Economic and infrastructure regulation


Key business sectors in New Zealand face regulation aimed at achieving various economic outcomes, in particular to regulate the conduct of entities in markets where there is little or no competition.  Advising clients in this area involves more than simply knowing the rules.  It requires an understanding of the fundamentals of economic principles, how they are applied, and their interaction with legal requirements.

Our team has that knowledge. We have a strong history in advising on economic and infrastructure regulation.  A number of our senior members were involved with the creation or review of key pieces of economic regulation such as the Commerce Act, and the entire team are experienced advisers on regulatory issues.  We also have extensive experience in advising clients on pricing regulation under Part 4 of the Commerce Act, and are up-to-date with recent developments. 

Our services include advice on pricing, regulatory risks, and litigation.  We can also assist you to engage with the government, the Commerce Commission, or other specialist regulators. We work with our clients to understand their businesses and how regulation will affect them.

Our clients include SKY Television, the Electricity Authority (previously the Electricity Commission), ZESPRI International and clients in the port and airport businesses.  We have advised telecommunications companies and companies in the electricity sector, including generators and distributors.

Work highlights

Acting as a primary legal adviser to the Electricity Authority (and its predecessor, the Electricity Commission)

Recent work includes advice on the design and implementation of a system of locational hedges to manage transmission pricing risk in the wholesale electricity market

Advising the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Economic Development (now the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)

on the legislation regulating dairy markets in light of the establishment of Fonterra and subsequent proposals to change its capital structure

Advising telecommunications sector parties

on the development of policy to implement the government’s ultra-fast broadband investment plans, particularly access to networks and corridors and rural broadband proposals

Acting for Zespri International

in legal proceedings challenging the single desk export regulatory regime for kiwifruit

Advising infrastructure companies and infrastructure company organisations

on issues arising under infrastructure legislation, including issues relating to access to transport corridors by utilities and dispute resolution mechanisms

Advising the Treasury and Ministry for the Environment

on the development and implementation of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (both the original 2008 Act and the 2009 Amendment Bill)

Our team

Alastair Hercus

Partner, Wellington

Alastair specialises in public and commercial law. He advises clients on legislative design, decision making by statutory bodies…

Email Alastair Hercus

Susie Kilty

Partner, Wellington

Susie specialises in competition, fair trading, overseas investment consents and economic regulation, particularly of infrastructure in…

Email Susie Kilty