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


Govt's Commerce Amendment Bill an Invitation to Corruption

The Government’s Introduction of Market Studies via the Commerce Amendment Bill is a sad day for both the Government and the National Party,” according to ACT leader David Seymour.

“The Commerce Commission, when investigating an allegation of the abuse of market power, has enormous powers. The Commission’s powers to demand information exceed those of the Police. It is extraordinary that the Commission will now be able to unleash itself on an industry without a specific allegation to respond to.

“As New Zealand Initiative Chair Roger Partridge has said, unleashing the Commission’s powers on markets where there is not even an allegation to respond to is like treating a healthy person with chemotherapy just in case they have cancer.

“New Zealand already has great difficulty with bureaucracy, too much red tape and regulation prevents us from raising productivity. Complying with a Market Study, a high stakes exercise where companies are put under subpoena for detailed data will be enormously expensive and add to the culture of bureaucracy and compliance over innovation and production.

“That this legislation allows a Minister to initiate the study is an invitation to corruption. Imagine how a Minister who has the power to impose an enormously costly exercise on a whole industry. It is not the New Zealand way for an individual to have such power over an industry at their discretion.

“The way that the legislation has been rushed through to undertake a particular market study, of the retail fuel market, when the Prime Minister has already predetermined the outcome by saying consumers are being ‘fleeced,’ confirms ACT’s worst fears that the Commerce Amendment Bill will be misused for political purposes, from the get-go.

"No doubt both Labour and National think they will make good cheaper for consumers, but they misunderstand the problem. The real problem with New Zealand’s economy is a lack of scale to support more competitors. Fundamentally, we live on the side of a mountain range the size of the United States Eastern Sea Board, sparsely populated with fewer than five million people.

“Competitors, such as the Warehouse in food, have found out how tough the New Zealand grocery market is, as did fuel retailers in the late 2000s. Other would-be competitors do not need a market study done with extraordinary powers of compulsion to decide whether or not to enter the market, they have already made their decision.

“If the policy is abysmal, the politics of this are simple,” says Mr Seymour, “National have agreed to this bad policy, in fact they initiated the policy of Market Studies while in Government. With National’s opposition gone, the Government has free reign to implement low quality policy. It is likely ACT will stand alone in opposing this legislation and we are proud to stand for sensible economics in the face of weak populism."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels