Anna Rawlings doesn't see herself as the champion of the consumer but more of a leveller in the playing field of business and how the public interacts with it.
The new chair of New Zealand's Commerce Commission, has had her feet under the desk for just two months in the top job.
But after five years at the commission already she is a steady hand on the till after the departure of long-serving chairman Dr Mark Berry.
Rawlings says there are a lot of similarities between her and Berry who finished after 10 years in the top job.
"A lot of the way we work is probably quite similar." Both believe in the importance of the commission's work to New Zealand's economy and its productivity, she says.
But it is the level of workload that has grown and will continue to grow under Rawlings that could have the biggest impact as well as the changing face of doing business through technology.
"We are operating in different times - changing times - the organisation faces some challenges in terms of the operating context and also the growth of the responsibility and functions and changing expectations of us in that regard," says Rawlings.
The commission has expanded from its competition and regulatory focus to include consumer credit over the last five years.
It also regulates the telecommunications and electricity sectors and it about to finish the draft on its first market study on the retail fuel industry.
Alongside that the commission is working on the methodology for how the wholesale cost of fibre will be set and preparing for the criminalisation of cartel behaviour taking effect in 2021.
Rawlings noted at a recent conference that every piece of legislation the commission polices has either been amended, or is expected to be amended.
One that is being amended at the moment is consumer credit law particularly around high interest short term lenders which would see the commission policing the directors and executives of those companies to ensure they pass fit and proper person tests.
To meet the changing workload the commission has increased its staff numbers by 15 per cent in the last year alone to over 250 workers and plans to hire more.
Around 20 per cent of its workforce are now Auckland-based and there will be more beefing up of its Auckland office to come.
Rawlings is based out of the Auckland office in Shortland Street although she flies to Wellington weekly and spends several days there a week.
A born and bred Aucklander she grew up in the eastern suburbs attending Pakuranga College before spending five years studying at Auckland University.
The youngest of three girls Rawlings says she was drawn to law after an older friend decided to pursue it.
"I guess for a lot of people there is a moment in time when something strongly influences you and I had a friend who was a year ahead of me at school and was going to law school.
"I always had a really strong interest and did quite well in English and history and I think I always had quite a strong social policy interest and conscience at school, when I think about it I did a lot of community activity as a teenager and that all really headed me into law."
Rawlings said she knew she would go to university and it seemed like doing an arts degree with a law degree was a sensible thing to do.
"But I'm not a great career planner. It wasn't necessarily the case that I would become a lawyer but once I started doing it I really enjoyed it."
Rawlings Summer clerked at law firm Russell McVeagh and took up a job there for three and half years working in litigation, with some employment law and regulation work.
Like many young Kiwis she then spread her wings moving to Canada to complete a Masters in Law and then travelling for a year.
Returning to New Zealand in 2002 Rawlings was drawn to work for Minter Ellison by its strong competition and dispute resolution work.
A just 33 years of age she was made a partner at the firm, although she downplays the significance of that.
"In those days it wasn't that uncommon [to be a partner in your 30s]. I had a lot of opportunity - really supportive partners that I worked with."
"I did a lot work in the dairy industry, I had a major bank client, electricity sector, a lot of retail, really across the range of sectors."
It was good preparation for her role as a commissioner which she moved to after eight years as a partner.
Rawlings says she was drawn to the commissioner role as it brought together her interests in policy, law and regulation all in one place.
"It is a unique role - the role of the commissioner - you have got a little bit of decision making, a little bit of governance and that really appealed to me."
It also fitted well with her family dynamics allowing her to work 25 to 30 hours a week.
"When I came to the commission I had a two year old. She is now seven. That provided me an opportunity to really mix the work I enjoyed with a little bit of flexibility."
In her five years at the commission Rawlings has sat in on most of its merger applications and been closely involved in its regulation and consumer credit divisions.
The commission's decisions to decline several merger applications including that of Sky Television and Vodafone New Zealand and media companies Stuff and NZME - owner of the Herald - have been seen as controversial.
Rawlings says that for every merger application it sets up a new division with three commissioners to make the decision.
There are currently five commissioners and three associate commissioners and it is recruiting for another commissioner.
Former chair Berry has already spoken out about how the Sky/Vodafone deal was one of the most challenging in his time there.
"The particular difficulty in Sky-Vodafone is that you are speculating about the interactions of different functional levels of markets. You are a making predictions about products - when you don't actually know what they look like yet - and you're then having to predict how consumers are going to respond to those products.
"And that all makes for very difficult and speculative decision-making.
"We had contesting views of the applicants and the opponents, and ultimately it was up to the commission to bring forward its vision of the future," he said at the commission's conference last month.
The commission has prosecuted a string of mobile trucks shops in recent years for breaching consumer credit laws and toy importers for safety issues.
Rawlings says credit issues and product safety are some of its ongoing priorities alongside its merger clearance work and regulation of the energy and telecommunication sectors.
But this year it will also target more resourcing into environmental claims, online retail and motor vehicle financing and add-on products as well as insurance.
"The purchase of a motor vehicle is a major purchase for any consumer. There are a lot of consumers who are deeply reliant on car to get to work and school."
Rawlings says she wants to make sure consumers know their rights when its comes to something going wrong with a second hand vehicle and that those rights aren't being misrepresented by traders.
The commission is also looking at the ways it connect with New Zealanders across the board.
"We are starting to look at whether people know who we are and what we are doing. Everything we do is intended to be for the benefit of New Zealanders and I think the extent that people really understand what it is we are doing isn't as good as it could be - so we will look at that."
It is also looking to engage more with borrowers as well as lenders to talk about consumer credit and in the telecommunications sector it will be asking consumers what they really need to know about their retail telecommunications provider to make good choices about what they want and whether they need to shop around.
"It is important to realise we can't know what people need without actually trying to tap in as much as we can without their own authentic voices. Not just consumers but stakeholders as well."
Rawlings says the commission's ultimate vision and strategy is to make New Zealanders better off.
"That concept of New Zealanders includes consumers at every level and also the businesses operating in New Zealand.
"I think importantly what we do in the competition area and also in relation to fair trading is creating a level playing field for businesses so that it is fair and people who are putting effort into their commercial enterprise are being fairly rewarded for that."
Role: Chair of the Commerce Commission
Education: Bachelor of Arts/LLB Hons from Auckland University; Masters of law at University of Toronto
Career: Worked at Russell McVeagh straight out of law school for three years before moving to Canada to undertake her masters. Returned to New Zealand to work at Minter Ellison in 2002 and became a partner in 2007.
Joined the Commerce Commission in June 2014 as a commissioner and became chair in June this year.
Family: Married with a daughter and husband's two sons.
Last movie watched: Pavarotti
Last book read: The French Girl by Lexie Elliot
Last overseas holiday: England