The New Zealand emissions trading scheme (NZ ETS) is one of the first national-level GHG trading schemes outside Europe. It is also unique in its design and comprehensive sectoral coverage, including forestry. This paper provides an ex-post-assessment of market behavior in the NZ ETS in its first phase (2008-2012). Findings are based on quantitative evidence on prices and units, as well as qualitative information from interviews and questionnaires of key market participants and authorities. The analytical approach is based on the entire set of flexibilities granted to obliged parties to reduce GHG emissions cost effectively; that is, access to Kyoto Units, range of eligible measures, banking provision, market engagement of non-obliged parties and trading as such. Findings reveal that market behavior responds to the unique design of the NZ ETS, in particular to the access and price of Kyoto Units.