Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean today welcomed the passing of a bill that will benefit businesses and consumers by providing greater certainty for firms to collaborate and compete.
The Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill allows for a wider range of collaboration between firms to help them to produce new products at lower cost.
“Joint ventures are a great example of collaboration. They can help businesses innovate and help exporters tap into overseas markets,” Ms Dean says.
Wine and spirit producers are now able to register geographical indications, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean says.
“The Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006 came into force today, allowing wine and spirit makers to protect and associate themselves with particular regions,” Ms Dean says.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean has today released the terms of reference for a review of the Copyright Act 1994.
“Copyright affects how people create, distribute and access information,” Ms Dean says.
“It is important we ensure our copyright regime is fit for purpose in today’s rapidly changing technological environment.
“Launching a review now will also build on the insights of the Government’s Study of the role of copyright and designs in the creative sector, completed last year.
New Zealanders will be able to better manage the risks of methamphetamine in residential properties following the release of a new standard, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean say.
“The new standard is a huge step forward in helping home owners and tenants deal with the risks of methamphetamine contamination. It will give people greater confidence and certainty, will result in hundreds fewer properties having to be vacated and save millions in unnecessary decontamination work,” Dr Smith says.
Proposed changes to the Commerce Act will promote better competition in New Zealand, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean says.
Following a review of the Act, the Government is recommending that the Commerce Commission be allowed to undertake market studies.
“These proposals would include empowering the Commerce Commission to undertake market studies and improve its enforcement actions without having to go to court,” Ms Dean says.
“This will allow the Government to be proactive, rather than reactive.
The Government will join an international treaty to improve access to written materials for blind and visually impaired New Zealanders, Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean say.
The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled is an international framework that will enable the reproduction and distribution of books and other literary works in accessible formats.
Nine people have been appointed to a working group to develop the new code of conduct for financial advice, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean announced today.
“The new code of conduct will be wider in scope than the existing code and will set standards of competence, conduct and client-care for the whole financial advice industry,” Ms Dean says.
A new information programme has been launched to educate New Zealand businesses and consumers about their rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean says.
“The highest volume of calls received by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) and partner agencies relate to the Consumer Guarantees Act, which is a good indication people know about the Act,” Ms Dean says.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean has today announced the appointment of Elizabeth Longworth to the Financial Markets Authority.
“I am pleased to confirm Ms Longworth’s appointment to the FMA for a term of three years,” Ms Dean says.
“Ms Longworth brings to the FMA strong international policy and regulatory experience, as well as valuable governance and legal experience.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean has announced the reappointment of Roger Wallis to the Takeovers Panel for a twelve month term.
“I am pleased Mr Wallis will continue to share his expertise for another twelve months, ensuring the Panel continues to benefit from his practical experience in takeovers and securities regulation,” Ms Dean says.
Listed companies and other financial markets businesses will now have alternative options for sending annual reports, saving them money and time, says Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean.
“Cabinet has agreed to changes to the Financial Markets Conduct Regulations 2014 which will allow ‘FMC reporting entities’ to reduce the number of annual reports they send,” Ms Dean says.
“This will result in time and cost savings, and a reduction in the amount of paper required.
The Government has today released its response to the Retirement Commissioner’s review on retirement income policies, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean says.
“Earlier this year the Government announced key changes to superannuation settings which are in line with the Commissioner’s recommendation,” Ms Dean says.
“The review also addressed other key areas including KiwiSaver settings, the ageing workforce, and assistance to vulnerable groups in retirement.
Today Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean issued updates to the fees section of the Responsible Lending Code.
“The Code gives lenders guidance on how to implement the new obligations set out in the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA),” Ms Dean says.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean today announced the reappointment of Tracey Berry as a member of the Financial Advisers Disciplinary Committee for a term of five years.
“Ms Berry was appointed to the disciplinary committee in December 2010. Ms Berry brings to the role more than 20 years’ experience in financial services, specialising in wealth management, regulatory affairs, compliance and distribution,” Ms Dean says.
“I am pleased to be able to reappoint someone of Ms Berry’s calibre to this committee.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean today welcomed the Financial Markets Authority annual survey results which shows confidence in New Zealand’s financial markets rose nine per cent in 2016.
“Investor confidence has shown a strong increase since last year. This follows significant reforms by the Government of the investment regulatory landscape,” Ms Dean says.
Budget 2017 is investing $10.2 million of operating funding over the next four years for initiatives to improve the financial capability of young New Zealanders, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean says.
“This additional funding confirms our commitment to helping young New Zealanders to better manage their finances, as was signalled in the 2015 Government statement on building financial capability,” Ms Dean says.
A bill that introduces a new public interest test into the anti-dumping regime has passed its final reading, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean announced today.
“The public interest test will weigh up the benefits of at-the-border duties on dumped products and subsidised goods, which are aimed at protecting domestic manufacturers, against the wider benefits to the public of cheaper goods in important industries like new home construction,” Ms Dean says.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean today released the second and final part of the insolvency law review by the Insolvency Working Group.
“The Insolvency Working Group was established in November 2015 to examine aspects of corporate insolvency law, and presented its first report in July 2016,” Ms Dean says.
“The working groups’ second report focuses on two important areas, voidable transactions and whether the procedures for dealing with the liquidation of Ponzi schemes can be improved.
A survey asking what New Zealanders know about their consumer rights shows 96 per cent of Kiwis are aware that laws exist to protect consumer rights, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean says.
“The National Consumer Survey, run by Consumer Protection, aims to gain a better understanding of what consumers know about their rights when they’ve experienced issues, and how they’ve tried to resolve those issues,” Ms Dean says.
The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) has been ranked number one in the world for its online capabilities by the World Trademark Review says Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean.
“We are focused as a Government on providing an environment and the tools to help kiwi businesses get ahead, and it is great to have the efforts of IPONZ recognised on the international stage,” says Ms Dean.
Over 160,000 people have accessed the government’s product recall website to help keep themselves and their families safe since it was launched one year ago today, says Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean.
“The site is a whole-of-government, one-stop-shop simplifying the product recall space. It is an accessible, easy-to-use website that brings together all product safety information in one location,” says Ms Dean.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean today welcomed the release of FMA guidance intended to make basic advice about KiwiSaver available to more New Zealanders.
“Some of the most important financial decisions kiwis make are joining KiwiSaver, and working out what type of fund to invest in,” says Ms Dean
“The guidance makes it clear that a lot of simple advice about KiwiSaver falls within the category of ‘class advice’ that can be provided by any person permitted to give financial advice.
Knowing how to avoid common consumer pitfalls when buying a vehicle has been made simpler, with Consumer Protection’s new motor vehicle information programme launching today, says Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean.
“Buying a motor vehicle is a significant purchase. This programme will help people thinking about buying a motor vehicle avoid problems and, if things do go wrong, to know their consumer rights,” says Ms Dean.