Commerce appointments announced

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi today announced two appointments to the Commerce Commission and the appointment of a new member to the Accreditation Council.

 Dr John Small has been appointed as an associate member of the Commerce Commission. His appointment increases the number of associate members to four.

 “I am pleased to appoint Dr Small to the Commerce Commission,” Mr Faafoi says. “His extensive expertise in competition and regulatory economics across a number of different sectors will be valuable for a range of the Commission’s functions. 

Sarah Court has been reappointed as an associate member of the Commerce Commission under the cross-appointment arrangement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

 “Ms Court’s considerable expertise and experience in competition and consumer law and practice will support the Commission in carrying out its work under the Commerce, Fair Trading and Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Acts. Her appointment also promotes Trans-Tasman cooperation on competition and consumer issues affecting markets in both countries.

 Marion Cowden has been appointed as a new member of the Accreditation Council. Ms Cowden fills the vacancy left by Council member Lindsey Lawton.

 “Ms Cowden’s strong financial and governance background in the public and private sectors, both nationally and internationally, will bring a valuable perspective to the Council. I would also like to thank Lindsey Lawton for her contribution to the Council over the last four years,” Kris Faafoi says.

 Background

 Dr John Small is the Founding Director of Covec, an economic consultancy firm, and the former Head of the University of Auckland’s Economics Department. He has extensive experience undertaking complex competition analysis in a wide range of sectors, including energy, transport, agriculture, telecommunications, payment systems, and construction. Dr Small was previously a lay member of the High Court of New Zealand and was frequently called as an expert witness before courts, tribunals and commissions.

 Sarah Court was first appointed to the ACCC in 2008 and cross-appointed to the Commerce Commission in December 2015. Ms Court chairs the ACCC’s Enforcement Committee and plays a key role in a number of other areas including mergers, financial services and agriculture. She is a former senior lawyer and Director with the Australian Government Solicitor and has extensive experience in restrictive trade practices, consumer protection and law enforcement litigation.

 Marion Cowden is an experienced chartered accountant, chief financial officer and company director. She has held a number of senior finance executive roles, notably as Director of Corporate Services for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London; General Manager People and Finance Management for the Australian Federal Police; and Chief Financial Officer for New Zealand’s Health Funding Authority. Until recently, Ms Cowden was Deputy Chair of the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd.