The Consumer Law Reform Bill, which will strengthen consumer rights, simplify business compliance and ensure consumer protections are clear and accessible according to Consumer Affairs Minister Craig Foss, has passed its third reading in Parliament.
“The Consumer Law Reform Bill represents the most significant change to New Zealand’s consumer law in more than twenty years," says Foss.
“Improving our regulatory framework will empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and support good business practices. These changes will drive competition, innovation and growth in our economy."
Foss says some of the key changes for business and consumers include:
· Protection under the Consumer Guarantees Act will include online business and auction sites such as Trade Me
· Traders will be liable if goods don’t arrive on time, or are damaged
· A five working day cooling off period will apply to uninvited direct door-to-door and telephone sales.
· New disclosure rules affecting extended warranties
· A new provision will require traders to be able to substantiate any claims they make as opposed to the Commerce Commission having to test the claim.
Foss says the new law also aligns New Zealand more closely with Australian consumer law, a significant step in progressing the Government’s Single Economic Market agenda.
Following its third reading in Parliament the Bill just requires Royal assent from the Governor-General.
More information on the Consumer Law Reform and the changes can be seen here.