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Commerce and Consumer Affairs priorities progressed

Commerce and Consumer Affairs priorities progressed by Australian meetings

Hon Kris Faafoi
Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Commerce and Consumer Affairs priorities will be discussed at key meetings to be undertaken while Hon Kris Faafoi is in Sydney at the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum in Australia tomorrow (Friday).

While accompanying the Prime Minister and New Zealand delegation to the forum, Mr Faafoi has identified opportunities to learn from Australian experiences in key areas including open banking. Mr Faafoi will meet with Scott Farrell, chair of the Australian Open banking review.

Mr Faafoi says that our neighbours in Australia have completed an Open Banking review, so it is timely to seek learnings that may apply to New Zealand.

“The key findings of the Australian review make sense to me and I share the view that open banking has real benefits to offer consumers if it is truly consumer focussed. The review also suggests open banking can encourage competition and create opportunities for other New Zealand businesses but to do that we need an efficient and fair model that enables rather than limits participation.

“So there is an opportunity to hear more about how Australia thinks it can do this – and at the same time we also need to ensure privacy and security issues are addressed. It will be extremely useful to hear from the Chair on the recommendations of the Australian review of Open Banking.”

Mr Faafoi will also meet with the Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Rod Sims, the equivalent of the New Zealand Commerce Commission.

Mr Faafoi says he hopes to hear how Australia is using its misuse of market powers provisions, and its work in exploring market studies powers. Mr Faafoi has indicated he supports provision of market studies powers to the New Zealand Commerce Commission, and this is a useful opportunity to further discuss the costs and benefits given the Australian government has looked at the market studies powers option.

Implementation of the cartels criminalisation regime will also be discussed.

Australia has had criminal penalties since 2009, but last month laid criminal charges for the first time against individuals and a company using these powers. Mr Faafoi introduced legislation last month to provide criminal penalties in New Zealand, with the aim of protecting consumers and honest business from the worst cartel type behaviours.

Mr Faafoi will also meet with Hon Craig Laundy, Australian Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation. Topics of interest to Mr Faafoi include Australian unconscionable conduct provisions, and the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (which is being established to provide consumer access to dispute resolution and covers banking, insurance, super funds and some credit providers).

Mr Faafoi is also attending scheduled ANZLF events.

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