• John Luxton
Commerce and Industry

The Minister of Commerce, Hon John Luxton, announced today that he would be undertaking a new regional business liaison programme which would build on the consultative programme with business established with the manufacturing sector under the Manufacturing Advisory Group.

"To start the programme, I will be going to Christchurch on 29 May, Dunedin on 30 May and Auckland on 5 June for meetings with manufacturing and service sector representatives to hear first hand about the opportunities and problems businesses are facing in the current economic environment."

"I am strongly committed to reducing regulatory costs to business and to improving the overall quality of government regulation. To succeed in that objective, I and my senior officials want to determine through face to face contact with regional business groups what factors are facilitating or impeding business confidence, firm performance and economic growth."

"I feel confident the business community will welcome the opportunity presented by the business liaison programme to identify key areas where the Government can improve the regulatory environment in which business operates, build on the reforms of recent years and enhance economic growth."

This programme will replace the previous consultation with business through the Manufacturing Advisory Group. "I have decided after considerable reflection to discontinue the Manufacturing Advisory Group in favour of a consultative relationship with the broader business community across the country".

"The Manufacturing Advisory Group, through its annual strategy statement, has played a valuable role over the last five years in identifying the strategic policy issues facing both government and business. Its advice has helped shape the strategic policy agenda. The challenge ahead is to advance that agenda by promoting informed discussion across all sectors of the business community. I am also keen to gain a better insight into sectoral and regional economic developments."

"I want to reassure manufacturers that this decision in no way diminishes the value that I place on maintaining linkages with the sector. I shall continue actively to seek

its advice on a regular basis. In particular, through my business liaison programme, I will be staying closely in touch with manufacturers, as well as other business people, on initiatives to reduce the costs to business of government regulation."