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Getting regulation right: Commission seeks views

28 August 2013

Getting regulation right: Productivity Commission seeks views

The Productivity Commission has released an issues paper on its latest inquiry into the design and operation of government regulatory regimes in New Zealand. Submissions are invited by 25 October.

“Regulation is pervasive for all New Zealanders, businesses, and communities”, says Commission Chair Murray Sherwin. “Regulation is aimed at shaping behaviours or outcomes – to create a better society than would occur without that regulation. But too often, new regulations do not produce the intended results, or the benefits of regulation are captured by a few at the expense of many. Done well, regulation improves our wellbeing – allowing us to better reach our social, environmental and economic goals. However, done poorly, regulation simply creates a drag on our lives and aspirations.

“We can all point to examples where regulation has failed or appears to be failing. The big challenge is to design regulation and regulators for the future that are clear in their purpose, are designed to maximise the chances of achieving what was intended, and are adaptable to risks and changing circumstances. Being clear about what regulation can and can’t do, and designing it from the outset to work well, is a core contribution to a productive, fair and successful society.

“Through this inquiry, we want to identify where and how to make improvements in the quality and effectiveness of government regulations. This is not an in-depth review of any specific regulation or regulator. Rather, we are looking across a range of regulatory regimes and across multiple sectors. In doing so, a range of interesting questions can be posed, such as:

• How do we make sure regulation doesn’t do more harm than good?

• How do we help to prevent regulations failing?

• How do we regulate better, without adding unnecessary complexity?

• How important is it that we regulate in a uniquely New Zealand way? How different are we?

“We’re keen to tap into the wealth of knowledge that exists across New Zealand – be it from regulators or from the regulated. The public submissions we receive will help to inform our analysis and to identify the people we need to talk to over the coming months.”

The issues paper is available on our website: www.productivity.govt.nz.

About the inquiry

The scope of the inquiry includes:

• mapping existing regulatory regimes and regulators across central government;

• developing a typology of how these might be classified or distinguished;

• providing guidance to inform the design and establishment of new regulatory regimes and regulators; and

• developing system-wide recommendations on how to improve the operation of regulatory regimes over time.

Inquiry Timeline

25 October 2013: Due date for submissions on Issues paper

February 2014: Draft report released for submissions

30 June 2014: Final report due to Government


About the New Zealand Productivity Commission

The Commission – an independent Crown entity – was established in April 2011 and completes in-depth inquiry reports on topics selected by the Government, carries out productivity-related research, and promotes understanding of productivity issues.

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