Chapter 1

Our conclusions

1.22We have concluded that while the intent behind pecuniary penalties is to encourage compliance with statutory regimes, they do so by threat of punishment. Their nature as a state-imposed punitive measure needs to be given adequate attention in their design. We consider that they play a valid role as one of a number of penalties and other orders that are available to lawmakers in New Zealand. We also anticipate that the number of pecuniary penalty provisions on the statute book will continue to grow, and that they will be used to deter and penalise a growing range of undesirable conduct.

1.23For the most part, at present, their design is appropriate for their purpose. However, in light of our assessment of the nature of pecuniary penalties and the potential for them to be used with greater frequency, we consider that some aspects of their current legislative design are inappropriate.

1.24More broadly, in the course of our research and analysis a number of themes have emerged. They concern the general approach that should be taken when any new or hybrid form of statutory order or penalty (including pecuniary penalties) is being considered. We highlight these themes here as “key findings” of our review. They should be given adequate attention throughout the policy design process.

Key findings