• Peter McCardle
Consumer Affairs

The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Hon Peter McCardle, today announced a review of consumer credit policy and legislation, which he says has become inefficient and outmoded.

Submissions from interested parties are being called for.

Mr McCardle said, "The law in this area can contribute to the welfare of consumers and the prosperity of business
but only if certain conditions are met. At the moment there are a number of inadequacies including:

- unnecessary compliance costs for lenders and business borrowers in some circumstances
- unfairness to consumers under some provisions
- difficulties in enforcing the law
- its complexity
- its fragmentation across a number of statutes, resulting in unnecessary duplications and inconsistencies."

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs will be leading the review of the legislation, focusing on the relevance of existing laws and the scope for simplifying them, ways to strengthen compliance and enforcement, and identifying specific legislative provisions that cause detriment.

Mr McCardle said, "I would like to see consumer credit legislation which requires effective information disclosure. While allowing for innovation, legislation should adequately protect consumers from deception, provide incentives for compliance, and discourage oppressive conduct by lenders.

"I expect there will be widespread interest in this review. The Ministry will seek the views of all interested parties in undertaking it."

The Ministry is releasing the first of a series of discussion papers on the issue, and welcomes submissions. Copies of the discussion document are available from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, PO Box 1473, Wellington, Phone 04 474 2750, Fax 04 473 9400 or from its website at