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International website that protects consumers

25 April 2001
Media Statement

Anderton backs NZ involvement in new international website that protects consumers

Acting Consumer Affairs Minister today backed New Zealand involvement in an international website that will allow consumers to make complaints about web retailers in other countries.

The new website (econsumer.gov) is being launched in the USA by the International Marketing Supervision Network at 3am New Zealand time 25 April 2001. Twelve countries are participating including Sweden, Australia, the USA, UK, and Korea.

"econsumer.gov is a major step in supporting consumers rights. Not only can customers make complaints but using the new site New Zealanders can find out about the laws in other countries and their complaints can be passed to law enforcement agencies," said Acting Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Anderton today.

"This is a ground-breaking initiative as up until now the borderless nature of Internet shopping has frustrated both consumers and governments. This will mean that if something goes wrong, consumers have a single complaint point. It will greatly improve the ability of international enforcement agencies to address cross-border Internet fraud and deception, and where appropriate will enable them to bring faster, better cases against those who break the law,

"This move backs the new eMarketing Standards Authority and the excellent work of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to protect the rights of customers of web retailers," said Jim Anderton.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs monitors New Zealand sites as part of internet sweeps and has guidelines as to what information should be on New Zealand based websites.
The eMarketing Standards Authority also has a code which all members of the Advertising Standards Authority and the Direct Marketing Association should comply with.


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