Susy Frankel and John Yeabsley

Framing the Commons: Cross-Cutting Issues in Regulation


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May 2014

Regulation, whatever its shape or form, is integral to the lives of all New Zealanders. As ongoing problems such as the leaky homes saga show, badly designed and poorly implemented regulation can cost the taxpayer millions. Framing the Commons is a product of the Regulatory Reform Project, a $1.85 million research project led by Victoria University Law School (partnering with NZIER and Chapman Tripp) and funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation.

Framing the Commons analyses the challenges of developing regulation in New Zealand, including how to work with New Zealand’s unique features; the role of experimentation, monitoring and review; finding the balance between certainty and discretion in regulation; and the pros and cons of the analytical techniques (such as cost-benefit analysis) that are used for evaluating regulations once they are implemented. It makes a strong case for focusing on the early stages of the regulation-making process and building in better processes to learn from existing regulation, in order to improve the flexibility and durability of regulation in New Zealand.

Susy Frankel is a Professor of Law at Victoria University of Wellington, Director of the New Zealand Centre of International Economic Law, and Leader of the New Zealand Law Foundation Regulatory Reform Project. She has published widely in her specialist area of intellectual property law. 

John Yeabsley is a Senior Fellow at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research. His wide experience in the public and private sector includes time as a trade diplomat, policy advisor, chief executive, board member and consultant.

Paperback, 260 pages

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