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Govt Must Heed CommComm Warning: Land Use Regulation Drives Up Grocery Prices

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the Commerce Commission’s draft report on New Zealand’s grocery market, which highlights how complex land use regulations restrict competition and drive up prices.

Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “David Parker needs to take a good close read of this report. The Commerce Commission have rightly pointed out the many ways that regulation restricts competition in our grocery market. The report absolutely skewers the Resource Management Act for the way it restricts access to suitable sites, drives up site prices, and allows vested interests to lock out competition.”

“If there’s one sentence in the entire report that epitomises the destructive power of regulation, it’s this: ‘We note that the major grocery retailers have historically opposed each other’s resource consent applications under the RMA.’”

“Ultimately, regulations like the RMA result in higher grocery prices for households, not just because compliance costs are passed on, but because the costs prevent new entrants from entering the market and stimulating competition. This is exactly why we've always called the RMA a regulatory tax – and why slashing this tax on competition is a long overdue.”

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