Commerce Commision to meet key players in Christchurch rebuild

File Photo / Rocky Batchelor
File Photo / Rocky Batchelor

The Commerce Commission will meet key Christchurch rebuild players to ensure competition law is not bent or broken during the multi-billion dollar rebuilding of the quake-hit city.

Post-disaster experiences overseas have shown "considerable potential" for fraud and collusion as money begins to flow in the reconstruction phase, Commerce Commission Chair Dr Mark Berry says.

The Commission will meet people with a key role in procurement functions and activities for the Christchurch rebuild over the next few months, including insurance companies, the Earthquake Commission and Christchurch City Council.

The project aims to encourage good procurement and tendering practices which will help ensure healthy competition during the rebuild and deliver value for money.

"Billions of dollars are at stake in the Christchurch rebuild," Dr Berry said.

"Our aim is to educate organisations and businesses involved in the rebuild so that they have a good understanding of how the Commerce Act applies to them."

The commission hopes the pre-emptive education sessions will head off illegal practices like inflated invoicing, bid rigging, and price fixing.

The rebuild will drive economic activity and growth for the New Zealand economy for up to the next ten years, so it's important that fraud is stamped out, Dr Berry said.

- APNZ

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