Red tape moves to cut costs by $200 million

  • Bill English
  • Rodney Hide
Finance Regulatory Reform

Government measures to cut red tape are on track to cut compliance costs for businesses and consumers by around $200 million a year, Finance Minister Bill English and Regulatory Reform Minister Rodney Hide say.

The estimate is included in a new Ministry of Economic Development report, Regulatory Reform: Changes Affecting Compliance Costs for Business and Citizens. The report, which will be produced annually, measures progress towards the Government’s goals of better and less regulation.

"Good quality regulation helps protect the environment, the rights of consumers and the lives of citizens, while ensuring an efficient economy. But poor quality regulation can slow economic growth by imposing unnecessary compliance costs," Mr English says.

"Removing unnecessary regulation is an important part of the Government’s economic programme, so businesses have more time to focus on how to increase their productivity and expand.

"The report shows the Government is on track to cut compliance costs by a net $200 million a year. But there is more to do to improve regulation, with further changes to the Building, Resource Management and Securities Acts underway, as well as work to identify barriers to export growth," Mr English says.

Mr Hide says the report shows progress across a wide range of areas.

"We are reducing compliance costs by abolishing gift duty, streamlining resource management processes, easing financial reporting requirements for small business and reducing air passenger waiting times at Customs by introducing SmartGate passport control," Mr Hide says.

"Such measures free up time for business and the public, allowing them to get on with their lives without constantly having to deal with government.

"While the costs and savings of many reforms can't yet be fully calculated, future reports will develop this further. They will also ensure the Government is under scrutiny to reduce regulation and improve its quality," Mr Hide says.

The report estimates regulatory changes over the past three years will reduce compliance costs to businesses and consumers by $250 million a year.

This will be partly offset by $50 million a year in new costs related to strengthened regulatory requirements on financial advisors, anti-money laundering measures and farm animal identification and tracing.

The full report can be viewed at