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"Simply New Zealand" quite simply not


Media Release

Issued 17 July 2002-03 / 011

"Simply New Zealand" quite simply not

Souvenir and tourist retailer, Simply New Zealand, was fined $3,000 in the Auckland District Court today for breaching the Fair Trading Act regarding country of origin claims on souvenir t-shirts sold in its Wellington Airport and central Christchurch shops.

This follows a successful Commerce Commission prosecution of Christchurch souvenir retailer All Star Trading in March this year. Director of Fair Trading, Deborah Battell said New Zealand made souvenir clothing can command a price premium of 35%.

"Tourists along with other consumers should be able to rely on the accuracy of representations being made.

"Imported goods that imply they are of New Zealand origin are competing unfairly with those made in New Zealand."

A Commerce Commission investigation last year revealed Simply New Zealand were selling t-shirts on which the logos, neck and swing tag labelling implied the garments were made in New Zealand. "Made in Pakistan" labels were sewn in the inside side seams of the garments.

In addition, signage outside both the Wellington and Christchurch shops stated "Simply New Zealand, the Great New Zealand Shop", with exterior signage at the Wellington Airport shop also stating "Original Gifts from New Zealand".

The placement of the labels, combined with the signage, created the impression the garments were made in New Zealand when they were not.

Under the Fair Trading Act, it is illegal to make false or misleading representations concerning the place of origin of goods. The Place of Origin Labelling Regulations require place of origin labels to be accessible for examination by a prospective purchaser.

Judge Lockhart said that whilst the conduct was not deliberate, the defendant had nonetheless displayed a degree of carelessness. "The implied origin of the shirts was false - the design, logo and pictures were all placed in New Zealand - but the fact remains that the t-shirts were made in Pakistan."

Background


Simply New Zealand has eight retail outlets throughout New Zealand. In March 2002, Christchurch souvenir retailer, All Star Trading Limited, was fined a total of $5,200 in the Christchurch District Court. It admitted a total of eight breaches of the Fair Trading Act and non-compliance with the Consumer Information Standards regarding country of origin claims on t-shirts sold in its two central city stores in Christchurch.

ENDS


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