Media Release - Issues Paper

4 April 2012

Enhancing trans-Tasman economic integration

The Australian and New Zealand Productivity Commissions today released an issues paper for their inaugural study on options for further integrating the Australian and New Zealand economies.

The two Commissions have been asked to provide advice to the Australian and New Zealand governments on the opportunities, costs and benefits of further economic integration. The study is being headed by the Commissions’ chairmen, Gary Banks and Murray Sherwin, together with Commissioners Jonathan Coppel (Australia) and Graham Scott (New Zealand). They welcomed the opportunity to work together on a significant policy topic for both countries.

The issues paper outlines the scope of the study and the approach being taken, and highlights areas where the Commissions are seeking comment or information.

New Zealand Productivity Commission Chairman, Murray Sherwin, said, “New Zealand and Australia are close neighbours that already benefit from significant economic integration. Our job is to advise on potential ways to further enhance that integration for the benefit of both countries. We have been asked to look at options for boosting productivity through reducing the regulatory burden on business, increasing competition and encouraging closer economic cooperation”, he said. “We encourage anyone interested in these matters to have their say by putting in a submission.”

Chairman of the Productivity Commission in Australia, Gary Banks, observed, “The joint study is also a chance to think broadly about the future of economic integration between Australia and New Zealand, taking into account regional and global trends. Developing a framework to chart the future of integration should, in itself, be a valuable outcome of the study”.

A draft report is due for release in early September, with the final report being delivered to the two Governments by 1 December, ahead of a meeting of the Prime Ministers in early 2013.

Further information on the study and the issues paper can be viewed on the study website at Issues paper

Media contacts:

Australia

Clair Angel

T: (02) 6240 3239           M: 0417 665 443

E: clair.angel@pc.gov.au

New Zealand

Jenny Bridgen

T: (04) 903 5160 M: 029 770 8697

E: jenny.bridgen@productivity.govt.nz