New Zealanders are hardworking and innovative, and we know it is discouraging when red tape holds you back.
Most of us, particularly people who’ve been involved in farming or running a business, will have a story to tell about some loopy regulation. Something that makes absolutely no sense at all, but a bureaucrat in Wellington thought sounded good. If you’re lucky they don’t cost a lot, maybe just a few extra minutes filling out some paperwork. But others have a real impact on our ability to get moving.
I am often hearing from constituents whose businesses are being stunted by what feel like arbitrary, painstaking regulations. One of my colleagues has a constituent who owned a small bus depot structure that had no walls, but they were forced to install four exit signs, just in case people couldn’t find their way out if there is a fire. We all know someone with a small business who is working hard to make it grow, so it’s frustrating when red tape holds you back.
Good regulations are simple, clear and rigorously enforced. They control a lot of the building standards we have, and many of the safety requirements we have at work.
National understands the importance of moving quickly to introduce new regulations for new technologies to get established, and sometimes to disrupt old patterns. For example, when we were in Government, we worked quickly to establish a regulatory regime for New Zealand’s growing space industry.
We need to regularly look closely at the cumulative effect of our regulations. There are several thousand regulations in effect in New Zealand. They’ve been added to over time, by well-meaning Government departments and Ministers, to the point where many now cross over or are simply out of date.
It’s not the sexiest thing that a politician can seek to fix, but it’s important nonetheless.
At their worst, poor regulations have the potential to stop important things from happening. This could be the construction of new renewable power generation or a new business starting up. For my colleagues in Auckland, regulations can hinder the building of much-needed homes in our biggest city. Insufficient or sloppy regulations can put us at risk, as we’ve seen here in New Zealand and overseas with the Grenfell Tower fire in London. Inadequate regulations need to be reviewed, and where necessary, fixed.
We will repeal 100 regulations and we will eliminate two old regulations for every new one we introduce, so that you can get on with the job. We will also require future governments and regulatory agencies to undertake at least one regulatory simplification process every three years that looks at reducing the complexity and number of regulations.
We are currently going through countless regulations and deciding what’s needed and what is standing in the way of sensible development, so we’re ready to hit the ground running.
If you’ve got an example of an unnecessary or excessive regulation, let me know by email or going to www.national.org.nz/economy.