International regulatory cooperation

This page explains the ways that regulators cooperate with their overseas counterparts to improve the quality and effectiveness of regulations. It includes case studies of cooperation in practice.

About international regulatory cooperation

International regulatory cooperation is the different ways that regulators from different countries work together to discuss, develop, manage or enforce regulations.

There are many options for cooperation with different costs and benefits. These can range from sharing information and ideas through to making common laws and setting up joint agencies.

Why international regulatory cooperation is important

Cooperation is important because we live in an interconnected world. The benefits of cooperation include:

  • improving the quality and effectiveness of regulations
  • addressing common problems
  • making it easier for New Zealanders to travel and do business overseas.

What we do

We participate in the work of international bodies that support international regulatory cooperation. These include the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

We advise New Zealand agencies about new initiatives. We also collaborate with New Zealand and Australian agencies to create a seamless trans-Tasman market with one set of rules for businesses to comply with.

Current initiatives and resources

International regulatory cooperation toolkit

In 2019 we are developing an online toolkit that will provide practical guidance for regulators about the opportunities, options and success factors for cooperation. The toolkit will help regulators think about how to better connect with offshore counterparts and the costs and benefits of different approaches.

Case studies and lessons learnt

In 2018 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and our Ministry commissioned the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) to prepare brief international regulatory cooperation case studies focused on drawing out the lessons learnt.

The case studies are intended to showcase and raise awareness of the existing regulatory cooperation practice and encourage regulators to think about the opportunities and options for future cooperation.

The case studies are available online on the NZIER website.(external link)

More information

We welcome any questions, suggestions or comments about international regulatory cooperation.

We also welcome feedback from regulators about successful initiatives. You can email us at

Last updated: 04 February 2019