The regulatory regimes governing New Zealand's key infrastructure sectors have experienced significant change over recent years as successive Governments have sought to provide incentives for investment in infrastructure, balanced against the need to ensure consumers are not paying excessive prices for the services they receive.
In particular: major international airports and electricity and gas distribution lines companies are subject to new regulatory regimes under Part 4 of the Commerce Act; the Electricity Industry Act has significant reformed how the electricity wholesale and retail markets are regulated; the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act which allowed for the formation of Fonterra contains a customised regulatory framework; and amendments to the Telecommunications Act have changed the telecommunications landscape in New Zealand in terms of infrastructure access.
Our team has extensive experience dealing with the Government and regulators on the design and implementation of these regimes on behalf of clients such as Auckland Airport, Fonterra, Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy, Telecom and Vector. The issues we have advised on range from appropriate legislative drafting, to advocacy on the best approaches to input methodologies such as asset valuation, cost of capital and cost allocation, to litigation before the courts.
Accordingly, we have a detailed understanding of the economic and competition principles that underpin the relevant regimes, the specific regulatory requirements, and the key issues that they present for companies subject to regulation, and those that could potentially be subject to regulation in the future.
The Public Law and Policy team works closely with the Competition and Litigation teams on economic regulation issues, in addition to economic and valuation experts.