Labour says New Zealand needs a single competition regulator across the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors to prevent dominant broadcasters including Sky TV gaining a stranglehold on emerging internet TV.
Labour's communications and broadcasting spokeswoman Clare Curran said Labour wanted a shared policy, regulatory and legislative framework across the broadcasting, telecommunications and internet sectors.
"Many other countries including the United Kingdom and Australia have already taken this approach.
"As the technologies converge a number of issues arise around the networks that will be needed to carry both content produced inside New Zealand and that which comes from outside the country," she said.
Labour wanted a "single powerful regulator" for telecommunications and broadcasting and it would begin work towards that within six months of taking office if it won the election.
"It is our expectation that the converged regulator will be located within the Commerce Commission and would obtain any additional resources required by means of an industry levy system," she said.
"Labour would have particular regard to addressing the impact of monopolies in both the telecommunications and broadcasting marketplaces."
There was a lack of competition regulation in the broadcasting sector which had left it "skewed", contributing to the situation where the pay TV market was dominated by Sky TV, Curran said.
A new single regulator was likely to deal with issues around Sky's dominance in that market.
There was a risk that if no suitable regulation of broadcast and emerging digital media was developed, the incumbent broadcast companies, including Sky, were likely to entrench their market power in the new market, she said.
"Certainly if we re-elect a National Government and there's no regulatory environment then that is most likely to happen."
Elsewhere in Labour's policy package the party endorses the UN's view that access to the internet is now "a fundamental human right" and would, within three months of taking office, amend the Copyright Act to remove the ability of District Courts to suspend internet users' accounts for illegal file sharing.
That contentious measure was a watered down version of the sanctions originally put in place by Labour in its version of the act.