Making regulation work for you

Regulation has always been a part of doing business and businesses operating in New Zealand and internationally have to work in a variety of regulatory frameworks. It is vital for organisations to be able to manage regulatory burdens if they are going to succeed.

Straightforward advice about regulation allows our clients to get on with their business, and spend less time worrying about regulatory compliance. With experts in regulation across a range of industries, including energy, transport, media, telecommunications and agribusiness, we simplify the issues and work with our clients to get the commercial outcomes they need.

As part of our regulatory practice, we assist clients with investigations, both internal and external, and advise on the regulatory implications of outsourcing.

We have assisted countless organisations and individuals with regulatory issues, including international airports, major electricity gentailers and lines companies, Fonterra, Spark and the New Zealand Lotteries Commission, to name a few.


Regulatory compliance can be a massive strain on businesses. We understand the challenges and are able to work closely with clients to help them understand the rules and minimise the risk of regulatory intervention into their business. We are dedicated to the commercial objectives of our clients, helping to get the regulatory framework to work for them, not against them.

Getting a seat at the table when regulation is being developed is an effective way to minimise a client's future regulatory burden. Our Public Law team helps clients develop positions and lobby Government. That way our clients can take part in the design, implementation and enforcement of a regulatory regime, and shape it to their best possible advantage.

We engage with regulators across industries including the Commerce Commission, the Electricity Authority, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry of Business, the Innovation and Enterprise, Medsafe, Pharmac, the Ministry of Health, and the Department of Internal Affairs.

Our experience includes advising:

  • On legal and policy issues in relation to the Telecommunications Act, particularly the existing and proposed regulation of fixed line services.
  • Auckland International Airport, the New Zealand Airports Association, and Vector on reform of the regulatory control provisions of the Commerce Act, the Commerce Commission's implementation and subsequent review of the airports regulatory regime, and merits appeal to the High Court.
  • Electricity generators, retailers and distributors on various regulatory issues arising under the Electricity Industry Act and Electricity Industry Participation Code.
  • On a Commerce Commission potential inquiry into regulation of the gas meter market.
  • A major seafood company on regulatory reform issues.
  • Electricity distribution businesses on regulatory issues associated with connection of distributed generation and tariff structures, including Electricity Authority investigations.
  • On regulation of the casino, gaming and racing industries.


Outsourcing can provide businesses with flexible, low cost solutions to staffing problems. However, it can also present challenges and complexities, which is why our expert practitioners advise clients seeking to pursue outsourcing arrangements. We have advised a number of companies on the outsourcing of key parts of their businesses, including the outsourcing of IT and other business functions.

With extensive experience advising on tax aspects of outsourcing, RFP/tender processes, drafting and negotiating long term service agreements and the ongoing management of these contracts, we work through all the issues with clients including those in development and integration, business separation and regulation. When disputes arise, we access the skill of our extensive litigation team to help our clients achieve successful outcomes.

Working closely with other specialists within the firm, including experts in tax, IT, employment, competition, privacy and insurance, our breadth of skill means we can negotiate even the most complex outsourcing agreements for clients.

Our experience includes advising:

  • New Zealand Police on various ICT arrangements, including its response to the Wynyard voluntary administration, procurement of new payroll system and outsourcing contracts.
  • Genesis Energy on its roll out of smart metering technology. This new technology will replace 60-year-old metering technology and will be made available to the 500,000+ retail customers of Genesis Energy.
  • Fonterra on the outsourcing of its ADM function to HCL Technologies and on the outsourcing of its telecommunications infrastructure services to EDS and subsequently to gen-I, now Spark Digital. Our advice continues by providing ongoing contract management in respect of the arrangements.
  • Spark (formerly Telecom) on the separation of Yellow Pages Group from its systems and the subsequent transitional arrangements between the parties.
  • Westpac on its telecommunications procurement project, one of New Zealand's largest telecommunications deals.
  • New Zealand Lotteries Commission on the transformation of its IT systems.
  • Genesis Energy on its call centre arrangements with SITEL.
  • The Ministry of Defence in connection with the development and integration of hardware and software to upgrade the core mission systems of the P-3 Orion aircraft.
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