The NZCC has issued the following media releases:

Industry regulation and regulatory control

NZCC determines Orion's customised price-quality path

The NZCC has determined Orion's customised price-quality path for 2014-2019, which takes into account Orion's circumstances following the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. In its final decision, the NZCC has allowed Orion to increase prices by up to 8.4 percent from 1 April 2014, which will result in an average increase of approximately NZ$4.80 per month to a typical household customer. Further annual increases at CPI plus one percent will be allowed until 2019. The quality standards require the reliability of supply to gradually improve over the period to 2019, towards pre-earthquake levels. Click here for more

NZCC publishes North Island Grid Upgrade Project paper

The NZCC is seeking views on Transpower's application to amend the allowance approved for the North Island Grid Upgrade Project. Transpower has applied for the allowance to be increased from NZ$824 million to NZ$894 million. However, in its application Transpower states that it intends to recover NZ$876 million of expenditure, NZ$18 million less than the allowance applied for. Click here for more

NZCC reaches settlement with Wellington Electricity on its 2012 price path breach

The NZCC has signed an out-of-court settlement agreement with Wellington Electricity Lines Limited after it breached its price path for the 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 assessment period. The price path restricts the amount of revenue an electricity distributor can earn in a given year. Wellington Electricity notified it had exceeded the price path by NZ$116,757 because the costs it was able to pass through to consumers came in lower than it had forecast. Click here for more

NZCC welcomes judgment on merits of its input methodology determinations

The NZCC welcomed a High Court judgment in relation to challenges against its December 2010 input methodologies decisions. The Court ruled in favour of the NZCC on all but two out of at least fifty eight challenges. Input methodologies set the upfront regulatory rules, processes and requirements under Part 4 of the Commerce Act, and underpin the regulation that applies to suppliers of electricity lines services and gas pipeline services, and specified airport services supplied by Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports. Click here for more

NZCC releases final report on Fonterra's milk price manual

The NZCC has released its final report on its statutory review of Fonterra's milk price manual. The manual determines how Fonterra calculates the farm gate milk price, which is the price paid by Fonterra to dairy farmers for their raw milk. This is the first of two statutory reviews that the NZCC is required to undertake each milk season under the 2012 amendments to the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA). The NZCC has concluded the 2013/14 Milk Price Manual is largely consistent with the purpose of the DIRA milk monitoring regime. Click here for more

Mergers and acquisitions

Statement of preliminary issues for Bauer's application to acquire certain magazine publishing assets of APNSP

The NZCC has published a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from Bauer Media Group (NZ) LP (Bauer) to acquire certain magazine publishing assets of APN Specialist Publications NZ Ltd (APNSP). Bauer and APNSP are both involved in magazine publishing in New Zealand. Click here for more

PropertyIQ granted clearance to acquire Terralink

The NZCC has cleared PropertyIQ New Zealand Limited to acquire the business and assets of Terralink International Ltd. The proposed acquisition impacts on the supply of property information products to corporate customers, property professionals, consumers and SMEs. The NZCC is satisfied that the proposed acquisition will not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in any of the relevant markets. Click here for more

USG Corporation and Boral Limited seek clearance to form a joint venture

The NZCC has received a joint application from USG Corporation and Boral Limited seeking clearance to enter into a joint venture. The proposed joint venture relates to the two parties' operations in Asia, the Middle East and Australasia for the supply of plasterboard, ceiling tiles and ancillary building products such as metal studs and tracks, metal ceiling grids and metal ceiling battens. Click here for more

Market behaviour

Rubbish bag company fined heavily for misleading environmental claims

Eco-Pal Ltd (Eco-Pal), a manufacturer of plastic rubbish bags, has been sentenced in the Auckland District Court for environmental claims it made that breached the Fair Trading Act (FTA). Eco-Pal has been found guilty of 15 breaches of the FTA and fined NZ$60,000 for claiming on its bags and its website that its rubbish bags were oxo-biodegradable, biodegradable, suitable for domestic composting and for claims giving the impression of environmental friendliness. A critical aspect of the company's advertising found to have been liable to mislead was the slogan "Here today….gone tomorrow." Click here for more

Auckland car salesman convicted of dishonest online auction bids

Auckland car salesman Craig James Rutherford has been fined NZ$12,100 in the Auckland District Court on 11 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act by shill bidding during the sale of cars on the Trade Me auction website. Click here for more

Telecommunications

NZCC releases consultation document for reviewing the price of Chorus' Unbundled Copper Local Loop Service

The NZCC has released a consultation document for the Final Pricing Principle of Chorus' Unbundled Copper Local Loop (UCLL) Service. This paper seeks views on the process that the NZCC should take, as well as some of the key issues to address in setting the final price for the UCLL Service using the TSLRIC methodology. The UCLL service enables telecommunications providers to rent Chorus' copper telephone lines to provide voice and broadband services to consumers. Click here for more

NZCC gives public notice that it has commenced a review of the price list of the UCLFS STD determination

The NZCC has given public notice that it has commenced a review of the price list of the Unbundled Copper Low Frequency Service Standard Terms Determination (UCLFS STD) under section 30R of the Telecommunications Act 2001. Click here for more

Consumer issues

Baycorp settlement puts credit industry on notice

The NZCC says its settlement with Baycorp (NZ) Limited (Baycorp), under which debtors have been refunded or had account balances reduced by a total of NZ$3.5 million, sends a strong message to the credit industry that participants must comply with their obligations under the Credit (Repossession) Act 1997. The NZCC says Baycorp is likely to have contravened section 13(i) of the Fair Trading Act by claiming to have a right, on behalf of its clients, to add collection costs, some legal and court costs and interest, onto a debtor's balance after security items have been repossessed and sold. Click here for more

Company director breaches Fair Trading Act over Elton John train journey

Former Christchurch based company director Roger Sutherland, has been convicted and fined NZ$45,000 in the Christchurch District Court and ordered to pay over NZ$26,000 reparation on 11 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act. Mr Sutherland was found guilty of promoting and selling tickets for a return train journey from Christchurch to Dunedin for an Elton John concert, when no train was provided. Click here for more

NZCC closes Credit SaILS investigation

The NZCC has welcomed the news that all but NZ$17,000 of the NZ$60 million settlement fund in the investment product Credit SaILS has been returned to investors. The Public Trust, who was appointed as Trustee to distribute the settlement fund to eligible investors, has successfully contacted 2,217 of the 2,218 investors and has repaid NZ$59,982,800. Only one investor (an Australian resident) was not found, despite efforts to locate them. Click here for more

Slingshot fined for "slamming" customers

Call Plus Services Limited, trading as Slingshot, has been fined NZ$250,000 after pleading guilty in the Auckland District Court to 50 charges it faced under the Fair Trading Act in relation to the marketing of its telecommunications services. Between 2009 and 2011, the NZCC received over 100 complaints alleging that telemarketers acting on behalf of Slingshot had breached the Fair Trading Act by either misleading customers about the service provided or by switching customers to Slingshot's services without their consent, known in the industry as "slamming". Click here for more

Big fines for toxic water claims

Love Springs Limited and its director Phillip Smart have been fined a total of NZ$555,000 in the Auckland District Court late yesterday afternoon for breaches of the Fair Trading Act in relation to the door to door sales of water filters. The water filters were sold in 2009-2010 by sales staff who claimed that local drinking water could cause cancer, birth defects and miscarriages and was dangerous to people's health. Love Springs, aided and encouraged by Mr Smart, trained door-to-door sales staff to sell the filters using deliberate marketing tactics that took advantage of people's fears about their health. Love Springs targeted towns and cities throughout the North Island. Click here for more