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Initiative Needed At NZ-Aust Meeting

Media release 13 May 2004

Initiative, not patch protection, needed at NZ-Aust meeting

This weekend's important trans-Tasman meeting needs to reflect some original ANZAC values such as equality, perseverance, grit, and above all, initiative, says Business NZ.

Chief Executive Simon Carlaw hopes the meeting will be characterised by boldness, not patch protection.

"As important as New Zealanders think the Bledisloe Cup is, it is critical that New Zealand targets some deeper issues, including a perception that New Zealand could easily be part of the problem, not part of the solution, in our corner of the world.

"There are many things that could be done faster and with as much impact as adopting the Australian dollar. Abolishing passport requirements, introducing common customs and immigration regimes, accelerating reciprocal access to education providers or looking at the integration of our supreme courts would reboot the trans-Tasman relationship in a practical way.

"And patch protection is not just a matter of saying "hands off". It could be a matter of saying "sure, let's integrate -you do it our way". There is no case for New Zealand giving up its competitive advantage in regulatory efficiency in some heavy-handed pursuit of a common regime."

ENDS

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