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February Cabinet Discussion - Regulatory Priorities

14. The Government Statement on Regulation on 17 August 2009 made commitments to “introduce new regulation only when we are satisfied that it is required, reasonable, and robust” and “review existing regulation in order to identify and remove requirements that are unnecessary, ineffective or excessively costly.” The statement balanced system improvements with a targeted reform programme, and also supported an annual Regulatory Reform Bill.

15. The system work is continuing, with the Best Practice regulation work and the upgrading of planning and scanning requirements (to a medium term and regime focus) as the latest examples.

16. The reform programme has continued but the focus is likely to shift to a set of reform priorities (regulatory and otherwise) [withheld under s9(2)(f)(iv) of the OIA] The wider strategic priorities discussion at Cabinet in February 2012 will help set a quality regulatory reform programme. The SEG-REG (the Senior Executives Group - Regulation) Chief Executives may seek to engage with you and the Minister of Finance before that Cabinet discussion. The specific regimes that may be prioritised for regulatory reform are mostly pervasive, including:

  • the RMA, along with a set of natural resource related regimes (freshwater, marine and chemical & biological risk management)
  • labour markets (ACC, minimum wage and occupational regulation);
  • housing supply
  • innovation, intellectual property and standards, and
  • the Overseas Investment Act.

17. The key agencies are the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry for the Environment, and the Departments of Labour and Internal Affairs.

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