Electricity industry regulatory framework

The electricity industry is covered by generic legislation as well as acts and regulations specific to the sector.

Specific legislation

The following legislation has been designed specifically for New Zealand’s electricity industry.

Electricity Industry Act 2010

The Electricity Industry Act 2010 provides a framework for the regulation of the electricity industry. The Act modified the governance arrangements in the electricity industry, replacing parts of the Electricity Act 1992. The Act:

  • establishes the Electricity Authority (replacing the Electricity Commission)
  • incorporates the provisions of the Electricity (Continuance of Supply) Amendment Bill (as reported by the Commerce Committee in 2009)
  • incorporates provisions in the now revoked Electricity Industry Reform Act regarding ownership, separation of distribution, and supply businesses and allows lines businesses back into retailing
  • reconfigures some assets of the 3 state-owned generators: Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power and Genesis Energy.

Electricity Industry Act 2010 on New Zealand Legislation website(external link)

Electricity Act 1992

The Electricity Act sets out the regulatory framework for the supply of electricity and the electricity industry, and for regulation and control of electrical workers. It covers:

  • powers and duties of electricity operators and other owners of electricity works
  • electrical codes of practice
  • registration and licensing of electrical workers
  • restriction on electrical work.

It also regulates fittings and electrical appliances that are, or may be, exported internationally.

Electricity Act 1992 on New Zealand Legislation website(external link)

Part 4 of the Commerce Act 1986

Part 4 of the Commerce Act contains a special regulatory regime for large electricity lines businesses (including Transpower), gas pipeline businesses and specified airports.

Find out more on the Commerce Commission website(external link).

Related links

Electricity Authority website(external link)

Part 4 – Commerce Act 1986 on New Zealand Legislation website(external link)

Generic legislation

A range of legislation is relevant to the electricity industry, including the following acts.

Commerce Act 1986

The Commerce Act prohibits certain conduct and business arrangements that restrict competition and Part 4 relates to electricity lines businesses. We administer the Act.

Commerce Act 1986 on the New Zealand Legislation website(external link)

Fair Trading Act 1986

The Fair Trading Act prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct in trade. We administer the Act.

Fair Trading Act 1986 on the New Zealand Legislation website(external link)

Consumer Guarantees Act 1993

The Consumer Guarantees Act provides that a good or service supplied to consumers must be fit for its common purpose. We adminster the Act.

Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 on the New Zealand Legislation website(external link)

Resource Management Act 1991

The Resource Management Act promotes sustainable management of natural and physical resources and directs how natural resources are used. In the electricity sector, the law relating to emissions from thermal plant and the management of water within hydro systems is particularly relevant. The Ministry for the Environment administers the Act.

Resource Management Act 1991 on the New Zealand Legislation website(external link)

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act provides a statutory basis for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and a national energy efficiency strategy. We administer the Act.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000 on the New Zealand Legislation website(external link)

Related links

Commerce Commission website(external link)

Ministry for the Environment website(external link)

About the RMA(external link)

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority(external link)

Electricity industry regulations

Regulations for the electricity industry are created under Part 5 of the Electricity Industry Act 2010.

Electricity industry regulations cover:

  • monitoring, investigating and enforcing the Electricity Industry Participation Code
  • electricity tariffs and other consumer related issues
  • identification of electricity industry participants and service providers
  • class exemptions
  • promoting accountability in customer trusts and community trusts
  • other matters, such as setting fees.

Levy regulation-making powers are included in section 128 of the Electricity Industry Act and section 53ZE of the Commerce Act. Regulations relating to safety are made under the Electricity Act 1992.

Visit our Energy Safety website(external link) for more information.

More information on regulations

Our electricity industry regulations page provides more information on the regulations covering the electricity industry and how they were developed. The regulations are:

  • Electricity Industry (Levy of Industry Participants) Regulations 2010
  • Electricity Industry (Enforcement) Regulations 2010
  • Commerce (Levy on Suppliers of Regulated Goods and Services) Regulations 2009
  • Electricity (Low Fixed Charge Tariff option for Domestic Consumers) Regulations 2004
  • Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003.