Commerce Commission appointments

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi today announced the reappointments of Sue Begg and Elisabeth Welson as members of the Commerce Commission, and the appointment of a new associate member, John Crawford.

Ms Begg will continue as Deputy Chairperson of the Commission until 2021, while Ms Welson will continue as a member until 2020.Both are involved in a wide range of work across the Commerce Commission and will provide continuity as the Commission’s mandate continues to grow, with expanded telecommunications regulatory responsibilities and new competition studies powers under Bills currently before Parliament.

New Associate Commissioner John Crawford has worked at senior levels across the public and private sectors and brings extensive commercial and regulatory experience in key sectors relevant to the Commission’s work.

The board of the Commerce Commission consists of six members, including the Chair, Deputy Chair and Telecommunications Commissioner. The Commission also includes three associate members, two cross-appointed from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and Mr Crawford.

Background  

The Commerce Commission is New Zealand’s competition, consumer, and economic regulation agency. The Commission is responsible for enforcing laws relating to competition, fair trading, and consumer credit contracts, and has regulatory responsibilities in the energy, telecommunications, dairy and airport sectors.

Sue Begg has been a member of the Commission since 2009 and Deputy Chair since 2010. She is an economist and director of the consultancy company Impetus Group Limited. Her previous roles include vice-president and head of the economic advisory unit of the investment banking division of Credit Suisse First Boston NZ Limited (and its predecessor companies) and manager of the macroeconomic policy section at the Treasury. Ms Begg leads the Commission's regulatory responsibilities in respect of the electricity lines, gas pipelines, dairy and airport sectors, and plays an important role in the Commission's competition work programme.

Elisabeth Welson was an associate member of the Commission between 2012 and 2013, and has been a full member since 2013. She is a lawyer and a former senior commercial Partner at Simpson Grierson. Ms Welson has significant expertise in the fields of competition, consumer and regulatory law, as well as general commercial and governance experience. She is involved in a wide range of work across the Commission, including its preparation for implementing a new regulatory framework for telecommunications under the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill.

John Crawford has substantial commercial and regulatory experience in key sectors such as electricity, energy and telecommunications. He was recently the Chief Executive of Auckland Council Investments Limited. He has held senior management roles at the Treasury, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, as well as commercial entities. Mr Crawford’s advisory experience includes resolving complex commercial issues, corporate strategy and finance, public policy, business case development, enhancing business performance and large scale project management.