The Regulator Report lists recent changes, decisions and developments at the main New Zealand and Australian corporate, commercial and competition regulatory bodies, and updates progress of legislation in New Zealand. This edition of the Regulator Report covers the period from 29 October to 20 November 2009.

Prime Minister's office

New Zealand - Hong Kong, China Closer Economic Partnership Agreement a further step towards trade liberalisation
Bilateral trade relations between New Zealand and Hong Kong, China have taken a further significant step following conclusion of negotiations for a New Zealand - Hong Kong, China Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEP). It is envisaged that the CEP will be formally signed and the details of the Agreement released in the first half of 2010 following legal verification and the completion of domestic approval processes.
Click here for further details

The Treasury

Flexibility being introduced to Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme
The Treasury announced on 18 November 2009 that it will make the Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme more flexible by withdrawing existing deeds and replacing them with revised guarantee deeds for the current scheme. The revised guarantee deeds clarify various arrangements that may arise if a deposit taking institution defaults. In particular, the revised deeds will:

  • allow participating institutions to offer both guaranteed and non-guaranteed debt securities;
  • allow a 14 day "stand down" between a potential default and invoking the Crown guarantee, which could provide time for the institution to resolve issues and avoid receivership; and
  • allow the Crown to set a timeframe for claims to be made after a default.

The revised deeds provide more consistency between the current scheme, which ends on 12 October 2010, and the extension scheme that will operate from 12 October 2010 until 31 December 2011. All institutions participating in the Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme have until 4 December 2009 to accept the revised deeds, which will then come into effect on 1 January 2010.
Click here to read the full media release
Click here for more information on the scheme and participating institutions

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Bill
The Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Bill was introduced into Parliament on 29 October 2009, following a period of consultation. The bill establishes a licensing regime for insurers and introduces prudential regulations which place strong reliance on self-discipline under the supervision of the Reserve Bank. The bill will replace existing outdated legislation and fill gaps where no prudential regulation currently exists. It will also remove inconsistent legislative application between different insurance sectors. The bill requires insurers to:

  • be licensed by the Reserve Bank (having met set criteria for obtaining a licence);
  • maintain solvency as defined by regulatory standards;
  • obtain and publish financial strength ratings;
  • meet fit and proper standards for directors and relevant officers;
  • have and comply with a risk management programme;
  • appoint an actuary;
  • prepare an annual financial condition report and annual and six-monthly financial statements; and
  • maintain at least one statutory fund that relates to their life insurance business and is solely for the purpose of meeting the life insurance liabilities.

The bill also:

  • requires the Reserve Bank to supervise licensed insurers on an ongoing basis and gives the Reserve Bank the power to investigate insurers;
  • contains provisions relating to transactions involving licensed insurers;
  • contains provisions specific to overseas insurers, captives and reinsurers; and
  • establishes a regime for managing insurers in distress.

All insurers will be required to obtain a provisional or full licence no later than 18 months after the Act becomes law, which is expected to be in September 2010. There will be further consultation on the bill during the select committee process.
Click here for further background on the changes to the insurance sector

Legal protection for New Zealand settlement systems
Legislation providing legal backing for settlement systems was passed on 17 November 2009. The Settlement Systems, Futures, and Emissions Units Bill was split into four bills at the Committee stage: Reserve Bank of New Zealand Amendment Bill, Securities Markets Amendment Bill, Personal Property Securities Amendment Bill, and Securities Amendment Bill. At present, New Zealand law only provides for the designation of payment systems, which are used to settle cash. Under the new legislation, the designation regime will be extended to settlement systems more generally. Minor changes have also been made to align the regulatory environment for exchanges in both the securities and futures markets, and to support the development of the market for emissions units.
Click here to read the full press release

November 2009 Financial Stability Report
The outlook for the New Zealand economy and financial system has improved in the past six months as international conditions have stabilised. However, some risks and challenges remain, Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said when releasing the Bank's November 2009 Financial Stability Report.
Click here to read the press release
Click here to read the report

The Department of Internal Affairs

Government decisions on Auckland Governance: Water issues
The Minister of Local Government has directed the Department of Internal Affairs to post on its website Cabinet papers and minutes on the Government's decisions on 'Auckland Governance: Water Issues'.
Click here to access these papers

Auckland Council discussion document released
The Auckland Transition Agency (ATA) is required under the Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Act 2009 to develop an organisational structure for the Auckland Council which enables the council to operate efficiently and effectively from 1 November 2010. The ATA has released a discussion document which outlines:

  • in Part 1, a draft organisational structure showing the most senior roles in the new council, including proposed groupings of functions under the Interim Chief Executive;
  • in Part 2, a draft scope of workforce change document. This includes some descriptions of the types of roles or functions which may be subject to the greatest and the least degree of change during the transition; and
  • in Part 3, a description of the draft protocols and processes to be applied during the transition.

Submissions close on 26 November 2009.
Click here to access the discussion document

Proposals for wards, local boards and boundaries for Auckland
The Local Government Commission presented its proposals on the boundaries and representation arrangements for the new Auckland Council on 20 November. Under the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009, the Commission is required to determine boundaries for the new Auckland Council, wards and local boards, ward and board names and the number of members per local board. The determinations must be made by 1 March 2010. The Commission is seeking feedback on its proposals by 11 December 2009.
Click here for further details

Ministry of Economic Development (MED)

Unlocking New Zealand's petroleum potential
On 18 November 2009, Minister for Energy and Resources Gerry Brownlee announced the Government's proposed action plan with the aim of maximising the gains from New Zealand's petroleum resources. The action plan will support the Government's overarching strategic objective: to ensure New Zealand is a highly attractive global destination for petroleum exploration and production investment. The seven actions proposed to be undertaken in the coming year are:

  • Action 1 : Explicitly positioning Government as pro-active and pro-development of petroleum resources (timing ongoing): This will include a sustained communications strategy aimed at raising the profile of the petroleum sector and signalling government support for exploration and development activity.

  • Action 2 : Developing a co-ordinated investment strategy to improve knowledge of New Zealand's petroleum resources (by March 2010). The Government has already committed significant resources to the provision of geo-scientific data through its seismic programme. Current and future expenditure needs to be targeted to ensure that it develops a greater understanding of New Zealand's petroleum resource – both for the purposes of the strategic management of the resource and for maximising investor interest in exploration and development.

  • Action 3 : Conducting a short focused review of the Crown's capability and resourcing to manage our petroleum estate (by May 2010). Greater Government leadership and focus on the petroleum sector will raise expectations about agency capability, performance, profile and co-ordination (principally of the MED). A short focused review would look at the scope and levels of capability required to manage and maximise the returns from this significant resource.

  • Action 4 : Improving the quality of information provided by industry participants to Government of the Crown's petroleum resources (by 30 April 2010). The quality of petroleum reserve data has become a source of concern as annual reported reserves have fluctuated substantially from one year to the next.

  • Action 5 : Reviewing our regulatory, royalty and taxation arrangements for petroleum (by December 2010). This will ensure that refinements to the design of a regulatory and royalty regime provide the Government with a fair and equitable share of the value of New Zealand's petroleum resources based on the findings of the AUPEC report.

  • Action 6 : Reviewing and, where necessary, amending the legislative framework of the petroleum sector (by December 2010). Specific actions could include clarifying government powers to assess options from a national interest perspective through the Crown Minerals Act and amending our existing permitting regimes to improve the longevity and productivity of our fields.

  • Action 7 : Undertaking further work to develop a pathway for realising the potential of New Zealand's gas hydrates endowment (by June 2010).

The Government is seeking feedback on the action plan and the five supporting expert reports commissioned by the Ministry. Submissions close on 29 January 2010.
Click here for further details

Code Committee releases consultation paper on proposed minimum standards of ethical behaviour and client care for Authorised Financial Advisers
The Financial Advisers Code Committee has released a consultation paper on proposed minimum standards of ethical behaviour and client care. The Code Committee seeks feedback and submissions on this consultation paper by 18 December 2009.
Click here to read the press release
The consultation paper may be downloaded from www.financialadvisercode.govt.nz

Clearing and settlement systems
The Capital Market Development Taskforce commissioned Ruben Lee to investigate the clearing and settlement infrastructure in New Zealand, and to make recommendations on what infrastructure New Zealand should have and how it should be delivered. The report has now been released on MED's website.
Click here to read the report

Insolvency Amendment Bill passed
A bill that prevents fraudulent debts from being written off was enacted on 16 November 2009. The Insolvency Amendment Act 2009 amends the Insolvency Act 2006, and ensures that the integrity of the personal insolvency process, or No Asset Procedure, is maintained by preventing people from discharging debts that were acquired fraudulently.
Click here to read the full press release

Change to Telecom's operation separation undertakings
Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce has approved a variation to Telecom's operational separation undertakings, which came into force in March 2008. The variation relates to the requirement on Telecom to implement logical separation of shared information systems containing customer confidential information by 31 December 2009. The variation sets a new date of 30 September 2010 for the separation and corrects a number of small errors.
Click here to read the full press release

Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR) Scheme to be reviewed in 2010
An independent review of the TDR Scheme will be undertaken in early 2010. The Terms of Reference for the review are now available. The TDR Scheme was set up by a collective of telecommunication companies that operate in New Zealand as an independent body for the resolution of disputes. It started operating in November 2007.
Click here for further details

Telecommunications Relay Service
The government has released a discussion document on the future of the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). The TRS enables standard voice telephone users to communicate with members of the hearing and speech impaired communities by providing a number of different communications services. The TRS also utilises a textphone pool to ensure textphones are available at an affordable price to prospective TRS users. Submissions close on 16 December 2009.

Ministry for the Environment

Report on the Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill
The Finance and Expenditure Select Committee released its report on the Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill on 16 November 2009. The Committee was unable to reach agreement on the suitability of the bill, therefore its report contains no majority recommendations and no amendments to the text of the bill. When the House resumes on 24 November, it is the Government's intention to take urgency to pass the bill with the support of the Māori Party.
Click here to access the committee's report

Changes to ETS needed to reduce costs
Parliament needs to pass amendments to the existing Emissions Trading Scheme prior to Christmas to make it workable and affordable, says Minister for Climate Change Issues Nick Smith.
Click here for the full press release

Government welcomes report on ETS costs
A report on the amended Emissions Trading Scheme released on 12 November by the Sustainability Council shows the changes will more than halve the costs for Kiwi households and businesses, says Minister for Climate Change Issues Nick Smith.
Click here for the full press release

Electricity Commission

Publication of EGR committee minutes
The Electricity Commission has released the submissions it received on the proposal to publish the minutes of the Electricity Governance Rules (EGR) Committee's meetings. It has been suggested that publishing the minutes of the EGR Committee's meetings would provide greater transparency about its decisions and operations, improve participants' understanding of the reasoning behind committee decisions and assist in clarifying how the committee is interpreting the Rules.
Click here for more

Securities Commission

Reforms underway to address financial advisers' performance
Reforms are underway which will help address poor performance by financial advisers highlighted in the recent Consumer New Zealand report released on 4 November, says the Commissioner for Financial Advisers Annabel Cotton. In its mystery shop of financial advisers Consumer found most of the financial advisers surveyed gave poor advice and their advice lacked proper analysis of client needs and transparency in disclosing costs and interests.
Click here for the full press release

Two resignations from the financial advisers Code Committee
Two members have resigned from the Code Committee of industry representatives that is working on the code of professional conduct for financial advisers.
Click here for further details

Sustainable Stock Exchanges Event
Jane Diplock, Chair of the Securities Commission and IOSCO, addressed participants at the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Event, held in New York on 2 November 2009. The focus of her address was whether global finance and financial regulation and the role of stock exchanges are changing fast enough to cope with national and international carbon markets and other challenges relating to global warming.
Click here for a full transcript of her speech

SECURITIES ACT EXEMPTION NOTICES

The following Securities Act Exemption Notices have been published for this period:

Securities Act (Multiple Participants Superannuation Schemes) Exemption Amendment Notice 2009
This notice, which came into force on 20 November 2009, amends the Securities Act (Multiple Participants Superannuation Schemes) Exemption Notice 1998 to extend the expiry date from 30 November 2009 to 31 December 2011.

Securities Act (Kiwi Income Property Trust) Exemption Notice (No 2) 2009
This notice came into force on 10 November 2009 and expires on 31 December 2014. The notice exempts Kiwi Income Properties Limited (the manager) as manager of the Kiwi Income Property Trust (the trust) and New Zealand Permanent Trustees Limited (the trustee) as trustee of the trust from various provisions of the Securities Act 1978 and the Securities Regulations 2009 with respect to an offer of certain debt securities (convertible securities) that are convertible into units in the trust. The effect of the notice is to:

  • enable the use of a prospectus that is similar to a simplified disclosure prospectus in respect of the convertible securities;
  • enable the convertible securities to be issued without the need for a separate trustee and trust deed;
  • exempt the trustee from its disclosure obligations as issuer of the convertible securities on conditions that the manager assumes the issuer's responsibilities;
  • not require certain financial information to be provided about the trustee or manager;
  • not require a separate prospectus to be registered and investment statement to be issued to subscribers in respect of the convertible securities (including to subscribers in whose favour an offer of convertible securities is renounced);
  • not require a separate prospectus and investment statement to be prepared for the units to be issued on conversion of the convertible securities (the prospectus that is similar to a simplified disclosure prospectus would apply to both the convertible securities and the units); and
  • enable financial information in advertising material to relate to the trust rather than the trustee and its subsidiaries.

Securities Act (Works Superannuation Scheme) Exemption Amendment Notice 2009
This notice, which came into force on 30 October 2009, extends the Securities Act (Works Superannuation Scheme) Exemption Notice 2009 (the principal notice) from 31 October 2009 to 31 October 2014. The notice also amends the principal notice to ensure that the exemptions continue to have the same effect if the Securities Regulations 2009, rather than the Securities Regulations 1983, are applicable and to take account of the change of name of one of the employers participating in the Works Superannuation Scheme.

Securities Act (Meridian Energy Limited) Exemption Notice 2009
This notice, which came into force on 30 October 2009 and expires on 31 October 2014, replaces the Securities Act (Meridian Energy Limited) Exemption Notice 2008. The new notice exempts Meridian Energy Limited (Meridian), subject to conditions, from:

  • certain clauses of Schedule 2 of the Securities Regulations 2009 to the extent that those clauses require financial statements and other matters to be in respect of the group that comprises Meridian and its guaranteeing subsidiaries (the guaranteeing group);
  • regulation 26 of the Regulations (which relates to statements of assets in advertisements for securities); and
  • section 54B(1) of the Securities Act 1978 to the extent that that provision requires Meridian to send, on the request of a security holder, a copy of certain annual or half-yearly financial statements.

Securities Act (Authorised Futures Contracts) Exemption Amendment Notice 2009
This notice, which came into force on 6 November 2009, amends the Securities Act (Authorised Futures Contracts) Exemption Notice 2002. The principal notice exempts every person who deals in an authorised futures contract, every person acting on behalf of that person, and every person for whom that person acts, from the prospectus and investment statement requirements and certain other requirements of the Securities Act 1978 and the Securities Regulations 1983 in respect of that contract. This notice provides that the exemption in the principal notice does not apply to Savings & Investments Limited (SIL) which will be authorised to deal in futures contracts under the Securities Markets Act 1988. SIL is the manager of a unit trust which proposes to issue units that are foreign currency futures contracts. The units will be offered to the public so it will be appropriate for that legislation to apply to the futures contracts offered by SIL.

Takeovers Panel

Code Word 25 (on timing rules) replaced with Code Word 25A
The Takeovers Panel has re-issued Code Word Number 25 (which should now be discarded) as Code Word 25A. This Code Word contains a Guidance Note on the timing rules of the Code. The new edition corrects an error in paragraph 3.3, and its accompanying Table, and includes references to several of the timing rules that were not included in the original Code Word. Some minor editorial changes to the last section of the Guidance Note that deals with rule 3(2) of the Code have also been made. The Guidance Note on rule 7(e) of the Code (relating to 'creeping') which is also contained in this edition of Code Word remains unchanged.
Click here for further details

TAKEOVERS CODE EXEMPTION NOTICE

The following Takeovers Code Exemption Notice has been published for this period:

Takeovers Code (Southern Travel Holdings Limited) Exemption Notice 2009
This notice applies to acts or omissions occurring on or after 1 October 2009 and expires on 31 January 2010. The Takeovers Panel has granted the following exemptions in respect of a proposed rights issue to be conducted by Southern Travel Holdings Limited (STH), which is to be fully underwritten by Rodney Walshe Limited (RWL):

  • an exemption for RWL from rule 7(d) of the Code in respect of any increase in its voting control in STH resulting from the allotment of voting securities to RWL under the rights issue and underwriting agreement to the extent that that rule requires the notice of meeting to contain the information specified by rule 16(b); and
  • an exemption for STH from rule 16(b) of the Code in respect of the notice of meeting.

The Panel has granted these exemptions on conditions that require disclosure of the potential maximum number and percentage of voting securities that could be acquired instead of the exact number and percentages required by rule 16(b).

New Zealand Exchange (NZX)

NZX derivatives market rules consultation update
Given receipt of one submission beyond the closing date of 30 October, and given NZX is still finalising the Rules, NZX has decided to reopen its public consultation on the draft rules and procedures for NZX’s proposed derivatives market from Monday 23 November until 4 December 2009, in the event that any other party may wish to make a submission during this period.
The draft rules and procedures are available here.

Australian Treasury

Options to address fraudulent phoenix activity
On 14 November 2009 the Assistant Treasurer announced the release of a proposals paper canvassing options to address fraudulent phoenix activity. Such activity involves avoiding the payment of liabilities, often tax liabilities, through the liquidation of a company and the subsequent continuation of the business through a new company. The proposals paper outlines a number of possible amendments to the taxation and corporations law to address fraudulent phoenix activity.
Click here for further details

Improving protections for corporate whistleblowers
The Australian Government has released a paper which sets out a range of concerns in relation to existing protections provided to corporate whistleblowers under Part 9.4AAA of the Corporations Act 2001 along with options for reform and questions which are designed to focus the discussion. Several of the potential reforms also relate to the whistleblower protections provided by the banking and insurance prudential legislation.
Click here for further details

Release of draft regulations to the National Consumer Protection Package for further consultation
The Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law Chris Bowen has released draft regulations and explanatory material for the Rudd Government's National Consumer Credit Protection Package for further public consultation. These regulations support the National Consumer Credit Protection Bill 2009, the National Consumer Credit Protection (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2009, and the National Consumer Credit Protection (Fees) Bill 2009, which were introduced into Parliament on 25 June 2009.
Click here for the press release
Click here to view the draft regulations

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Facilitating capital raising for corporate Australia
Belinda Gibson, Commissioner of ASIC, gave a presentation to the Corporate Finance World Australia 2009 conference on 10 November 2009. Her speech includes discussion on how Australia has fared in terms of raising capital in the wake of the global financial crisis and the capital raising methods being used. She also provides some insights on issues that ASIC is focusing on, including:

  • early leakage of information about a prospective raising;
  • the overall quality of disclosure to the market in annual reports, and
  • the meaning of "clear, concise and effective", particularly now the capital markets are opening again to Initial Public Offerings.

Read the full speech

ASIC outlines improvements to regulation of credit rating agencies in Australia
From 1 January 2010, credit rating agencies in Australia will be required to hold an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence. Under the AFS licensing regime, general licensee obligations set out in the Corporations Act will require credit rating agencies to:

  • manage conflicts of interest that may arise in their businesses;
  • have resources available (including financial, human and information technology resources) that are adequate for the nature, scale and complexity of their businesses;
  • ensure their credit analysts are trained and competent to be involved in the preparation of credit ratings;
  • ensure credit rating services are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly; and
  • have in place risk management systems.

Credit rating agencies that wish to give credit ratings for investment products offered to retail investors must also comply with a general licensee obligation under the Corporations Act to have a dispute resolution system.
Click here for further details

ASIC gives credit ratings agencies improved control over ratings use
Following public consultation, ASIC has decided to withdraw current class order relief that allows issuers of investment products to cite credit ratings without the consent of credit rating agencies. From 1 January 2010, issuers must ensure that the credit rating agency has given its consent for the inclusion of a credit rating (and its form and context) in any fund raising or takeover documents that will be issued after this date.
Click here for further details

New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC)

Speeches

Regulatory and Market Perspective, Presentation to the Crown Fibre Holding Company Board
On 10 November 2009, Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Ross Patterson gave a speech to the Crown Fibre Holding Company Board. In his speech, Dr Patterson discussed regulatory and market perspectives in terms of:

  • the telecommunications regulatory regime;
  • fixed line competition; and
  • ultra-fast broadband.

Click here for more

Media releases

The NZCC has issued the following media releases:

Industry regulation and regulatory control

  • Electricity Industry Reform Act: Commerce Commission grants exemption to Marko Bogoievski
    The NZCC has granted Marko Bogoievski an exemption under the Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998 in relation to his potential appointment to the board of Auckland International Airport Limited, an electricity lines business, subject to certain conditions.
    Click here for more

  • Compliance review of electricity distribution business asset management plans for 2009 released
    The NZCC has released a review of the asset management plans disclosed by electricity distribution businesses for the period beginning 1 April 2009. The NZCC notes the continued progress made by many electricity distribution businesses toward achieving best practice in asset management planning.
    Click here for more

  • Electricity Industry Reform Act: Commerce Commission grants exemption to Mark Tume
    The NZCC has granted Mark Tume an exemption under the Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998 in relation to his potential appointment to the board of Powerco, subject to certain conditions.
    Click here for more

Mergers and acquisitions

  • 'Failing firm' guidelines issued by Commerce Commission
    The NZCC has released guidelines on how applications for mergers and acquisitions involving the 'failing firm' argument will be treated. The guidelines supplement the NZCC's Mergers and Acquisitions Guidelines.
    Click here for more

Telecommunications

  • Commerce Commission to issue proceedings against Telecom over loyalty offers
    The NZCC is issuing proceedings alleging that three separate loyalty offers made by Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited's Wholesale business unit between December 2008 and July 2009 are likely to have breached its obligation not to discriminate between service providers under the Telecom Separation Undertakings.
    Click here for more

  • Draft TSO determinations for 08/09 released by Commerce Commission
    The NZCC has released its 2008/09 draft determinations on the cost of the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for the hearing impaired and the proportion of the cost to be met by each party liable to contribute to the cost of the TRS and Telecom New Zealand's local residential telephone service obligation.
    Click here for more

  • Commerce Commission report highlights enhanced mobile competition
    The NZCC has released its report on telecommunications markets in New Zealand covering the first six months of 2009. The report also provides some more recent information about mobile prices in New Zealand following the launch of the 2degrees network in August.
    Click here for more

Consumer issues

  • Juice company pleads guilty to breaching Fair Trading Act
    Brownlie Brothers Limited pleaded guilty to six charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act and was fined $45,000 in the District Court in Auckland.
    Click here for more

  • Inghams warned over GM free chicken claims
    The poultry producer Inghams Enterprises (NZ) Pty. Limited has received a warning from the NZCC that it risked breaching the Fair Trading Act with claims that its chickens contained no genetically modified ingredients.
    Click here for more

  • Fourth property management company fined for Fair Trading Act breaches
    A fourth company involved in an Invercargill scheme which misled people into believing that they were buying their own homes has been convicted of eight charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act in a hearing in the Invercargill District Court. CMA Property Investments Limited has been fined $40,000 and has been ordered to pay $42,290 in reparation to occupiers of properties involved in the scheme.
    Click here for more

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

ACCC media releases

The ACCC has issued the following media releases:

Mergers and acquisitions

  • Woolworths remedies ACCC concerns with hardware acquisition
    The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Danks Holdings Limited by Woolworths Limited and its joint venture partner, Lowe's, after accepting court enforceable undertakings from the joint venture parties.
    Click here for more

Market behaviour

  • ACCC proposes to authorise rediATM network fee free and ATM rollout arrangements
    The ACCC proposes to authorise an agreement between members of the rediATM network not to charge each other's cardholders a fee for transactions undertaken at ATMs owned by any rediATM member. rediATM network members also propose to coordinate the rollout of ATMs in the rediATM network.
    Click here for more

  • ACCC proposes to allow admission and interview policies of graduate-entry medical schools
    The ACCC has proposed granting authorisation for five years to policies which govern the selection and interviewing of applicants to study medicine at Australian graduate-entry medical schools.
    Click here for more

  • ACCC sees benefit in Virgin Blue and Delta joint venture
    The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation for a joint venture between Virgin Blue and Delta Air Lines on their flights between Australia and the United States (the trans-Pacific routes).
    Click here for more

  • Truck cartel costs Hino dealers $1 million
    The Brisbane Federal Court has ordered more than $1 million in total penalties against two truck retailers and three individuals in proceedings brought by the ACCC for price fixing and market sharing.
    Click here for more

  • ACCC allows joint marketing of natural gas from the Gorgon Gas Project
    The ACCC has issued a decision allowing natural gas produced from the Gorgon Gas Project to be jointly marketed and sold to customers in Western Australia by the Gorgon partners.
    Click here for more

  • ACCC allows council waste management plan
    The ACCC will allow four southern Sydney councils to provide residual waste transfer, processing and disposal services in their local government areas via a joint tender and contract process.
    Click here for more

  • ACCC stops karting price fix
    The Federal Court has ordered declarations, injunctions and penalties against the Australian Karting Association (NSW) Inc (AKA) for price fixing and exclusionary conduct in breach of the Competition Code of NSW. The AKA clubs agreed to fix minimum prices for the hire of their circuits to non-AKA operators, with all hire negotiations to be conducted by the AKA.
    Click here for more

  • ACCC welcomes opportunities for more competition in Australian container ports
    The ACCC has noted encouraging signs of growing opportunities for new entry in the larger Australian container ports in its eleventh annual monitoring report on container stevedoring.
    Click here for more

  • ACCC proposes to approve membership rules for Consumer Electronic Clearing System
    The ACCC proposes to authorise certain regulations governing the operation of the Consumer Electronic Clearing System managed by the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA). APCA sought reauthorisation only for certain provisions of the CECS Regulations and Manual relating to the certification of participants in CECS and suspension and termination of CECS membership.
    Click here for more

Telecommunications

  • ACCC publishes data on take-up of broadband access services
    The ACCC has published information concerning the number and distribution of services supplied over Telstra's widespread copper network.
    Click here for more

  • ACCC varies class exemptions for wholesale voice services
    The ACCC has issued its final decision varying the class exemptions granted in August and October 2008 for the wholesale line rental, local carriage service and public switch telephone network originating access services. The variations will align the obligations of Telstra and other providers of these services.
    Click here for more

Access

  • ACCC invites comments on accreditation of state agencies under the water infrastructure charge rules
    The ACCC has issued its draft advice and draft rules for accreditation as part of the water infrastructure charge rules. The Minister for Climate Change and Water wrote to the ACCC in September 2009 requesting further advice, including draft rules, in relation to the accreditation of state agencies by the ACCC under the water infrastructure charge rules.
    Click here for more

Consumer issues

  • ACCC launches Unit Man - helping consumers understand unit pricing
    A caped calculator character called Unit Man will appear soon in supermarkets and grocery catalogues across Australia to help consumers better understand unit pricing.
    Click here for more

  • Show some horse sense this Spring racing carnival: steer clear of sports investment schemes
    Don't rely on sports tipping services or betting software to help you pick a winner this Spring racing season, a multi-agency taskforce has warned. The ACCC has been working with the Queensland Office of Fair Trading, Queensland Police, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Taxation Office to develop coordinated enforcement and consumer education strategies to tackle these types of sports investment scams.
    Click here for more

  • ACCC institutes proceedings against operators of dating website
    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Jetplace Pty Ltd, the operator of the website, www.redhotpie.com.au. The ACCC is alleging Jetplace created and published fictional profiles on its website and used them to send 'flirt' and other messages to registered users.
    Click here for more

  • International internet sweep highlights problem websites
    Early results from this year's International Internet Sweep underscore the need for continued consumer vigilance, ACCC deputy chair Peter Kell has warned. "Results indicate that online ticketing has emerged as an area of concern," Mr Kell said.
    Click here for more

  • Snooze admits two-price advertising likely to mislead
    Bedding retailer Snooze has admitted that its October 2008 advertising campaign was likely to mislead or deceive customers about the savings they would obtain on its products. The ACCC conducted a proactive audit of 'two-price' advertising in bedding retail stores and discovered that a number of Snooze's bedding products had been offered for sale or sold by Snooze for a cheaper price than their stated 'Was' price.
    Click here for more

Legislation round-up

The following is an overview of the status of all legislation promulgated during the period 29 October 2009 to 20 November 2009, or currently before Parliament.

If you require any further information or advice on any of the legislation listed below, or would like our assistance with making a submission to a select committee on any bill, please contact your usual Bell Gully adviser.

New Acts

Act

Date Act is in force

Immigration Act 2009

  1. This Act comes into force on a date to be appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council, except as provided in paragraphs (2) to (4) below.
  2. Sections 30, 31, 60, 100, 104, 111, 120, 149(1)(c), 278, 283 to 291, 312, and 400(1) come into force on a date to be appointed by the Governor General by Order in Council (being a date not earlier than the date appointed under (1)); and 1 or more orders may be made appointing different dates for different provisions.
  3. Section 477 comes into force on a date to be appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council (being a date not earlier than 18 November 2009).
  4. Sections 475, 476, and 478 came into force on17 November 2009.

Insolvency Amendment Act 2009

  1. Section 10 is deemed to have come into force on 10 March 2009.
  2. The rest of the Act comes into force on 17 November 2009.

Palmerston North Showgrounds Act Repeal Act

Yet to receive assent

Personal Property Securities Amendment Act 2009

Yet to receive assent

Reserve Bank of New Zealand Amendment Act 2009

Yet to receive assent

Securities Amendment Act 2009

Yet to receive assent

Securities Markets Amendment Act 2009

Yet to receive assent

 

New Regulations

Regulation

Date regulation is in force

Civil Aviation (Safety) Levies Amendment Order 2009

4 December 2009

Diplomatic Privileges (CTBTO PrepCom) Amendment Order 2009

26 November 2009

Diplomatic Privileges (Customs Co-operation Council) Order 2009

26 November 2009

Diplomatic Privileges (OECD) Amendment Order 2009

26 November 2009

Diplomatic Privileges (OIML) Amendment Order 2009

26 November 2009

Diplomatic Privileges (WTO) Amendment Order 2009

26 November 2009

Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties (Tobacco Products Indexation) Amendment Order 2009

1 January 2010

Executive Travel, Accommodation, Attendance, and Communications Services Determination (No 2) 2009

1 November 2009

Fisheries (Declaration of New Stocks Subject to and Stocks Determined Not to be Subject to Quota Management System) Notice 2009

  • Clause 8 comes into force on 1 October 2010.
  • The rest of this notice comes into force on 30 October 2009.

Fisheries (Remaining Cost Recovery Settlement Balance) Notice 2009

30 October 2009

Forests (Payment of Money) Order 2009

26 November 2009

Health Practitioners (Quality Assurance Activities – Waikato DHB) Notice 2009

6 November 2009

Health Practitioners (Quality Assurance Activity – Central Otago Health Services Limited) Notice 2009

6 November 2009

Health Practitioners (Quality Assurance Activity – Taranaki DHB) Notice 2009

13 November 2009

High Court Amendment Rules (No 2) 2009

1 December 2009

Land Transport (Compulsory Impairment Test) Notice 2009

1 November 2009

Land Transport (Road User) Amendment Rule (No 2) 2009.

11 December 2009

Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination 2009

1 July 2009

Real Estate Agents Authority (Fees and Levies) Notice 2009

This notice comes into force on 17 November 2009 and applies to fees and levies from 17 November 2009.

Securities Act (Authorised Futures Contracts) Exemption Amendment Notice 2009

6 November 2009

Securities Act (Kiwi Income Property Trust) Exemption Notice (No 2) 2009

10 November 2009

Securities Act (Meridian Energy Limited) Exemption Notice 2009

30 October 2009

Securities Act (Multiple Participants Superannuation Schemes) Exemption Amendment Notice 2009

20 November 2009

Securities Act (Works Superannuation Scheme) Exemption Amendment Notice 2009

30 October 2009

Takeovers Code (Southern Travel Holdings Limited) Exemption Notice 2009

This notice applies to acts or omissions occurring on or after 1 October 2009.

 

New Bills

Bill

Date of introduction

Type of bill

Fair Trading (Soliciting on Behalf of Charities) Amendment Bill

19 November 2009

Member's

Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Bill

29 October 2009

Government

Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 Repeal (Easter Sunday Local Choice) Amendment Bill

19 November 2009

Member's

Taxation ( Annual Rates, Trans-Tasman Savings Portability, Kiwisaver, and Remedial Matters) Bill

19 November 2009

Government

Wanganui District Council (Port and Harbour) Bill

18 November 2009

Local

 

Bills sent to select committees

Bill

Select Committee

Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill

Maori Affairs Committee

 

Bills open for submissions

Bill

Select Committee

Closing date for submissions (2009)

Report due date

Dairy Industry Restructuring (Raw Milk Pricing Methods) Bills

Primary Production Committee

3 December

2 March 2010

Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill

Education and Science

31 March 2010

28 March 2010

Electoral (Administration) Amendment Bill

Justice and Electoral Committee

10 December

27 April 2010

Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Amendment Bill

Transport and Industrial Relations Committee

26 November

12 February 2010

Ngati Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill

Maori Affairs Committee

15 January 2010

17 March 2010

 

Bills waiting on report back from select committees

Bill

Select Committee

Report due (2009)

Antarctica (Environmental Protection: Liability Annex) Amendment Bill

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

20 February 2010

Arms Amendment Bill (No 3)

Law and Order

26 February 2010

Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Youth Courts Jurisdiction and Orders) Amendment Bill

Social Services

27 November

Cluster Munitions (Prohibition) Bill

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

28 January 2010

Dairy Industry Restructuring (Raw Milk Pricing Methods) Bill

Primary Production

2 March 2010

Education (Polytechnics) Amendment Bill

Education and Science

20 November

Electoral (Administration) Amendment Bill

Justice and Electoral

27 April 2010

Franklin District Council (Contribution to Funding of Museums) Amendment Bill

Local Government and Environment

30 April 2010

Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Amendment Bill

Transport and Industrial Relations Committee

12 February 2010

Inquiries Bill

Government Administration

28 January 2010

Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Amendment Bill

Transport and Industrial Relations

30 June 2010

Limitation Bill

Justice and Electoral

4 February 2010

Marine Reserves Bill

Local Government and Environment

30 December 2010

Marine Reserves (Consultation with Stakeholders) Amendment Bill

Local Government and Environment

30 December 2010

Motor Vehicle Sales Amendment Bill

Commerce Committee

30 December

Ngati Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill

Maori Affairs Committee

17 March 2010

Patents Bill

Commerce

30 March 2010

Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Bill

Justice and Electoral

30 March 2010

Public Works (Offer Back of and Compensation for Acquired Land) Amendment Bill.

Local Government and Environment

17 December

Radio New Zealand Amendment Bill

Commerce

24 December

Sale and Supply of Liquor and Liquor Enforcement Bill

Justice and Electoral

30 June 2010

Sale of Liquor (Objections to Applications) Amendment Bill

Social Services

30 June 2010

Search and Surveillance Bill

Justice and Electoral

4 February 2010

Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill

Law and Order

30 November

Student Loan Scheme (Exemptions and Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Bill

Education and Science

30 November

Subordinate Legislation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill

Regulations Review Committee

23 November

Sustainable Biofuel Bill

Local Government and Environment

29 January 2010

Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Bill

Māori Affairs

31 December

 

Bills waiting for second and/or third readings

Bill

Links to select committee reports/SOPs

Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2)

Report of the Primary Production Committee

Biosecurity Amendment Bill

Report of the Primary Production Committee

Border (Customs, Excise, and Tariff) Processing Bill

Report of the Government Administration Committee

Carter Observatory Act Repeal Bill

Report of Education and Science Committee

Children, Young Persons and Their Families Amendment Bill (No 6)

Report of the Social Services Committee

Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill

Report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee

SOP 89 SOP 90 SOP 91 SOP 92 SOP 94 SOP 95 SOP 96 SOP 97

Corrections (Contract Management of Prisons) Amendment Bill

Report of the Law and Order Committee

SOP 86 SOP 87 SOP 88

Crimes (Provocation Repeal) Amendment Bill

Report of the Justice and Electoral Committee

Cultural Property (Protection in Armed Conflict) Bill

Report of the Government Administration Committee

SOP 38

Dog Control Amendment Bill (No 2)

Report of the Local Government and Environment Committee

Electricity (Continuance of Supply) Amendment Bill

Report of the Commerce Committee

Gambling Amendment Bill (No 2)

Report of the Government Administration Committee

SOP 23 SOP 65 SOP 84

Infrastructure Bill

Report of the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee

Judicial Matters Bill

Report of the Justice and Electoral Committee

Legal Services Amendment Bill

Report of the Justice and Electoral Committee

Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement (Regional Agreements) Amendment Bill

Report of the Maori Affairs Committee

Methodist Church of New Zealand Trusts Bill

Report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee

Oaths Modernisation Bill

Report of the Government Administration Committee

SOP No.103

Palmerston North Showgrounds Act Repeal Bill

Report of the Local Government and Environment Committee

Privacy (Cross-border Information) Amendment Bill

Report of the Justice and Electoral Committee

Public Health Bill

Report of the Health Committee

Rail Network Bill

Report of the Government Administration Committee

Regulatory Improvement Bill

Report of the Commerce Committee

Regulatory Responsibility Bill

Report of the Commerce Committee

Remuneration Authority Amendment Bill

Report of the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee

Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Bill

Report of the Primary Production Committee

Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill

Report of the Social Services Committee

Serious Fraud Office (Abolition and Transitional Provisions) Bill

Report of the Law and Order Committee

Taxation (Consequential Rate Alignment and Remedial Matters) Bill

Report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee

Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill

Report of the Government Administration Committee

Trade Marks (International Treaties and Enforcement) Amendment Bill

Report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

SOP 83 SOP 85

Trade (Safeguard Measures) Bill

Report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

Trustee Amendment Bill

Report of the Justice and Electoral Committee

Unit Titles Bill

Report of the Social Services Committee

Waka Umanga (Māori Corporations) Bill

Report of the Māori Affairs Committee

The Bell Gully Regulator Report is designed to highlight certain New Zealand and Australian corporate, commercial and competition regulatory developments. The Bell Gully Regulator Report is not designed to be comprehensive and is necessarily brief and general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice. You should seek professional legal advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication. Bell Gully is not the author of any information received by clicking on the hypertext links and therefore is not responsible for their accuracy.