Resources for regulators

The following resources have been specifically chosen for their relevance, importance, and value to the regulator sector. This is not an exhaustive list but a starting point for sharing resources across the board. This library of resources are frequently reviewed, updated and added to.

As of 1 May 2024, the Government Regulatory Practice Initiative has transferred to the new Ministry for Regulation. G-REG’s information will continue to be available on the MBIE website while the transition occurs. Any questions can be directed to

Regulatory practice

Resource Author and date Summary
Government Expectations for Good Regulatory Practice [PDF, 268KB](external link)— Te Tai Ōhanga, The Treasury Treasury, April 2017 This document divides the government’s high-level expectations of regulatory agencies into 2 main topics: system design and ongoing system stewardship.
What Does Good Regulatory Decision-making look like?(external link) — Policy Quarterly Keith Manch, May 2017 This article looks at some of the mechanics and principles behind decisions about design, review, implementation and operation of regulatory systems.
Are Regulated Parties Customers?(external link) — Policy Quarterly Keith Manch and Ben Wauchop, November 2017 This article explores the choices that regulators can make in how they describe regulated parties and how they operate compliance alongside service delivery systems.
Achieving Compliance: A guide for Compliance Agencies in New Zealand(external link) — Analysis and Policy Observatory Compliance Common Capability Programme, 2011 This document was developed collectively by regulatory agencies to provide a shared idea of ‘what good looks like’ for the design and operation of compliance systems.
A Rail Tale(external link) — Policy Quarterly Chris Ballantyne, November 2017 This article examines the background to change in rail safety regulation before looking at lessons learned from going through the operating model change needed to move from a prescriptive to a goal based approach.
A glossary of terms used in the regulatory sector MBIE A starting point for those new to regulation or who may have moved around within the sector. Common language can help get regulators on the same page to more effectively and efficiently collaborate across systems.

Regulatory design

Resource Author and date Summary
Regulatory Institutions and Practices [PDF, 4.1MB](external link) — Productivity Commission - Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa Productivity Commission, June 2014 This frequently referenced report is a detailed account of New Zealand’s overall regulatory infrastructure and a critique of how regulation can be optimised to provide wellbeing outcomes for New Zealanders.
Regulatory Institutions and Practices – 'cut to the chase' [PDF, 81KB](external link) — Productivity Commission - Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa Productivity Commission, June 2014 A short summary of the full report above.
Legislation Guidelines [PDF, 1.9MB](external link) — Legislation Design and Advisory Committee Legislative Design and Advisory Committee, 2021 These Cabinet endorsed guidelines are “the government’s key point of reference” on legislative design and quality.
Responsive regulation in practice: A review of the international academic literature(external link) — Analysis and Policy Observatory Jeroen van der Heijden, November 2020 Professor van der Heijden uses a review of research and literature to discuss the key concepts behind the idea of responsive regulation. He explores how – and how successfully– it has been applied in practice.
Managing the Opportunities and Risks Associated with Disruptive Technologies - space law in New Zealand(external link) — Policy Quarterly Kirsty Hutchison, Katherine MacNeill, Peter Mumford and Val Sim, November 2017 A case study that uses MBIE’s experience of beginning to regulate space activities to look at the interaction of risk management with innovation in rapidly evolving technology markets.
New Zealand’s Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code a case study in co-regulation (external link)— Policy Quarterly  Keith Manch, November 2017 This article examines the history, development and design features of a co-regulation mechanism (a safety code) that has a central role in the maritime safety system.

Regulatory stewardship

Resource Author and date  Summary
Starting out with regulatory stewardship: A resource [PDF, 1MB](external link) — Te Tai Ōhanga, The Treasury Treasury December, 2022 A document endorsed by the Regulatory Chief Executives group that complements existing resources and provide support that’s particularly useful for agencies that are early on in their stewardship practice.   
Regulatory Stewardship: Voice of the Regulator(external link) — Policy Quarterly Stephanie Winson, November 2017 This article focusses on how the regulator can be brought into the regulatory stewardship continuous improvement life cycle.     
What regulatory system governance is and why it’s important: principles and guidance [PDF, 1.8 MB] MBIE, August 2021 A 'what good looks like' description of the functions of regulatory system governance and the kinds of tools and roles associated to these functions.
Governance principles and guidance in a nutshell [PDF, 849 KB] MBIE, August 2021 A short summary of the guidance document above.
Regulatory Failure – A review of the international academic literature(external link) —  Analysis and Policy Observatory Jeroen van der Heijden, November 2022 Professor van der Heijden uses a review of literature (and of failures) to explore how and why 'regulatory failure' means different things to different people - and the challenge that the phrase presents to regulators

Chair in Regulatory Practice, 2017-2022

Dr Jeroen van der Heijden was the Chair in Regulatory Practice and a Professor of Public Governance at the Victoria University of Wellington from 2017 to 2022. He worked closely with G-REG to improve regulatory practice and regulatory stewardship in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Resources from Dr van der Heijden

Dr Jeroen van der Heijden's blog(external link) — From the Regulatory frontlines

A Conversation About Regulatory Failure: Hosted by G-REG with panel guests including Dr Jeroen van der Heijden(external link) — YouTube

A Conversation About the Profession of Regulation: Hosted by G-REG with panel guests including Dr Jeroen van der Heijden(external link) — YouTube

International Trendsetting Conversations(external link) — YouTube

The Modern Regulator: Entrepreneur(external link) — YouTube

Last updated: 11 March 2024