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


Banks, petrol companies strain public patience

2000 web site
The increases in petrol prices and bank charges show the need for a tougher government attitude towards anti-competitive business practices, says Labour Commerce spokesperson Paul Swain.

"The petrol companies and banks need to understand that the public isn't fooled by their pretence of vigorous competition and nor is Labour," Mr Swain says.

"It's true the price of crude oil is rising but officials have raised questions about how fast the oil companies pass that on and whether they are increasing rather than maintaining their profits.

"Max Bradford was very quick to line up in public with Challenge when they took on the big four. Now that the companies are moving together again he meekly accepts their price hikes."

"It's a glaring contrast with his bull-headed approach to the electricity industry, but perhaps the hash he made of his electricity reforms put him off taking on anyone else."

"The petrol companies and banks look uncomfortably like cyclists in a team pursuit race, taking turns at the front to set the pace. We're supposed to believe they're competing but they all seem to be on the same side."

"Labour remains committed to light-handed market regulation where possible, but it's clear the Commerce Act needs toughening up. That's why we're committed to amendments including lower thresholds and higher penalties for anti-competitive behaviour, a consumer welfare objective, a beefed-up information disclosure regime and measures against tacit collusion."

"New Zealanders can expect the Commerce Commission under Labour to be much more aggressive in its enforcement of the Act and in defending consumers' rights."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election