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New Zealand's Regulatory Management System

Page updated 17 Nov 2017

What is regulatory management?

The regulatory management system is the set of policies, institutions, processes and tools employed by central government to pursue and maintain good quality regulation.

Key features of the regulatory management system tend to focus on the development of regulation, but system elements may also target the implementation, administration, enforcement, monitoring and review of regulation.

Regulatory management system processes and tools both supplement and complement more fundamental and long-standing legal/constitutional arrangements that also support good quality legislation, including:

  • parliamentary scrutiny and disallowance
  • independent judicial interpretation and review of legislation
  • the vetting of legislation for consistency with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990

New Zealand’s regulatory management system

The regulatory management system is overseen and administered by the Treasury, and is one of the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister of Finance.

The government’s regulatory management strategy

The government has published information about its strategy for further development of the regulatory management system over the next couple of years.  See the government’s regulatory management strategy for more information.

Key features of the New Zealand regulatory management system include:

Regulatory Stewardship

The government expects regulatory agencies to adopt a whole-of-system view, and take a proactive, collaborative approach to the monitoring and care of the regulatory systems within which they have policy or operational responsibilities.  This is known as regulatory stewardship

Government Expectations for Good Regulatory Practice

The government has from time to time issued expectations to government agencies to promote good regulation principles or good regulatory practice.  The most recent set of “Government Expectations for Good Regulatory Practice give government agencies broad guidance on how they should discharge their regulatory stewardship obligations. The expectations cover both what makes a good regulatory system, and what is good regulatory stewardship practice for a regulatory agency.

Regulatory Impact Analysis

Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) is a systematic approach to policy analysis that involves regulatory options. The RIA framework provides both a structure and process intended to assist policy advisors in undertaking that analysis.  RIA has been a formal Cabinet requirement in New Zealand since 1998, with the requirements for undertaking RIA being periodically strengthened over time.

Regulatory stewardship strategies and plans

The major regulatory departments have recently begun to prepare and publish regulatory stewardship strategies. These contain information on the department’s approach to regulatory stewardship, the condition of the important regulatory systems they work within, and prioritised plans for improving those systems in the year ahead.

Departmental disclosure statements

Since mid 2013, departments have been required to publish a disclosure statement for most government Bills and substantive Supplementary Order Papers (SOPs) at the time the Bill or SOP is provided to Parliament. The departmental disclosure statement provides factual information about the policy background, development, and key features of the proposed legislation.

Timeline of regulatory management developments

See Timeline of Government Regulatory Management Policy and Tools for a selected timeline of key regulatory management developments in New Zealand since the mid 1990s.

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