Monday, 9 March 2020

Poor-quality law not limited to health and safety


“ACT welcomes National’s enthusiasm for common sense regulation, but the standard of law-making needs to be raised across the board”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Bureaucrats are encouraged to do cost-benefit analysis when making significant new laws but lack the incentives to do it properly.

“That’s why ACT has been proposing a Regulatory Constitution since 2006.

“A Regulatory Constitution would require bureaucrats and politicians to make law according to a number of basic principles – including, defining the problem to be solved, considering the alternatives to regulation, and doing proper cost-benefit analysis of the options.

“Ministers would need to certify that a law was made in accordance with these principles.

“If the law didn’t meet the standards of a Regulatory Constitution, New Zealanders could go to court to have it struck down.

“ACT has the legislation drafted and ready to go. National is welcome to adopt it.

“ACT tried to get National to pass a Regulatory Constitution last time our parties were in government together, but it wouldn’t agree.

“We welcome National’s new common-sense approach to rules and regulations, but why stop at health and safety? It should be applied to all law-making.

“New tenancy laws that will burden landlords with silly new rules and push rents up wouldn’t get through our Regulatory Constitution. Similarly, the decision to ban offshore oil and gas exploration wouldn’t have passed the test.

“Much of Labour’s legislative agenda would have failed to get through a Regulatory Constitution.

“New Zealanders are burdened by too much low-quality regulation. The underlying problem is how bureaucrats and politicians make law. The result is lower productivity and wages.

“We must raise the standard, beginning with a new framework for how politicians and bureaucrats make the law.”