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Dalziel & Parker: Ministers Welcome Committee Report On Commerce Amendment Bill

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

29 July 2008 - Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel and Energy Minister David Parker today welcomed the amendments to the Commerce Amendment Bill recommended unanimously by the Commerce Select Committee.

The Bill amends the price control provisions applying to sectors not faced with competition, such as electricity lines, gas pipelines and airports.

"The Commerce Committee has listened carefully to submissions and made worthwhile changes," Lianne Dalziel said.

The most significant change is to provide for appeals to the High Court on final implementation decisions by the Commerce Commission. The Bill as introduced only provided for appeals on the detailed rules (input methodologies) relating to the various forms of control.

"Submitters on this issue recommended appeals on final decisions, and in the end we have accepted that this will help improve confidence for businesses in the quality of regulatory decisions," Lianne Dalziel said.

David Parker welcomed other changes to the Bill which improve the transitional arrangements to the new regulatory regime for electricity lines businesses and gas pipelines.

David Parker also welcomed the Committee's endorsement of the proposed new arrangements for consumer-owned electricity lines businesses, which limits regulation to information disclosure.

"The new regime for these businesses, where competition risks are lower because consumers are also the owners, avoids complex regulation and minimises compliance costs", Mr Parker said.

The Commerce Committee also supported shifting information disclosure for the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch international airports from the Airport Authorities Act to the Commerce Act.

"We are confident that the revised Bill will improve certainty for regulated businesses and incentives for investing in infrastructure, while at the same time protecting consumers from excessive prices and poor quality," Lianne Dalziel said.

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