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Research shows consumers confident in NZ market

Hon Judith Tizard

Minister of Consumer Affairs

15 November 2005 Media Statement

Research shows consumers confident in New Zealand marketplace

Research released today by Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard shows that consumers are generally confident in the way that the New Zealand marketplace operates.

“The 2005 National Consumer Survey shows that consumers are largely confident with the traders they deal with,” said Judith Tizard.

The purpose of the research was to gather data on New Zealanders’ experience, awareness and understanding of consumer rights in the marketplace.

“Consumers do not on the whole expect problems to occur. They perceive the New Zealand marketplace as a good trading environment,” said Judith Tizard.

This is not to say that problems do not arise; from the consumer’s point of view adverse events are quite common. However, they rarely have an economic impact and many are readily resolved by the consumer approaching the trader.

The report notes that although consumers are aware that there are consumer protection laws, many people are not aware of the details. Similarly the resolution facility, the Disputes Tribunal, although not spontaneously brought to mind, is widely recognised once mentioned to people.

A reasonable conclusion from the survey findings is that the overwhelming majority of adverse consumer to trader events are relatively incidental. They are very rarely expressions of systematic attempts by traders or a trading sector to profit unfairly.

The nationwide survey of a random sample of 1,000 consumers aged over 18 was conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs during June and July 2005. Interviews were conducted in person at the households of the respondents.

A copy of the research report, National Consumer Survey on Awareness and Experience of Consumer Legislation, is available on the Ministry of Consumer Affairs website – www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz – in the Policy, Law and Research section.


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