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Progress updating consumer law for the 21st Century

Hon Craig Foss

Minister of Consumer Affairs
17 April 2013 Media Statement

Progress updating consumer law for the 21st Century

Consumer Affairs Minister Craig Foss today introduced a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) as part of on-going work to reform New Zealand’s consumer law.

“The Consumer Law Reform Bill is one of the most significant changes to our consumer laws in more than twenty years,” says Mr Foss.

“It’s time to update the law to include modern transactions. This Bill will better cover Trade Me-style auctions, supermarket self-service systems, telephone sales using credit cards, and the sale of extended warranties,” says Mr Foss.

The Bill will also help remove hidden costs to consumers by incentivising suppliers to be more transparent about the terms in their standard form contracts.

The SOP includes:

• Clarifications to provisions relating to the internet and changes in technology, such as mobile applications

• New commencement times for contracting out provisions and unfair contract terms to allow enough time to educate consumers and businesses about the changes

• Clarification of the price disclosure rules for uninvited direct sales, particularly when the cost cannot be calculated at the time, such as for mobile phone or electricity services.

To view the SOP and further information about the Consumer Law Reform Bill, visit http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2011/0287/latest/versions.aspx

“These reforms will promote confident, well-informed consumers to help drive competition and innovation,” says Mr Foss.

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