Thursday, 5 August 2021

Government rejects higher standards of law-making


“It’s a sad day for New Zealand when the Government shows it doesn’t care about lifting the standards of law-making in this country,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Labour and the Greens today voted down my Regulatory Standards Bill which would have required the MP, Minister or bureaucrat sponsoring a Bill to put forward a Regulatory Impact Analysis.

“The Regulatory Impact Analysis would have ensured any bill, regulation or piece of legislation would have had a certificate to ensure that right questions had been asked.

“Those questions included: Have the right people or groups been consulted? What are the costs and benefits? What problem is it trying to solve? Could the problem be solved without a new law or through an existing law? Does it impede on property rights?

“These are the sorts of questions anyone proposing a new law should ask, but sadly large political parties often put self-interest and re-election ahead of good law-making.

“The Bill would have meant that individuals or groups could have sought a declaration through the court to check due diligence had been carried out.

“This would not have invalidated the law, but it would have embarrassed the makers of bad laws. It would have embarrassed them into fixing their mistakes, or even stop poor laws being made in the first place.

“A Bill like this would have required Ministers and Government departments to be more transparent.

“This Bill, and other regulatory reform initiatives, have failed for the simple reason that those in both traditional parties do not wish to be restrained when they win power. ACT will continue to push for better standards of law-making and to hold all of the others accountable.”