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Regional growth requires better regulation

Regional growth requires better regulation

BusinessNZ has welcomed Labour’s focus on regional prosperity.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says the regions hold great economic potential which could be unlocked with the right policies.

He said Labour’s plan for a $200 million fund for supporting regional projects could help develop industry in the regions but would require clear parameters.

“Such a fund must be contestable, with clear rules on how funds would be paid out. It would need to be commercially durable, demonstrating a visible return to the community and the Crown over time.”

Business would want to see where the $200 million would be found, in the context of an overall budget plan, he said.

But he warned that the complexity of the mission of regional development meant that funding a single project in a region would be unlikely to raise regional prosperity overall.

“Overall, regional economies would benefit from policies that foster economic development,” Mr O’Reilly said.

“They would benefit from improving laws currently holding back development, including the Resource Management Act and Local Government Act, and from better local government performance in administering them.

“Reducing the rates burden through better local government performance and reducing tax levels through prudent spending by central government – these policies would go a long way towards improved regional economic growth.”


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