over time and between companies, the approach reduces the risk that companies become locked into practices that are inappropriate to their circumstances and a barrier to serving the interests of their shareholders.

Mr Kerr urged the government to consider the Institute's proposals carefully.

"Certainly, the Business Roundtable would welcome the opportunity to be involved in any further development of those proposals", he said.

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