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Labour puts spotlight on consumers rights



Consumer Affairs Spokesperson

18 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT

Labour puts spotlight on consumers rights

Labour is committed to protecting vulnerable consumers from unethical and predatory practices, says Labour’s spokesperson for Consumer Affairs Carol Beaumont.

“Consumer protection laws should give all New Zealanders the confidence to make purchases in the knowledge that the products and services they consume are safe,” Carol Beaumont said.

“New Zealanders are struggling with the rising cost of living. Labour recognises this and understands that publicised cost comparisons can push prices down. In response to concerns about lack of competition and transparency, Labour will investigate the development of a Code of Practice in the supermarket industry.

“Labour will also support the Commerce Commission to ensure it has the resources it needs to operate effectively.

“Labour recognises the special needs of vulnerable consumers and will require information around dispute resolution, advice and consumer advocacy to be provided in alternative languages. We will make education and budgeting services more accessible to vulnerable consumers as well as information around financial literacy and consumer rights.

“Further measures Labour will undertake include:

• Addressing the recommendations of the Consumer Law Review and use those to develop updated, principles-based legislation that enhances consumer protection.

• Consider how to improve consumer access to country of origin information, especially in relation to food and increase the availability of environmental sustainability ratings for consumer products.

• Streamline consumer safety standards and protections if required, and ensure the Commerce Commission and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs have the resources to do their job effectively.

• Improve access to consumer credit on a fair and reasonable basis

“Importantly Labour will continue its campaign against loan sharks and legislate against the practices of predatory lenders with its first twelve months,” Carol Beaumont said.


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