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Electronic Transactions Bill Passed

Electronic Transactions Bill Passed

Minister for Information Technology Paul Swain said is pleased to announce that the Electronic Transactions Bill was passed into law this afternoon.

“This Act, which puts electronic transactions on the same legal footing as paper-based transactions, has been eagerly awaited by the business community,” said Mr Swain. “It will allow the thousands of statutory legal requirements for writing, signature and retention and production of documents to be met using electronic methods.

“The Act will help reduce business compliance costs by allowing the use of electronic transactions and the electronic storage of information instead of paper-based processes. It will also make possible a whole new level of E-Government, enabling electronic methods to eventually become the dominant means of interacting with government.

“As such the ACT is a key part of the government’s E-Commerce Strategy and E-Government Strategies. It also contributes to the Growth and Innovation Framework by allowing for the increased the local demand for Information and Communications Technologies.

Based on the Model Law on Electronic Commerce issued by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (or UNCITRAL), the Act closely follows the Australian Electronic Transactions Act, minimising transactions costs for exporters in our largest export market.

"The Act excludes a limited number of statutory provisions and types of transactions,” said Mr Swain. “Such exclusions are common in similar legislation overseas and are directed at safeguarding the rights and interests of business and consumers and ensuring that electronic methods cannot be inappropriately used. There will be a mandatory review of the exclusions after two years.

“The Act is a world-class piece of legislation. It will not only deliver the benefits to business and the public sector I have outlined, but it will substantially enhance New Zealand's international reputation as a leading country in electronic commerce and e-government.”

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