Publications & Resources

“Regulating Cryptocurrencies in New Zealand”

Researchers/Authors: Associate Professor Alexandra Sims, Dr Kanchana Kariyawasam, Professor David Mayes

Released 28 September 2018
NZ needs to jump on blockchain train – A central bank-issued cryptocurrency, thriving cryptocurrency exchanges and the ability for businesses to trade in GST-free cryptocurrency are needed if Aotearoa New Zealand is to enjoy the vast potential benefits from this technology, a new report finds.
A team of legal and banking experts have recommended a regulatory framework for blockchain. Their report warns against the Government attempting to ban the use of cryptocurrencies and argues the Government should instead actively support New Zealand becoming a blockchain and financial technology (fintech) hub.

The report’s recommendations are:

  • The New Zealand Government should continue to allow cryptocurrencies to be traded as well as used for the payment of goods and services within and outside New Zealand
  • Greater advice and protection for consumers on cryptocurrencies by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and others
  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) trials the creation and issuance of a New Zealand cryptocurrency
  • New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchanges be encouraged, with clear and detailed guidance provided as to their anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing obligations by both the DIA and FMA
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges that comply with these safeguards must have access to bank accounts with New Zealand banks
  • Merchants must be able to accept cryptocurrency payments for under NZD100 or payment through a compliant exchange
  • GST is removed from cryptocurrencies used to pay for goods and services
  • The Inland Revenue Department accepts cryptocurrencies for the payment of taxes
  • New Zealand should follow countries such as the UK and Australia in creating a regulatory sandbox and ensure that the regulators work alongside fintech companies
Full report in PDF – 179 pages
Media advisory, 28 Sept 2018
Radio NZ Nine to Noon podcast – Kathryn Ryan interviews Assoc Prof Alex Sims – 28th Sept – 22 mins 2018
Link to the Principal Investigator’s webpage


“Realising the Potential of Driverless Vehicles – recommendations for law reform”

Researcher/Author: Michael Cameron

Released April 2018

This major study finds law change is needed soon to ensure driverless vehicles can be used legally on New Zealand roads.  Study author Michael Cameron says a complete overhaul of law and policy around driverless vehicles is required.

Issues raised in Michael Cameron’s study relate to the research themes and focus of the Law Foundation’s Information Law and Policy Project. Michael was awarded the Law Foundation’s 2016 International Research Fellowship to undertake research on driverless vehicles.

Full report in PDF – 192 pages
Hard copies are available at Unity Books
Brief overview of the report – pdf 2 pages
Links to photos from Unity Books launch on 19th April


“Regulation of New Technology: Institutions and Processes”

Researcher/Author: James Every-Palmer

Released March 2018

The rapid development and uptake of information technology has had a significant impact on how New Zealanders work and socialize, and on how our economy and occupations are organised. This paper contributes to a conversation about the implications of technology change for good regulatory practice in terms of our institutions and processes. This paper asks whether some sorts of institutions and processes are likely to be better suited to accommodating and regulating technological changes than others.

The author identifies six broad policy issues that often arise in relation to new digital technologies and need to be considered by our regulatory systems. In addition, the author sets out and discusses five steps that we should taking now to be in the best position to adjust our regulatory settings to accommodate and/or regulate new technologies in the future.

Full report in PDF – 23 pages
Link to James Every-Palmer’s webpages for ILAPP grants


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