• John Luxton

Government imposed monopolies should continue to be reduced, Minister of Lands, Commerce and Industry, Hon John Luxton, agreed today.

Whilst it is pleasing to note the support and understanding of Labour, ACT, and the Alliance to get rid of the monopoly of lawyers on conveyancing, we should now also address other monopolies imposed by legislation on New Zealanders in areas such as pharmacies, optometrists, teachers, lawyers, local government, and even in the marketing of primary produce.

Government itself also prevents innovation and imposes costs with its monopoly provision of services such as education, health,ACC,energy, airport and other services. I would welcome Opposition partys ideas in reducing such monopolies.

Monopolies end up hurting all New Zealanders. Phil Goff is right. As he says, the public would welcome with open arms the prospect of cheaper services.

But they would also benefit from the innovation, the drive and Kiwi ingenuity that monopolies prevent. We underestimate the lost opportunities because of monopolies. All New Zealanders are paying a high price for this though higher prices, less choice, and opportunity costs.

It is great to now see Labour, and the Alliance coming round to the common sense of getting rid of monopolies and encouraging competition in our society. Only last year they forced pointless legislation through Parliament to give monopoly rights to registered teachers and thus restrict the ability of subject specialists to teach our children. I look forward to supporting their efforts to now repeal this Act and further tackle other monopolies.

Perhaps this parliamentary term will see more progressive reform than first thought given such a meeting of minds on all sides, Mr Luxton concluded.