News Item

September 2010

Planning good regulation for the future

Badly designed and poorly implemented regulation can cost the taxpayer billions, as evidenced by the leaky home issue. Good regulation can be expensive, but is often worth the investment. A $1.75 million research project led by Victoria University and funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation aims to help get regulation right for New Zealand.

“For every piece of law that governs what we do, there is regulation. The project will be looking at regulatory reform that can make a difference to everyday New Zealanders and our economy. If you build a house, buy an import, use a cellphone, trade in shares, or own a company, the project may have an impact on your life,” says Professor Susy Frankel, of Victoria University’s Law Faculty and leader of the project.

The regulatory reform research project will be undertaken by an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional team from Victoria University, Chapman Tripp and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER).

“The Law Foundation’s core focus is to support independent legal research into the major legal challenges facing our country. We identified regulation as an area of national importance because the impacts of bad regulation can be spectacular,” says Lynda Hagen, Executive Director of the Law Foundation.

The two year project includes analysis of current regulatory frameworks in order to produce a series of practical outcomes to ensure regulators can achieve consistent and quality regulatory reform.

During important stages in the project, workshops will be held with key stakeholders such as government officials and other regulatory bodies. This will help ensure the outcomes are practical, measurable and can be implemented.

The project has also received support from Ministry of Economic Development and Treasury officials and the backing of Minister of Justice Hon Simon Power.

“I welcome the Law Foundation’s decision to carry out this major study of issues around regulatory reform in New Zealand. This Government is acutely aware of the importance of good quality regulation to the economy and society, and this project can offer useful insights to policy makers on making better regulation,” says Hon Simon Power.

This project is the second largest ever funded by the Law Foundation, its most significant being the Human Genome Research Project.

“After that project was completed last year, we were determined to find another project with equally significant potential impact, and we are delighted to be able to support the team undertaking this research,” says Ms Hagen.