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Electronic Transactions Bill Tabled

Information Technology Minister Paul Swain says the Electronic Transactions Bill tabled in Parliament this week is good news for business.

"Not only does this Bill help reduce compliance costs, it also enables a whole new phase in the rollout of e-government," Paul Swain said.

"The aim of the Electronic Transactions Bill is to allow thousands of statutory legal requirements for writing, signature, and retention and production of documents to be met using electronic methods.

"Government departments did a mammoth trawl through their legislation last year to prepare for the Bill and identify a small number of exclusions.

"The Commerce Select Committee received some excellent submissions during its deliberations and has refined technical aspects of the Bill and reduced the number of exclusions.

"The New Zealand Electronic Transactions Bill excludes only six Acts in their entirety, compared to 30 Acts excluded from similar Australian legislation.

"A number of exclusions have been allowed simply because permitting the use of electronic methods is being addressed through other avenues - for example the current review of electoral legislation, and mooted changes in land legislation [to allow for electronic lodgment and land titles dealings].

"The Bill specifically enables Courts and Tribunals to use electronic methods through making changes in their rules or through issuing guidelines. The onus will be on the Courts to quickly make these changes," Paul Swain said.

Ends

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