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Regulatory authorities

The following lists the major regulators in New Zealand with links to regulator’s websites. As regulators they are the agency responsible for the development and application of legislation regarding services or products, in relation to safety, performance, energy use, water use, or other properties.


Access Standards

Access Standards is a business unit of Telecom New Zealand that regulates and grants Telepermit labels to customer Equipment that meets Telecom's transmission and signalling performance requirements and which can be expected not to interfere with other service users.

Biosecurity New Zealand

Biosecurity New Zealand is the division of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry charged with leadership of the New Zealand biosecurity system. It encompasses facilitating international trade, protecting the health of New Zealanders and ensuring the welfare of our environment, flora and fauna, marine life and Maori resources.

Building and Housing

Building and Housing assists everyone involved with buildings, whether they build, own, live or work in them. We offer a range of information and other services related to building and housing, including help with resolving disputes.


Chorus operates the physical network used by telecommunications providers to deliver phone and Internet services.  It is responsible for granting permits to equipment suppliers or service providers who seek connection to Telecom's copper and fibre network.

Civil Aviation Authority

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) establishes civil aviation safety and security standards, and monitors safety performance throughout the aviation community so that safety efforts can be directed where they are needed the most. The CAA carries out accident and incident investigations and collates this material to establish an industry-wide safety picture.

Commerce Commission

The Commerce Commission is New Zealand's competition regulatory agency. The Commerce Commission enforces legislation that promotes competition in New Zealand markets and prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct by traders. The Commission also enforces a number of pieces of legislation specific to the telecommunications, dairy and electricity industries.

Consumer Affairs

The primary role of Consumer Affairs, which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, is to create an environment that promotes good and accurate information flows between suppliers and consumers and a fair and equitable trading environment so that consumers can transact with confidence. It is responsible for the development of consumer policy relating to product safety and weights and measures; provision of education and advice on consumer laws; the implementation of weights and measures legislation, the investigation of unsafe consumer products and the monitoring of motor vehicle fuel quality.

Customs New Zealand

The New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) is the government agency with the job of protecting the community from potential risks arising from international trade and travel, while facilitating the legitimate movement of people and goods across the border.

Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is responsible for the conservation of New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage. It works to protect marine mammals, indigenous freshwater fisheries, recreational fisheries and freshwater habitats, and is responsible for conserving indigenous wildlife wherever it lives.

Department of Internal Affairs

The role of the Regulation and Compliance Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is to ensure that gaming is fair, honest and lawful and to uphold community standards of censorship, including regulating the possession and supply of objectionable material.



Electricity Authority

The Electricity Authority is an independent Crown entity, established under the Electricity Industry Act 2010, responsible for providing independent governance and regulation of the electricity industry and oversees the operation of the electricity system and market. The Authority’s regulatory function is achieved primarily through developing and enforcing the Electricity Industry Participation Code 2010.

Electrical Workers Registration Board

The Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) promotes safety for all New Zealanders by ensuring the competency of electrical and electronic workers. It responsibility extends to the licensing of registered electrical workers, discipline of licensed electrical workers and promotion of electrical safety.

Energy Safety

Energy Safety is part of WorkSafe, and monitors public safety in the supply and use of electricity and gas. Energy Safety is committed to ensuring that its accident investigation, energy appliance safety framework, and compliance and enforcement responsibilities under the Electricity Act 1992 and Gas Act 1992, are appropriate and effective, and co-ordinated with other health and safety agencies.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is a Crown entity that encourages, supports and promotes energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the use of renewable sources of energy. EECA sets and monitors minimum energy performance standards and mandatory energy rating labels for a range of products including vehicles.

Environmental Protection Authority

The Environmental Protection Authority administers applications for major infrastructure projects of national significance, and regulates new organisms (plants, animals and GM organisms) and hazardous substances and chemicals. It administers the Emissions Trading Scheme and New Zealand Emission Unit Register. It also manages the environmental impact of activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone, including prospecting for petroleum and minerals, seismic surveying and scientific research.

Financial Markets Authority

The Financial Markets Authority regulates New Zealand's financial markets. We oversee securities, financial reporting, and company law as they apply to financial services and securities markets.



Gambling Commission

The Gambling Commission is an independent statutory decision-making body established under the Gambling Act 2003. The Commission hears casino licensing applications, and appeals on licensing and enforcement decisions made in relation to gaming machines and other non-casino gambling activities.

Kiwi Rail New Zealand

Kiwi Rail is the government owned rail operator that runs freight trains on the national rail network.  Kiwi Rail regulates the safe operation of trains and other activities on the national rail system and is responsible for setting industry rules, procedures and standards.

Maritime New Zealand

Maritime New Zealand is responsible for developing and monitoring maritime safety rules and marine protection rules; licensing seafarers and registering ships; conducting safety inspections of all New Zealand ships and foreign-flagged ships calling at New Zealand ports; ensuring that relevant port facilities and New Zealand ships meet the requirements of the Maritime Security Act 2004 and; overseeing services provided by organisations under contract, mainly in the areas of marine radio services and the Safe Ship Management system.

Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe) 

Medsafe is the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority. It is a business unit of the Ministry of Health and is the authority responsible for the regulation of therapeutic products in New Zealand. Medsafe is responsible for administering the Medicines Act 1981 and Regulations 1984.

Ministry for the Environment

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) advises the Government on all matters related to the environment and is one of its major advisers on the sustainable development of New Zealand. The Ministry is responsible for policy advice and implementation of government decisions in both the Environment and Climate Change portfolios, covering both domestic and international matters.

Ministry for Primary Industries (former Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)

Ministry for Primary Industries is the agency that is responsible for leading the protection and sustainable development of New Zealand’s biological resources. Its mission is to enhance New Zealand's natural advantage by encouraging high-performing sectors; developing safe and freer trade; ensuring healthy New Zealanders; and by protecting our natural resources for the benefit of future generations

Ministry of Culture and Heritage

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) provides advice to the New Zealand government on culture and heritage matters. Through the Protected Objects Act 1975, the Ministry regulates the export of protected New Zealand objects; the illegal export and import of protected New Zealand and foreign objects; and the sale, trade and ownership of taonga tuturu. Other regulatory work undertaken by the Ministry can be seen in the administration of the Flags, Names and Emblems Act 1981 and the Broadcasting Act 1989.



Ministry for Primary Industries (former Ministry of Fisheries)

The Ministry for Primary Industries works to ensure that fisheries are used in a sustainable way and that we have a healthy aquatic ecosystem. It is responsible for ensuring that people and companies comply with fisheries laws and regulations so that all New Zealanders can get the best value from this resource.

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health (MOH) aims to ensure that the health and disability support system works for all New Zealanders. The ministry leads and support the sector to achieve better health for New Zealanders, including reduced inequalities, better participation and independence, trust and security.

Ministry of Justice

The Ministry works closely with other agencies in the justice sector such as New Zealand Police, the Department of Corrections and the Ministry of Social Development, to advance the sector’s common goal of a safe and just society for New Zealand.

Ministry of Transports

The Ministry of Transport (MoT) is the government's principal transport policy adviser, the Ministry both leads and generates policy. The government's New Zealand Transport Strategy (NZTS) provides the framework within which transport policy is developed.

The Ministry of Transport acts as the Minister of Transport's agent for managing the interface with the transport Crown entities, the Aviation Security Service, and the National Rescue Co-ordination Centre.

National Enforcement Unit

The National Enforcement Unit (NEU) investigates and, where appropriate, prosecutes offences under various legislation on behalf of the Official Assignee, the Registrar of Companies and the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders.

National Radiation Laboratory

The National Radiation Laboratory (NRL) is a specialist unit of the Ministry of Health based in Christchurch, New Zealand. It provides a resource of expert advice, service provision and research capability on matters concerning public, occupational and medical exposure to radiation, the performance of radiation equipment and the measurement of radiation and radioactivity.

New Zealand Fire Service

The principal responsibility of the New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) is to reduce the incidence of fire and its consequences for people, property, communities and the environment. It regulates fire safety products including sprinklers, fire extinguishers and fire hoses. 

New Zealand Food Safety Authority

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s (NZFSA) mandate is to protect consumers by providing an effective food regulatory programme covering food produced and consumed in New Zealand as well as imports and exports of food products.

New Zealand Police

New Zealand Police is the lead agency responsible for reducing crime and enhancing community safety.  It also enforces a number legislation in coordination with other government agencies to include the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993.

New Zealand Transport Agency

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) contributes to an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport system, in support of the updated New Zealand Transport Strategy.  NZTA is responsible for managing the state highway system; regulating access to, and participation in, the land transport network; promotion of land transport safety and sustainability; and allocation of government funding for land transport.



Office of the Film and Literature Classification

The Office of Film & Literature Classification (OFLC) is the Government body responsible for classifying publications that may need to be restricted or banned. The legal definition of a 'publication' covers a wide range of mediums such as films, videos, music recordings, books, magazines and computer games.

ONTRACK New Zealand

ONTRACK operates New Zealand’s railway network. It manages the movement of trains along the rail network and maintains and upgrades the tracks. It is responsible for safety measures for train, pedestrian and vehicle safety at level crossings.

Radio Spectrum Management

Radio Spectrum Management, which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, facilitates access to the radio spectrum resource to support efficient, reliable, and responsive telecommunications and broadcast services. RSM is committed to ensuring that its licence administration, compliance, enforcement, and radio frequency interference responsibilities under the Radio Communications Act 1989, are fast, simple and effective, and maximise the use of on-line services wherever possible.

Real Estate Agents Authority

The Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) is the independent, government regulatory body for the real estate industry in New Zealand. They provide independent oversight of the real estate industry, ensure a high standard of service and professionalism within the industry, and provide increased protection for buyers and sellers of real estate. The REAA is a Crown entity, established under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008.

Securities Commission

The Securities Commission is an independent Crown entity established by the Securities Act 1978. It is New Zealand's main regulator of investments. Its purpose is to strengthen investor confidence and foster capital investment in New Zealand by promoting the efficiency, integrity, and cost effective regulation of our securities markets.

Serious Fraud Office
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is a small, highly specialised government department responsible for complex or serious fraud investigations and prosecutions. This doesn’t include more common dishonesty offences, which are a Police matter.

WorkSafe (formely Occupational Health and Safety)

WorkSafe was established in December 2013. It provides best practice information and guidance to assist New Zealand business with health and safety in the workplace. WorkSafe also inspects workplaces to check safety and health arrangements, to investigate accidents at work, and to ensure employers and employees comply with the Health and Safety in Employment Act. They are responsible for regulating the storage and use of hazardous substances, explosives and dangerous goods, and for the safety of amusement devices.

Last updated 28 July 2015