Protecting businesses and consumers from unfair commercial practices

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Submissions due: 25 February 2019, 9am

We are considering whether there is a need for additional protections for businesses and consumers against unfair commercial practices, and are seeking your feedback.

About the consultation

We are considering whether there is a need for additional protections for businesses and consumers against unfair commercial practices, and we are seeking your feedback.

What is ‘unfair’ is subjective. However, it can broadly be grouped into 2 categories:

  • unfair contracts – this may include contract terms which shift risk from one party to another, make it difficult for a party to terminate a contract, or are otherwise very one-sided
  • unfair conduct outside of the terms of a contract itself – this may include the use of pressure tactics, deceptive conduct, or the way a contract is enforced.

While there are already a range of protections against unfair commercial practices contained in legislation such as the Fair Trading Act 1986 and the Commerce Act 1986, we want to test if there are any gaps in existing legislation.

If gaps in existing legislation are identified, the discussion document considers options to:

  • introduce a prohibition against unconscionable, oppressive, or unfair conduct
  • extend the existing protections against unfair contract terms in standard form consumer contract terms to also protect businesses

Related document

You can find more information in the Cabinet Paper: Unfair commercial practices - Release of discussion document.

Cabinet Paper: Unfair commercial practices - Release of discussion document [PDF, 59 KB].

How to make a submission

If you wish to make a written submission, we encourage you to use the submissions template below. Please include your name and (if applicable) the name of your organisation in your submission.

Submissions-template: Protecting businesses consumers from unfair commercial practices

You can either email or post your submission to us:

Competition and Consumer Policy
Building, Resources and Markets
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
PO Box 1473
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Your submission may respond to any or all of the issues in this paper, or raise issues not covered in the paper. Where possible, please include evidence to support your views, for example references to independent research, facts and figures, or relevant examples.

Talk to us if you have questions

We would also like to discuss these issues in person with interested parties. Please email competition.policy@mbie.govt.nz if you would like to meet with us.

Please direct any questions that you have in relation to the submissions process to cameron.vannisselroy@mbie.govt.nz.

Submissions close at 9am on Monday, 25 February 2019