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Regulation review doesn’t go far enough

Regulation review doesn’t go far enough

The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants has welcomed Minister of Commerce Lianne Dalziel's efforts to improve the quality of regulation in New Zealand, but says the Government needs to go further to do the job properly.

"It is a step in the right direction – but the most important review the Government could undertake is to look at the process by which it makes its regulations in the first place," said Institute spokesman David Pickens.

Mr Pickens, the Institute’s Director of Government Relations and Strategic Projects, said that the Institute was disappointed with the narrow scope of the review and urged the Government to be “more ambitious”.

"If the regulation-making process itself is not changed, the most that will come out of the Minister's review will be short-term palliative changes, quickly swamped by poor quality legislation from the Government's regulation-making apparatus," he said.

“Then in a couple of years we’ll need another regulatory review.”

An example of the burden imposed by regulations, pointed out by the Retailers Federation, are retailers who operate under about 40 different acts of Parliament.

Mr Pickens said that without urgent action to stem the flow of “unnecessary and overly burdensome” regulation, New Zealand risks losing an important advantage it has held for many years over its trading partners - the absence of excessive red tape. “It is important that bold steps be taken to arrest the decline in New Zealand’s competitiveness against other countries.”

In 2005 the Institute approached all political parties, and a range of business and non-business groupings, for their views on a reform package to improve government’s regulation making. The results showed considerable appetite for a more substantive review.

“It is important this opportunity for realising substantive and long-term benefits not be missed.”


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