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Two members of the Commerce Commission appointed

30 October 2019


The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today confirmed the appointments of Dr Derek Johnston, and the reappointment of Elisabeth Welson, as members of the Commerce Commission.

The appointments were made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi as the Minister responsible for the Commerce Commission. MBIE is the Commission’s monitoring agent.

Dr Johnston has been appointed for a term of five years, taking effect from 1 November 2019.

Ms Welson will continue as a member of the Commission for a further two years after her current term comes to an end on 31 March 2020.

Following the two appointments, the Board of the Commerce Commission will comprise six members including the Chair, Deputy Chair and Telecommunications Commissioner. The Board also includes four associate members, including one cross-appointed from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

About the appointees

Dr Derek Johnston is a commercial barrister and arbitrator practising at Thorndon Chambers in Wellington since 2011. He has extensive expertise and experience in competition and commercial law, including advising in key sectors such as dairy, telecommunications, gas and electricity. He has advised on many significant acquisitions and other major commercial transactions and arrangements.

Past roles include being the independent Chair of NZX’s Regulatory Governance Committee and the Chair of the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal. He has been endorsed in Best Lawyers International for New Zealand as Energy Lawyer of the Year (Wellington, 2012) and Capital Markets Lawyer of the Year (Wellington 2020 and 2016). He was also jointly recognised for the Capital Markets Deal of the Year at the 2014 New Zealand Law Awards. Prior to 2011, he was a corporate partner at Russell McVeagh.

Elisabeth Welson was an associate member of the Commerce Commission between 2012 and 2013, and has been a full member since 2013. She is a lawyer and former senior commercial partner at Simpson Grierson. She is currently a member of the Institute of Directors of New Zealand. Ms Welson has significant expertise in competition, consumer and regulatory law, along with general commercial and governance experience.

She is involved in a wide range of work across the Commerce Commission, including in its implementation of the new regulatory framework for telecommunications under the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Act 2018.

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