20 Sep 2012

Lower trans-Tasman barriers 'beneficial'

8:11 am on 20 September 2012

Proposed streamlining of Trans-Tasman regulation would be beneficial for the country and mirrors what happens in Europe, says the head of a public policy think-tank, the New Zealand Initiative.

In a major review of trans-Tasman economic activity after 30 years of CER the Australian and New Zealand productivity commissions have made a series of recommendations about how business, trade and travel between the two countries can be improved.

The discussion paper says removing the rules of origin for items with tariffs of 5% or less and reducing tariffs to 5% by 2015 would reduce compliance and administrative costs.

It also recommended easing restrictions on trans-Tasman investments and reducing transport and telecommunication costs.

New Zealand Initiative executive director Oliver Hartwich says it makes sense to move towards a common market.

The commissions are now seeking public submissions on the paper before they present a final report to the New Zealand and Australian governments in December.