Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison and New Zealand Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced the expansion of cross-appointments between the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Commissioner Sarah Court of the ACCC has been appointed as an associate member of the NZCC until 30 April 2018, to correspond with the end of her term at the ACCC. Ms Court fills the position left by ACCC cross-appointed member Dr Jill Walker, who was appointed as a member of the NZCC in July and began her appointment on 1 December.
NZCC Chair Dr Mark Berry is the NZCC cross-appointed member at the ACCC.
Both Ministers were pleased the ACCC and NZCC are cooperating closely on competition and consumer issues, reducing business compliance costs for those operating on both sides of the Tasman.
"The cross-appointment arrangement between the ACCC and NZCC has helped ensure there is alignment and consistency, particularly in considering proposed merger cases that affect markets in both jurisdictions.
"The cross-appointment of Sarah Court enables the NZCC and ACCC to coordinate their approach to consumer law enforcement, given the recent reforms of consumer legislation in both countries," said Mr Morrison.
"Sarah Court has acknowledged expertise in both competition and consumer law areas and I am sure the NZCC will benefit from her participation in the NZCC's Consumer and Commerce Act Divisions, where similar matters have been under investigation in Australia," said Mr Goldsmith.
"Jill Walker has proven to be a valuable asset to the NZCC, given her extensive expertise in trade practices and anti-trust economics, and is well regarded both in New Zealand and overseas. I am very pleased she will continue to contribute as a member to the NZCC," he added.
The cross appointments at associate member level between the NZCC and ACCC began in 2010 to align the administration and enforcement of competition law to promote a Single Economic Market between New Zealand and Australia.