Todd McClay - Regulatory Reform first part of National’s Economic Plan

Opinion 12/03/2020

By Todd McClay, National Spokesperson for Economic Development.

The cost of renting has skyrocketed by $65 a week due to the red tape and cost heaped on landlords by this Labour, Greens, and NZ First Government.

That’s $3400 a year which is equivalent to roughly 40 tanks of petrol or 22 weekly grocery shops.

There is no clearer example of how excessive regulations and higher taxes are affecting your back pocket.

That’s why this week National released our Regulation Reduction package, the first of part of our five-part economic plan as we head towards the election.

This package has five pillars – a bonfire of regulations, appointing a Minister for Regulatory Reduction, repealing and replacing the RMA, simplifying the Anti-Money Laundering legislation and introducing a Health and Safety common sense test.

There are tens of thousands of regulations in New Zealand. There are so many that officials don’t know how many there are or where to find them all.

Many of these regulations have built up over the years and are no longer fit for purpose.

Some of them protect and preserve the interests of industries or highly risk-averse Government or Council officials.

We want businesses to thrive and not be strangled by red tape, regulation and bureaucracy.

Unreasonably slow and expensive bureaucratic procedures are getting in the way of a stronger economy. It’s holding us back from having more money in our pockets, lower daily costs and affordable housing.

Our bonfire of regulation will ensure we get rid of 100 regulations in our first six months and that for every regulation introduced, two are removed. This will incentivise officials to look at ways of reducing regulations before they impose new ones.

An example is Labour’s reforms to the Residential Tenancy Act which increase costs, discourage the supply of rental properties and increase rents for low income households.

That’s not good for the landlord, or the tenant. 

To oversee this policy, a Senior Cabinet Minister will be appointed as Regulatory Reduction Minister.

Governments need to be able to move quickly around regulation. National showed how fast it can move when we were in Government with the establishment of a regulatory regime for Rocket Lab which allowed New Zealand to join the space race.

We will also repeal and replace the RMA which has failed to protect the environment and allow our infrastructure to grow. There is now widespread support for reforming how we manage our resources.

We will replace the RMA with transitional legislation as we work towards getting a new development-friendly law in place that is efficient and predictable.

Regulation Reduction is just first part of our five point economic plan, with more to come in the next few months on tax relief, an infrastructure package, a small business package and a families’ package.

National can be trusted to run the economy, to help it thrive in the good times and steady the ship when there are troubled waters.

Only National will introduce polices that will put more money in your pocket, make it easier for businesses to operate and keep our families and communities safer.

Todd McClay is the National Party Spokesperson for Economic Development, and MP for Rotorua.