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Statement From The Alpha Club New Zealand



The High Court of New Zealand has ruled against a Commerce Commission interpretation of Section 24 of the Fair Trading Act, that the Commission had sought to apply to international travel and benefits programme operated for it's members, by Alpha Club New Zealand.

The Club had been accused of being a pyramid selling scheme, given its direct marketing approach to memberships. However, the Court has ruled that the Commerce Commission cannot ignore the benefits available to members of the Club through its benefits programme, in determining whether there was a breach of Section 24. The nature of Alpha Club's benefits programme is described in the judgement.

"We are gratified that the Court agreed with our interpretation of the law," said Alpha Club general counsel, Richard Lawrence. "We are not a pyramid selling scheme. We are an organisation which has the standing and buying power to negotiate discounts on products and services for members that might not ordinarily be available to them. We are a business that delivers real benefit to our members and believe that stands up against the closest scrutiny.

Since beginning operations in New Zealand in 1999, we believe we have been in full compliance with all applicable law. The substantial benefits of Alpha Club membership have always been at the heart of the Alpha Club, and with this ruling, we will now be able to expand on these benefits for New Zealand members."

Alpha Club was awarded costs of the hearing.


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