Tony Baldwin
Business | Policy

Model Retail Contract Project
July 2003 - May 2004


The project team was established by the electricity industry in response to a Government Policy Statement (GPS) of February 2002.
The GPS stated that then proposed Electricity Governance Board should draw up a model contract for domestic consumers, in consultation with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and consumer representatives.


To develop fair and efficient model retail contracts for domestic electricity consumers

Team members

The project team comprised consumer, retailer and distributor representatives, and an independent chair. The members were:

Tony Baldwin, Independent Chair
Bill Boyd (then Ian Burgess), Contact Energy
Clive Bull, Vector
Graham Pinnell (then Paul Doocey,) Consumer representatives
Josephine Bartley, Min. Consumer Affairs
Mel Orange, Meridian Energy
Peter Rutledge, Consumer representatives
Scott Harnett, Trustpower
Steve Rawson, Mighty River Power


The project team agreed on the following principles to guide its work:

  • Meet consumers' requirements for electricity in a manner that is least cost to the economy as a whole and is consistent with sustainable development, as set out in the GPS
  • Specify the rights and obligations of the contracting parties, and the means by which these may be changed over time, in plain English
  • Ensure that the model retail contract encourages innovation and competition in the retail electricity market
  • Incorporate features and obligations based on cost/benefit analysis
  • Take into consideration other model agreements and codes of practice that have been developed for use within the electricity industry

The project team also took into account:

  • Domestic retail contracts already in use by electricity retailers around the country
  • The model distribution contract developed by the Model Distribution Arrangement Project (MDAP) in 2003
  • The Electricity Complaints Commission's Code of Practice, and review of the code
  • Model contracts developed in some Australian states


The team developed two draft model retail contracts:

  • One for interposed arrangements, where the lines company contracts with the retailer, and the retailer contracts with the consumer
  • Another for conveyance arrangements, where the lines company contracts directly with the consumer

A copy of these draft contracts can be read below.

Transfer to Electricity Commission

In September 2003, the Government issued a revised draft Government Policy Statement, which passed responsibility for preparing the Model Retail Contract to the Electricity Commission. In May 2004, the project team's draft model contracts were transferred to the Commission, which formed an advisory group to review the team's proposals.



Part of the above summary was adapted from the MARIA Governance Board's Annual Review 2003/04