The Commerce Select Committee has reported back on the New Zealand Productivity Commission Bill and recommended that it be passed with some minor amendments.
The bill seeks to establish the New Zealand Productivity Commission as an independent Crown entity, modelled closely on the Australian Productivity Commission. It will have a wide-ranging brief to inquire into productivity-related issues.
One of the changes recommended by the select committee to the Bill would require Ministers to consult with the Commission about the terms of reference for each inquiry, to help maintain a balance between the independence of the Commission and the Government policy priorities.
The Commission is expected to be operational by April 2011 and it has been announced that Murray Sherwin, the Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, is to chair the Commission (subject to the successful passage of the Bill).