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Fresh look at regulatory frameworks

Media release

14 February 2006


Fresh look at regulatory frameworks

Business will be watching closely to see what’s involved in the ‘fresh look at regulatory frameworks’ promised in the Prime Minister’s speech today.

Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says if the review recognises the power of voluntary compliance in the first instance and uses regulation only where absolutely necessary, then it could be extremely good news for the business environment.

“But if it simply signals an intention to regulate certain sectors more heavily, then we will all be worse off.”

Mr O’Reilly said the most recent example of government regulation - in the energy sector, where Electricity Commission and Commerce Commission regulations have created confusion and uncertainty - was not encouraging.

“The regulatory model here has not been hugely successful in getting certainty about the investment so badly needed in the national grid.

“The only sector mentioned in today’s speech was telecommunications - which raises concerns that there may be an intention to regulate to force Telecom to hand over its assets to competitors.

“One of the first principles of good government is that people or companies should not have their property confiscated. Hopefully this principle will be respected in the fresh look at regulatory frameworks.

“New Zealand’s use of light handed regulation - that respects property rights and individuals’ voluntary compliance - is admired internationally. We have a great opportunity to build further on that tradition in any review of regulations.”

ENDS

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