web analytics

More on the Commerce Commission

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 pm, March 21st, 2009 - 14 comments
Categories: business, national/act government - Tags: , , , , , , ,

On Thursday I linked to a piece in the NBR that suggested Simon Power’s appointment of Dr Mark Berry to replace Paula Rebstock at the Commerce Commission hinted at a radical shakeup of the consumer watchdog.

Today John Drinnan has an in-depth piece in the Herald that suggests radical reform is indeed on the way, and it’s a result of major lobbying from National’s big business supporters who want to take an axe to the Commission’s regulatory powers.

it is understood that Rebstock was ultimately disappointed by the way things turned out and would have liked to stay on…

…The last-minute timing of her departure is perplexing, leading some to question the behind-the-scenes developments between her, the Government and Rebstock’s big business critics.

With a new National Government and a more business-friendly ethos, big business critics have been calling to have the lion de-clawed.

According to the article much of this pressure has come from Telecom, Todd Energy and Air New Zealand.

Telecom competition lawyer David Grant, who works for new ComCom head Mark Berry’s firm, Chapman Tripp, is on record recently saying New Zealand can no longer afford competition law and calling for a full review or disbanding of the commission.

Todd Energy said just this week it was time to “reset the compass” at the Commission, and according to one Parliamentary insider quoted in the article:

Cabinet ministers – such as Trade Minister Tim Groser, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee – had made no secret they favoured changes at the commission.

“Air New Zealand have been beating the drum about the attitude she imbued,” said the Wellington source.

With National in government it seems the Old Boys’ network is firmly back in the saddle and they’re frantically trying to make up for the last nine years. Meanwhile it’s becoming clearer by the day who National thinks it’s governing for – and it’s not the likes of you and me.

14 comments on “More on the Commerce Commission ”

  1. John Dalley 1

    With all the genius computer hackers around i’m surprised we don’t have more info on Nationals secret funding.

    [lprent: Wrong word, what you are talking about are crackers. Hackers are a different breed. It is illegal to crack someones system. Phil Goff put in the laws about 5 years ago. Prior to that they could only really get you if you used the information for profit, or they used some ridiculous charge like theft of electricity. Mores the pity, I learned about half of the base of programming from cracking into university systems or looking at the inside of programs with a debugger or disassembler for the right place to put in a NOP. But that was before the 15 year old dweebs started getting virus library kits after which it got unfashionable. I wonder how people learn assembler these days when they need it. ]

  2. RedLogix 2

    Drinnan appears to have two articles in the Herald. The other one is quietly scathing:

    Paula Rebstock’s abrupt exit from the Commerce Commission led to an unorthodox process of appointing her replacement, Mark Berry.

    It appears Berry was the only name the Ministry of Economic Development forwarded to replace Rebstock.

    While it goes on to say that all this was done because Rebstock’s departure was so abrupt, and that Berry’s appointment is for 18 months rather than the more normal 3- 5years, it is clear that there is considerable disquiet that this pivotal role has been mugged in such a blatantly political fashion.

  3. Ianmac 3

    Crikey! Lucky I just have to worry about paper wasps sucking on my backyard grapes. I will seek to understand what the hell is going on. Thanks

  4. the sprout 4

    i saw both those articles and thought them very ominous

  5. rave 5

    Well blatant politics is the name of the money game.
    De got da power, so what do you expect? Its not as if the CC has actually stopped anything serious. But the boys don’t like to be interfered with. Its like the right to hire and fire at will, and to be charitable at will, the big boys especially do not like having to ask a WOMAN in a mans job for permission to hold a big barbie.
    I say this is good. Let them bring out their really big toys, expose themselves, and then well move in to cut them off like so much low hanging ripe fruit. I look forward to Air Kiwi, Kiwi Rail, Kiwi power, kiwi broadband, Kiwi paper, Kiwi wood, Kiwi fish, Kiwi health, and not to overlook the landlords, Kiwi homes.

    • Snail 5.1

      suggestion for the holding company — omni kiwi !

      hey, rave, one line to the big treasury is better than mullti-lines.. wot!

  6. “John Dalley
    March 21, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    With all the genius computer hackers around i’m surprised we don’t have more info on Nationals secret funding.”

    I just think its sad that The Standard doesn’t have a daily tax payer funded anti National quote dredge service to balance out Farrar’s anti Labour one.

  7. Baz 7

    Exchange between a Job Agency and a new Chinese Citizen. Quite extraordinary

    From: new_citizen
    Sent: Wednesday, 18 February 2009 12:08 p.m.
    To: job_agency_guy
    Subject: RE: Trade Me Jobs — New application from new_citizen. Job: Admin/Collections Coordinator
    Hi job_agency_guy
    Thanks for your reply.
    I wasn’t sure the meaning of solo charge between 5 to 6pm with radio that stated in the ad, she explained to me and I understood, then I had a bit relax talk with her and said it is a bit scary to stay at work by myself, then she said “if you are scare, this job is definitely not for you” Wow! it was shocking, big shock by her respond. I have been dealing with different classes of people and different ethic grounp, it is the first time I heard a person talk like this way, that shows her terrible attitude, I wonder why there is such person exist in now adays civilize society? she also gives bad image of Kiwis to other culture of people.
    NZ is a beautiful country, it would be great with beautiful people(inner beauty) here to create a beautiful world.
    job_agency_guy, Thank you very much your time to read this email. It was nice to talk to you. Hope you have a successful year in the year of OX.

    Subject: RE: Trade Me Jobs — New application from new_citizen. Job: Admin/Collections Coordinator
    Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 12:12:25 +1300
    From: job_agency_guy
    To: em>new_citizen
    You really need to adjust your attitude if you want to fit into kiwi life.
    Do not contact this office again.
    I have spoken to the staff member concerned and her story is very different.
    Thank you

    Dear job_agency_guy,.
    G’day mate, I would like to apply for a job in NZ with all yous sheep botherers.
    I am happy to come over to NZED for a job interview , Can you buy gum boots at Auckland airport???
    Woz ,my mate here in Auustraalia says that I will need this to protect me from your Kiwi foot in mouth disease.??
    Poon , our little chinese cookie at the local noodle shop, reckons I will need to bring over several metres of heavy chain and a case hardened pad lock
    cause she had her moped stolen 27 times by the indidgenous population when She was working in the Panmure $2 shop.
    I’d bring Kylie my girlfriend but she is due any day now, and I heard the Obstetric services at your airport are not too flash.
    It was always on my mind to try a big OE in NZED and now that you have a new proper Prime Minister, I thnk the time is right for.

    Cheers Baza.
    Hey mate d’ya know how many slabs of Tooheys new I can bring in through Customs?

    [lprent: Removed identifying info]

  8. Tane

    Good to see you have caught up with the news. Unfortunately, the Rebstock issue does not appear to be getting much traction, though I have posted my disquiet on this more than once.


  9. LawGeek 9

    I think you’ll find you mean Grant David, Tane.

    And aren’t we a little past guilt by association? Chappers is a big firm, and implying that it’s possible to attribute one partner’s views to another isn’t fair, and isn’t meaningful.

    • They were one of the firms involved in laundering money to Nationals 05 campaign so as to avoid scrutiny over who was donating it. I would be surprised if one partner went out and did that all on his own.

      there must have been at least some discussion over the potential risk they were taking on in engaging in such an act, then with this as well, it kind of suggests a fairly cosy relationship with which most of the partners would be comfortable with.

      • LawGeek 9.1.1

        On the donations issue, I just checked the Electoral Commission record. Chappers weren’t involved. 3 other firms were. Do you have evidence to the contrary? (I’d also dispute that allowing people to make donations into one’s trust account necessarily implies endorsement of a particular political party. Given the amount of work large firms do for central government, it’s in their best interest to remain neutral).

        On your other points, I’ll ask “do you actually have any idea how partnerships work?” and leave it at that.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago