Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Ministers Enhance The Trans-Tasman Environment

Hon Peter Costello Treasurer
Hon Dr Michael Cullen New Zealand Minister for Finance

Ministers Enhance The Trans-Tasman Business Environment

An agreement to progress cooperation on banking and competition regulation and the establishment of a Trans-Tasman Accounting Standards Advisory Group were among the many issues discussed today by Treasurer Peter Costello and New Zealand Finance Minister Michael Cullen during their annual bilateral meeting.

Today’s discussions made significant progress toward trans-Tasman business integration with the aim of building on the CER (Closer Economic Relations) agreement towards a single economic market based on common regulatory frameworks.

"We have agreed on the importance of working closely together in the development of our competition regimes as a means of improving the conditions for business on both sides of the Tasman. Already, our policy and enforcement agencies are working together to improve cooperation and coordination within our regimes in a number of key respects (eg improved information sharing and exploration of the potential for cross appointments between competition authorities).”

“We have also agreed to conduct research to explore ways of improving the integration of our competition regimes. Issues that may be considered include improved co-ordination of authorisation processes, joint decision making on trans-Tasman issues by competition authorities and co-ordinated/combined institutional frameworks. We will shortly finalise terms of reference."

Mr Costello and Dr Cullen announced a plan to reduce transaction costs for businesses through the development of common trans-Tasman accounting standards.

A Trans-Tasman Accounting Standards Advisory Group was announced to advise the respective Governments and accounting standard setters on ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency by aiming for a single set of standards.

“As well as its work towards developing common standards, the Group will foster co-operation in relation to the broader debate on the development of international standards. In doing so, it will seek to promote links with other accounting standard setters in the region.”

The group was foreshadowed at the CER Ministerial Forum last August and includes representatives from Australian and New Zealand standard setters, and Australia’s Financial Reporting Council.

Following ANZ’s acquisition of the National Bank of New Zealand, Australian banks now occupy over 80 per cent of the New Zealand banking market, and Australia’s four major banks are also New Zealand’s four major banks.

“In the light of these developments, we agreed that closer integration of the two markets is welcome, subject to the need to maintain the safety and stability of both financial systems. We have agreed to work to mutual recognition and harmonisation in prudential regulation,” the Ministers said.

Mr Costello and Dr Cullen have agreed that Australia and New Zealand will jointly negotiate tax information exchange agreements wherever practicable. Joint negotiation of these agreements reflects our two countries’ common interests in the principles of transparency and effective exchange of information, which underlie the OECD’s Harmful Tax Practices Initiative and work on Bank Secrecy.

These agreements will facilitate the exchange of tax information between countries, enabling Australia and New Zealand to obtain tax information which will help protect the integrity of our tax systems, protect businesses from unfair competition and contribute to efforts to counter drug trafficking, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Australia and New Zealand intend to negotiate a network of such agreements including in the Pacific region.

Mr Costello and Dr Cullen, also announced the commencement of information exchange negotiations with the Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda. These are the first information exchange negotiations for both Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Costello and Dr Cullen discussed the success of joint efforts in the region, most notably the substantial progress made by the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

Under the leadership of Australia and supported strongly by New Zealand and many other Pacific Island Countries, RAMSI is restoring law, order and good economic management to the Solomon Islands.

Mr Costello and Dr Cullen discussed their mutual concern at the current lack of progress in multilateral trade talks.

“Progress in multilateral trade negotiations is vital if the gains from trade are to be shared by all, in particular, those from the world’s poorest countries.” Ministers said.

“For Australia and New Zealand, the multilateral trading system is the bedrock for our participation in the global economy. Supporting and advancing this system is amongst our highest economic priorities. Australia and New Zealand stand ready to work toward a successful round.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news