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Trouble with Australia after Ministerial Change?

Trouble with Australia after Ministerial Change?

Wednesday 14 Aug 2002 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution

The replacement of Paul Swain with Lianne Dalziel as Commerce Minister could lower business costs, ACT Commerce Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Though Mr Swain is nominally left with a compliance cost role as minister responsible for small business, his worst compliance cost "achievements" as Minister of Commerce flowed from his attempt to push the New Zealand Stock Exchange into the maw of the Australian Stock Exchange, and to impose parts of Australia's mammoth corporations law here.

"Dalziel may bring a breath of fresh air. In immigration she was quite willing to gravely upset the Australians. Her unilateral moratorium for illegal overstayers was one of the last government's two most significant affronts to Australia. It represents a longer-term threat to CER. The Australian government does not believe they can be in a common market with us if New Zealand provides an unlocked backdoor for unwanted immigrants. Our lax immigration approach is considered to negate Australia's strenuous efforts to keep its borders secure.

"We will get an early indication if this represents a sacking of Mr Swain for poor performance, and a new direction, if the government holds back the Securities Markets and Institutions Bill for a badly needed rethink.

"ACT will only applaud if the government does taihoa to apply a principled analysis to the issues Mr Swain never got through. They include genuine reform of insider trading law, and putting teeth into the sensible disclosure rules New Zealand had, instead of adopting the mindless Australian "continuous disclosure" slogan.

"On the other hand if Ms Dalziel has been appointed in an attempt to give her a chance to repair her relations with Australian ministers, we could see an even more craven haste to ape their commercial and securities law. It is more expensive and no more effective than ours.

"The New Zealand Stock Exchange should defer the 16 August start date for its new rules. It was forced to promulgate them under threat from Mr Swain's officials. If there is a chance that Lianne Dalziel will not maintain her predecessor's doctrinaire direction the Exchange should hold back," Stephen Franks said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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