Commerce Commission appointments support focus on consumer protection

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi today announced the appointments of Anna Rawlings as the new Chair of the Commerce Commission, and Joseph Liava’a as an associate member.

Ms Rawlings takes over from Dr Mark Berry, who will step down after two terms at the end of May 2019.

“Anna Rawlings brings expertise and experience, having served as a member of the Commission since 2014. She has played a key role in the Commission’s Commerce and Consumer divisions and has frequently led the Commission’s work on consumer matters.

I also want to thank Dr Berry for his considerable contribution to the Commission. He was first appointed Chair in 2009, and has consistently shared his technical expertise in the Commission’s work and demonstrated strong leadership.”

New associate member Joseph Liava’a is a past member of the Consumer New Zealand Board, and has held a number of consumer law related roles in Government and agencies, as well as serving on several community boards and panels.

“Mr Liava’a is highly respected for his consumer sector work,” Mr Faafoi says. “His wide experience working with vulnerable communities has given him in-depth insight on consumer issues, and this will be valuable for the Commission.”

Both Ms Rawlings and Mr Liava’a have been appointed for three-year terms.

Background

Anna Rawlings has been a member of the Commerce Commission since 2014. She has been involved in a range of Commission work over this period, including mergers and enforcement decisions under the Commerce Act, consumer matters under the Fair Trading Act and Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, and some involvement in aspects of telecommunications regulation under the Telecommunications Act.

Ms Rawlings was previously a partner in the disputes resolution division at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, where she specialised in competition, regulation and consumer law. Ms Rawlings holds a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Auckland, and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto, where her study focused on law and economics.

Joseph Liava’a has served on various community boards and panels including the Otara, Dawson Road, Otahuhu, Mangere East, Mangere Bridge, Manurewa, Glen Innes and Wiri Business Associations, Pacific Health and Welfare Inc, Otara Health Charitable Trust (where he is now the interim chief executive), Variety Charity Community Panel, and the Auckland Foundation Research and Grants Panel.

He was previously a consumer law advisor for the former Ministry of Consumer Affairs, private secretary to the Minister of Consumer Affairs, and until recently, Chair of the Vaiola Pacific Budgeting Services Trust (Mangere) and board member for Consumer NZ.

Mr Liava’a has provided consumer law training to budget advice services and community law centres. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Otago, as well as a Bachelor of Laws and a Postgraduate Diploma of Business (Health Management) from the University of Auckland.