The Securities Commission is turning its attention to the way firms govern themselves as it seeks to strengthen investors' confidence in firms' financial reporting.
The regulator is reviewing the level and quality of reporting on corporate governance, as set out in a Securities Commission handbook in 2004.
The organisation Chartered Secretaries, which focuses on governance, has about 1,200 members in New Zealand.
Chief executive Grant Diggle says the commission is taking a good first step, but research by his organisation has found serious omissions in the governance of companies.
Mr Diggle says the commission should also look at requirements of other countries that New Zealand wants to trade with. He says New Zealand's system falls short of that in Australia.
He says New Zealand investors are not being told the whole story.