Principal Economist and Director
Emma Ihaia specialises in competition analysis and regulatory economics, with 25 years of experience in this field. As a Principal Economist for Link Economics, Emma has been retained as an expert in the context of regulatory investigations and consultations, competition assessments, legal proceedings and government reviews.
Emma was the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council’s (FGC’s) economic advisor throughout the Commerce Commission’s grocery market study, and assessed the market effects of excessive buyer power, the effect of private labels on competition, barriers to entry and expansion, and the extent of competitive constraints on the main supermarket banners. She also provided expert economic evidence for successful applications to the Commerce Commission for authorisation of collective bargaining by chicken growers who supply Tegel Foods Limited. Emma recently prepared an expert report that examined the public benefits and detriments of a proposed spectrum sharing arrangement between Telstra Corporation Limited and TPG Telecom Limited in Australia.
Emma previously held a senior management position at an electricity distributor where her responsibilities included network pricing strategy and regulatory compliance. Over a period of 4 years Emma led the Electricity Networks Association’s working group initiatives on pricing reform in New Zealand.
Emma’s professional career has also included working as an economics consultant with NECG, Charles River Associates and Concept Economics for a range of clients both domestic and internationally. While telecommunications and electricity networks have been areas of special focus, she has also worked on projects relating to airlines, postal services, medical supplies, financial services, transport and pay television. Emma holds a Master of the Arts (First Class Honours) in Economics from the University of Auckland for which her thesis examined access pricing arrangements between monopolistic networks.