Commerce Amendment Bill – Committee Stage – Part 1 – Video 4


in the Commerce Commission has the ability to do it itself thank you madam chair and following on from the minister’s comments of course if New Zealanders are being ripped off by any company or industry there are very substantial powers that the Commerce Commission has in relation to price fixing or cartel behavior or any any such illegal activity by businesses where very large fines and significant penalties can be raised so that’s not what we’re talking about here what we’re talking about is a suspicion that there may be something going on in a particular industry which is not as effective as it could be so no laws have been broken necessarily but there’s a hunch and as Minister I was always cautious about this and subsequent Minister and the national government itself did advance this bill in order to create to offer market studies powers to the Commerce Commission the only hesitancy I had was of course that it relies upon a government of the day being disciplined in its approach to how it operates and the danger of course in allowing politicians to have access to market studies powers using the powers of the Commerce Commission is that it will be used for political purposes and drive-by shootings of particular industries when when when particular ministers are feeling the heat on other issues and so what we’ve seen so far hasn’t filled me with a great deal of confidence because we’ve had the Prime Minister the Prime Minister of this country stand here in this Parliament in appoint herself as judge and jury on this topic and say that the that New Zealand consumers are being fleeced . . now she may be right she may be not who knows she certainly has no evidence to base your accusation on but she is we are granting the Commerce Commission powers to undertake full studies into a particular industry when the Prime Minister and then last week confirmed by the Minister of Transport who agreed with the Prime Minister and then by the Attorney General of this country for goodness sake the Attorney General of this country who was asking answering on behalf of the Minister of Energy he confirmed the Prime Minister’s view that New Zealanders were being fleeced and so the worry is that you’re that unbelievably this government has given an answer to a question that it’s going to ask the Commerce Commission to and come up with some evidence in in the reply on and that is the thing that concerns us a great deal about this it requires discipline from a government and instead what we see is petrol prices going up conservative largely because of international fuel prices which fluctuate over the years everybody understands that but there has also been a very significant significant addition of fuel taxes and levels and the Prime Minister has been slippery as all as all yep on that topic we’ve all sorts of different numbers that have been sort of shuffled out there 6.8% which completely nonsense there has been more than four percent added through exercise ticked tax plus GST plus another 11.5 cents on the Auckland regional fuel tax that this government has passed and that is flowed through to fuel taxes so New Zealanders up and down the country upset about trying to find the extra money within their weekly budgets to pay for the petrol and the diesel that they need to get around they’d know that there are international forces behind that but they see this government at that very time of vulnerability adding their own taxes and levies and they see all the incontinent spending of this government and they rightly annoyed and for the the the government to gin just turn around and use this power to say that New Zealanders are being fleeced without evidence is or what’s something that gives me real concern though that is not to say that we shouldn’t ask the question of course we should ask the question and that’s why we absolutely support have the ability to have these powers and to us a question but the only point I would make madam chair is that that power needs to be accompanied by discipline and this government has shown showing none of it and the worry is of course we had the minister talking about the fair go and absolutely we want to see all New Zealanders canoes Eiland consumers getting a fair go absolutely and we also expect that New Zealand businesses also get a fair go and they don’t have the Prime Minister acting as a judge and jury answering the question that she herself has asked and so we support this bill and we implore this government to show some discipline thank you very much thank you madam chair and I support the SOP agreed Hudson

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