LEANZ, Law and Economics in New Zealand

Next Wellington Seminar

Next Wellington Seminar


Topic:      Boosting the productivity of professional services: Insights from the recent Productivity Commission inquiry

Speaker:  Dave Heatley

Date:        Monday 18 August 2014

Venue:     Chapman Tripp, 10 Customhouse Quay, Wellington

Time:        5.30pm for refreshments, 6pm seminar start

RSVP:      tim.stephens@simpsongrierson.com


About the topic: 

Labour productivity (value added per hour worked) of the professional, scientific and technical services industry in New Zealand grew only 0.9 % per year between 2000 to 2012, below the 1.7% in Australia. The Productivity Commission’s report, released in June 2014, makes several recommendations to lift productivity growth in this and other service industries.  They include liberalising restrictions on foreign-qualified professionals, favouring certification and registration over licensing, and requiring self-regulating professions to promote competition as a statutory objective.  The inquiry included a survey of businesses’ experiences with purchasing various services. Around 60% of respondents reported that the providers of legal services made little or no effort to gain or retain the respondents’ business.  The report also recommends a review of section 36 of the Commerce Act, and that the Commerce Commission should be able to conduct market studies of how well competition is working in any market (not just in telecommunications as at present).  The report also examines the risk of laws and regulations relating to internet use (e.g. privacy, security, cyberbullying) inhibiting the uptake of productivity-enhancing ICT by business.   For more information see www.productivity.govt.nz/inquiry-content/services-sector.   


About the speaker:

Dave Heatley is acting Inquiry Director for the New Zealand Productivity Commission’s latest inquiry: enhancing value and productivity in public services.

Dave joined the Commission at its inception in April 2011. He has made significant contributions to three inquiries: international freight transport services, strengthening trans-Tasman economic relations and boosting productivity in the services sector. 

Dave was previously a Research Fellow at the New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation, where he studied rail, overseas investment, cooperatives and corporate governance. Dave switched to economics after a long career in IT, including as a successful entrepreneur.

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