“ACT will smash the red tape state and fix the economy by ending politicians’ obsession with passing populist laws that get a ‘win’ for their voters or get an issue out of the headlines temporarily,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“ACT will fundamentally change the culture of lawmaking, meaning New Zealanders spend less time complying with edicts from Wellington, face more affordable living costs, and have more interesting and productive jobs.

“ACT will empower a new Red Tape Reduction Minister to start examining red tape in the finance, primary industries, health, and ECE sectors in the first 100 days of a new government.

“The red tape review process would work as follows:

  1. The Minister of Regulation would declare a sector that the Ministry will conduct an inquiry into.
  2. The Ministry of Regulation will dig into all regulations in the sector over six months, hearing from the people affected by the rules, and testing them against the key principles of the Regulatory Standards Act.
  3. The Minister of Regulation would publish a report addressed to the relevant portfolio Minister, identifying the regulations that could be cut.
  4. The relevant portfolio Minister must respond within three months with approval for the regulations to be cut in an omnibus bill, and a timeline for when they will cut the remaining red tape. If the relevant portfolio Minister declined to remove a regulation, they would be required to explain to Parliament and the public why the regulation should remain in place.
  5. The Minister of Regulation will be responsible for introducing the omnibus bill and will publish an annual audit to report on progress towards achieving all of its recommendations against the agreed timelines.

“The Act can also be used by the public to get a court declaration if a law has been made in a way that’s inconsistent with good lawmaking. That wouldn’t cancel the law, but it changes the incentives for politicians and bureaucrats. It says, if you want to make knee-jerk, populist laws, you’re going to rack up a lot of hostile declarations from the courts.

“Fundamentally changing the way politicians make laws is one way ACT will put productivity at the centre of everything the government does to deliver a lower cost of living and higher incomes.

“Only by tackling red tape will we restore New Zealand to being one of the OECD’s top 10 fastest growing economies, as measured by GDP per capita. Faster growth will mean New Zealanders have better jobs and more money in their back pockets.

“This won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. It won’t happen by repealing a few bad laws, but only by smashing the cosy compliance culture politicians and bureaucrats thrive on in Wellington.

“Politicians are obsessed with the idea that our country can be saved if only they pass this law or that law. The results are dire.

“Too often, regulation is just populism, as the oil and gas industry, landlords, and countless other sectors have found. Or the costs of a law outweigh the benefits, like National’s restriction on pseudoephedrine for New Zealanders with a cold or flu. Or the costs and benefits of a law aren’t shared fairly, like the CCCFA reforms which cost banks and their customers millions of dollars because a few people were being ripped off.

“National pays lip service to cutting red tape, but it is just as guilty as Labour.

“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.”

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