Regulatory Standards Bill - Cabinet Paper Released

  • Rodney Hide
Regulatory Reform

Minister for Regulatory Reform Rodney Hide today released the Cabinet paper and minutes relating to the adoption of Regulatory Standards Bill – formerly the Regulatory Responsibility Bill – drafted by the Regulatory Responsibility Taskforce in 2009 and adopted by the Government last month.

“These documents have been released in the spirit of transparency as this is, of course, what the Bill is all about.  The Bill is straightforward and simply requires the Government to explain itself when it wishes to regulate in a way that conflicts with sound principles of law-making,” Mr Hide said. 

“I have long argued that we need better regulatory institutions.  By agreeing to introduce the Regulatory Standards Bill, and send it to a Select Committee for consideration, the Government has given New Zealanders the opportunity to debate what we truly value in terms of regulatory quality.

“The Regulatory Standards Bill is the work of some of New Zealand’s finest legal and economic brains.  Despite this, many government departments did not support the Government’s adoption of the Bill.  This opposition – revealed in the Cabinet paper – is unsurprising; the Bill increases public scrutiny of public servants' work, as well as that of Ministers.

“If the Government intends to propose regulations that impair property rights, do not follow the rule of law or do not treat all citizens equally then I believe the Government should be up front and explicitly tell the public.  That’s what this Bill requires. 

“This may result in some difficult questions, but they are questions that a democratic government should be asking itself and answering publicly.  We have a very high calibre of public service in New Zealand, and I have no doubt that it can accommodate the changes to its role that the Bill proposes,” Mr Hide said. 

The Cabinet paper and minutes relating to the adoption of the Regulatory Standards Bill (referred to therein as the Regulatory Responsibility Bill) are available on the Treasury’s website at: