Law Society of New Zealand Aotearoa has accepted in principle the proposal for an independent regulator. This proposal comes from the independent Review Report carried out recently into the future structure of regulation in New Zealand. The primary recommendation from the review was the creation of an independent regulator, as the current structure of regulation in New Zealand has the Law Society acting as regulator and membership body.
The Law Society has accepted this structure is an outlier among other overseas regulatory systems, as well as other professional regulators in New Zealand.
The proposal for an independent regulator will require its own process to determine the structure and governance of this regulator, what functions it would perform and what the relationship would be with the membership body.
The Law Society has accepted or accepted in principle the majority of the other recommendations by the Review including the inclusion of a te Tiriti clause in the new legislation, which would apply to those exercising regulatory functions. As well as the legal regulator is not responsible for the regulation of non-lawyer providers of legal services. The Law Society has accepted this but suggested there needs to be further discussion regarding whether these entities need regulation in another form to protect consumers.