OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state

Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform.

“This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour. 

“The quality of regulation in New Zealand is in freefall. From being ranked 2nd in 1998, we are now 20th in this year’s survey. It’s no coincidence that New Zealand experienced strong productivity growth in the 1990s but has fallen behind since.

“Areas that are found to be particularly overregulated include barriers to foreign direct investment, acquiring licenses and permits, and administrative and regulatory burden – where we rank last in the OECD.

“It is too difficult to invest, and Kiwis have their productivity sapped because of the time spent complying with edicts from Wellington. Not only does poor regulation add cost to the things we do, it ensures other activities don’t go ahead. The cumulative effect is a country of can’t, with the ‘can-do Kiwi attitude’ a memory.

“The coalition Government has set up the Ministry for Regulation with three tasks. One, to cut existing red tape with sector reviews. Two, to improve the scrutiny of new laws. Three, to improve the capability of the regulatory workforce.

“The culture of lawmaking needs real change, so Kiwis spend less time complying, and more time doing. The end result is higher wages and lower living costs.”

The Ministry for Regulation is currently undergoing its first regulatory sector review of the Early Childhood Education sector. A review of the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products has also been announced. 

Note to editors: The OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) are generated from a survey that runs every five years (since 1998) and focuses on regulatory barriers. The survey, of about 1000 questions, assesses the degree to which policies and regulation promote or inhibit competition in product markets. A link to the report can be found here.