“New Zealand is plagued by red tape and regulations introduced by various Governments who have passed laws to scratch political itches or to respond to negative headlines. ACT will ensure the next Government cuts through the jungle of regulations New Zealanders have to comply with,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Most of New Zealand's problems can be traced to poor productivity and poor productivity can be traced to poor regulation. In nearly every sector, we hear complaints that red tape increases compliance costs and creates missed opportunities by stopping productive activity. Our No. 8 wire culture is gradually eroding as people find it more attractive to do less.

“ACT has already proposed a new Minister and Ministry of Regulation to control the impacts of regulation like the Minister of Finance controls the supply of money taxed from New Zealanders. The Minister and Ministry would ensure new and existing regulations meet tough new standards and would put red tape on the chopping block. Today, we’re announcing the first four sectors that will undergo a red tape review.

“Early childhood education faces a host of regulations aimed at protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and improving the quality of education. However, not all regulations are made equally, and over-regulation is hurting the sector. We need to get the regulations right to ensure ECE is accessible and affordable for all New Zealanders.

“New Zealand’s health system is under serious pressure due to a lack of workforce. Lifting constraints on the supply of workers and the activities they can undertake can ensure more Kiwis will have access to timely care. For example, ACT has heard from the aged care sector that international nurses struggle to meet the language requirements in the competence assessment programme, despite them possessing better written and oral language communication than most Kiwis. The Ministry would weigh up whether regulations like this were actually having a positive impact, and if not it would scrap them.

“Farmers face a significant regulatory burden, often for no practical benefit. Yesterday, Dairy NZ published a survey that showed 99 per cent of dairy farmers have an issue with government regulation.

“The financial services sector is also swamped in red tape. Many regulations are designed to achieve the same thing, but cumulatively add up to a huge burden. For example, financial services have to submit multiple regular reports to different agencies, covering similar ground, whether it’s the Reserve Bank, Financial Markets Authority, Commerce Commission and trustees. The Ministry of Regulation would consider the reporting overlaps and whether there is a more efficient way of achieving compliance.

“ACT is committed to tackling New Zealand’s productivity crisis. To do so we need to get rid of regulations that only add costs and compliance, and put productivity at the heart of everything government does.

“The only way New Zealanders can afford better healthcare, housing, education - anything, really - is if workers first produce more valuable goods and services to sell to the world. ACT will get the government out of the way.

“A vote for ACT is a vote to cut red tape. A vote for ACT is a vote for higher productivity and wages. A vote for ACT is a vote for real change.”

ACT's policy document is here.

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