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Infrastructure investment boost from law change

Hon Lianne Dalziel
Minister of Commerce, Minister for Food Safety,
Associate Minister of Justice, MP for Christchurch East

5 September 2008 Media Statement

Infrastructure investment gets boost from law changes

Infrastructure businesses will have more incentive to innovate and invest in their future growth under a Bill amending the Commerce Act passed in Parliament today, Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel said.

The Bill is a major rewrite of the price control provisions of the Commerce Act 1986. Its overall aim is to provide protection for consumers against excessive prices and poor quality for basic infrastructural services where there is no real prospect of competition (such as airports, electricity lines companies and gas pipeline companies), while at the same time ensuring that suppliers have incentives to invest, innovate and improve efficiency.

"The passing of this Bill is excellent news for the growth and improvement of New Zealand infrastructure businesses that are natural monopolies. It will provide greater certainty for regulated businesses and incentives for investing in infrastructure while giving consumers protection from excessive prices and poor quality," Lianne Dalziel said.

"Overall, most regulated businesses should face lower compliance costs because of greater certainty about the rules and better designed regulatory processes.

"The Bill draws upon best practice overseas to achieve these objectives. In particular it seeks to ensure that regulation is not imposed unnecessarily, and that where it is required, it is applied in the most efficient way to promote the long-term interests of consumers.

"This is another important step in the government's ongoing efforts to foster investment in innovation and infrastructure that will help our businesses grow and improve productivity," Lianne Dalziel said.


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