Unfair commercial practices
The Government has introduced additional protections for businesses and consumers against unfair commercial practices.
Fair Trading Amendment Act
In August 2021, Parliament passed the Fair Trading Amendment Act 2021, which introduces new protections against unfair conduct and unfair business-to-business contract terms.
The Amendment Act:
- introduces a prohibition against unconscionable conduct relating to the supply or acquisition of goods or services.
- extends the existing protections against unfair contract terms in standard form consumer contract terms to also apply to standard form business contracts with a value below $250,000 in a year.
- strengthens the ability of consumers to require uninvited sellers to leave, or not enter, their residential premises, including through the use of written signs such as ‘Do Not Knock’ stickers. These decisions were made as part of the Government’s review of consumer credit law in 2018.
These changes come into effect on 16 August 2022.
Read the Amendment Act on the New Zealand Legislation website.
Fair Trading Amendment Act 2021(external link) — New Zealand Legislation
The Commerce Commission is developing guidance on these changes.
Background: policy decisions
Between December 2018 and February 2019, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) consulted on options to introduce new protections against unfair conduct and unfair business-to-business contract terms.
You can read more about the changes in these documents:
- Unfair commercial practices: Policy decisions [PDF 214KB]
- Unfair commercial practices: Policy decisions - Minute of Decision [PDF 393KB]
- Impact Statement: Protecting business and consumers from unfair commercial practices [PDF 970KB]
- Fair Trading Amendment Bill: Approval for introduction [PDF 141KB]
- Fair Trading Amendment Bill: Approval for introduction - Minute of Decision [PDF 185KB]