New Zealand introduces legislation to stamp out unfair business practices

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Kris Faafoi
Kris Faafoi

NEW Zealand, on Tuesday introduced legislation to Parliament about the impacts of unfair business and commercial practices in the country.

According to the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, Kris Faafoi, The Fair Trading Amendment Bill will make two major changes to better protect consumers and businesses, with the first set of changes to prohibit unconscionable conduct.

“This is effectively serious misconduct that goes far beyond what is commercially necessary or appropriate. Businesses that are found to act unconscionably will face fines of up to 600,000 NZ dollars (or 394,491 U.S. dollars).

“The second set of changes extends existing protections against unfair contract terms in standard form consumer contracts so they also apply to business-to-business trading relationships with a value below 250,000 NZ dollars per year.

“These changes to the Fair Trading Act will draw a line in the sand about acceptable standards of commercial conduct in New Zealand,“Faafoi said.

He said that the government had clear expectations that business practices could be conducted fairly and reasonably, adding that honest businesses should have no cause for concern about the changes.

The changes will improve protections for consumers against mobile traders and predatory loan shark behaviour.

The Fair Trading Amendment Bill will have its first reading early in 2020.

According to the Minister of Small Business, Stuart Nash, I heard too many stories about one-sided contracts, extended payment terms, and pressure tactics that are hurting small businesses and consumers.

“Unfair practices make it hard for New Zealand businesses to focus on what really matters, developing their products and services, innovating and growing their business. It also leads to real hardship for consumers,” Nash said. (Xinhua/NAN)

– Dec. 17, 2019 @ 12:42 GMT |

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