As part of our commitment to greater transparency and increasing the public's understanding of what we do and how we do it, we publish our priorities for each financial year.
There are a number of areas the Commission will always prioritise due to their potentially significant impact on consumers, businesses and markets in New Zealand, or because work in these areas is a core part of our statutory role.
There is more information about our enduring priorities in our Statement of Intent 2020 – 2024.
Each year we target our resources on specific areas that fall within our remit and which are important to everyday life and the economy.
For 2021/22 we have identified the following priority focus areas:
Completing the market study into the supply and acquisition of retail groceries including publishing our final report identifying whether competition is working well and if not, what can be done to improve it.
Completing the implementation of the foundation components of the fibre networks’ regulatory regime.
Supporting responsible lending by:
certifying the fitness and propriety of directors and senior managers of lenders who provide consumer credit, and some mobile traders
prioritising education and enforcement of the new consumer credit laws that set out how lenders must assess suitability and affordability before entering into a loan.
Cartels – by delivering guidance about changes to the Commerce Act including changes to the test for misuse of market power and criminalisation of cartel conduct, enforcement and continuing surveillance of anticompetitive conduct.
Implementing the Fuel Industry Act 2020, including the new February 2022 rules which will make fuel pricing more transparent for motorists, and enable us to monitor competition in fuel markets.
Continuing to strengthen telecommunications regulation by improving the quality of retail service to reflect customer demand.
Setting and reviewing regulatory rules for essential infrastructure services (under Part 4 of the Commerce Act) by:
completing the periodic reset of the price-quality paths that set maximum revenues and minimum standards for the quality for gas pipeline businesses
starting the seven-yearly statutory review of the underlying regulatory rules and processes (called input methodologies, or IMs) for electricity lines companies, gas pipeline businesses, and the three major international airports. This work will take account of the impact of the Government’s climate change mitigation commitments, such as Net Zero 2050, where relevant.
Contributing to law reform and implementing new legislative responsibilities such as those relating to Country of Origin labelling for some foods, prohibitions against unconscionable conduct, and unfair terms for business-to-business standard form contracts.
We will continue our work to grow our organisational capability, in 2021/22 we are focusing on:
Understanding how to embrace a te ao Māori perspective by focusing on our role in relation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Māori/Crown relations, and iwi engagement
Continuing to build constructive and productive relationships with key stakeholders in the regulatory systems that we work in
Continuing to gain and share knowledge of best practice (what we have learnt from the impacts of COVID-19) by strengthening our networks and working relationships with out domestic and international counterparts
Improving and enhancing our surveillance and intelligence capability, processes and data, so we can target our efforts to the areas where we can have the greatest impact.
Supporting economic recovery
All our work supports economic recovery because New Zealanders are better off when markets work well, and consumers and businesses are confident market participants. We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to provide uncertainty and challenges for businesses and New Zealanders. The Commission continues to do what it can to support businesses and New Zealanders during the pandemic, the rebuild and the longer term economic recovery. In 2021/22, the Commission will continue to contribute to Aotearoa New Zealand’s public sector efforts to address the impacts of COVID-19. Our work will help ensure businesses are incentivised to innovate and make efficient use of resources, including those in the energy and telecommunications sectors which are critical to enabling decarbonisation of the economy. We will:
provide expert assistance and practical guidance about proposed legislative amendments and regulatory changes related to our areas of expertise
continue to support businesses to grow and thrive by:
providing guidance so they understand and abide by the laws we enforce
supporting them to have a voice in our regulatory decision-making processes
enabling them to benefit from our work, in their role as consumers
continue to identify areas which cause the most harm to New Zealanders, and use our educative, compliance and enforcement functions to prevent and address harm.