Commerce Commission publishes Regulatory Provisions of the Commerce Act 1986: Discussion Paper
19 December 2008
The Commerce Commission has today released a discussion paper on the Regulatory Provisions of the Commerce Act 1986. This discussion paper sets out the Commission's preliminary views on the new and significant changes to the regulatory provisions in the Act, which were introduced through the Commerce Amendment Act 2008.
The amendments directly affect the scope and role of the Commission when regulating electricity lines services and gas pipeline services. The amendments also extend the Commission's responsibilities to include the regulation of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington international airports.
Some of the key elements of the new regulatory provisions include:
a purpose statement common to all regulatory provisions under Part 4 of the Act, as well as additional purpose statements for specific regulatory instruments;
a broader range of regulatory instruments that may be applied including information disclosure, a negotiate/arbitrate regime, a default/customised price-quality path regime, and an individual price-quality path regime;
amended regulatory inquiry provisions;
obligations for the Commission to set upfront regulatory "input methodologies" that will apply to the various regulatory instruments and seek to improve certainty and transparency;
new wide-ranging appeal provisions; and
new and amended penalty, compensation and offence provisions.
Most of these changes came into force on 14 October 2008, with the exception of the majority of provisions relating to the supply of electricity lines services, which will take effect from 1 April 2009.
In addition to discussing the new regulatory provisions and the Commission's preliminary views on them, the discussion paper sets out a general rationale for economic regulation and an historical overview of economic regulation in New Zealand in the context of the Commerce Act.
The Commission is seeking submissions from interested parties on the Discussion Paper by 16 February 2009. Submissions should be sent to NPB@comcom.govt.nz
Regulatory Provisions of the Commerce Act: Discussion Paper, December 2008 is available via the Commission's website www.comcom.govt.nz under Changes to Regulatory Provisions of the Commerce Act.