On 16 March 2011, the National Government announced it would introduce a Consumer Law Reform Bill before the middle of this year. The Bill will cover the Fair Trading Act, the Consumer Guarantees Act, the Weights and Measures Act, the Layby Sales Act, the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act, the Door to Door Sales Act, the Auctioneers Act and aspects of the Carriage of Goods Act and the Sale of Goods Act. The intended purpose of the Bill is to strengthen consumers’ rights and simplify business compliance. Some of the key matters that will be considered by the Bill are summarised as follows, namely: 1. Stronger enforcement powers to allow more affective action to remove unsafe products from the market. 2. Auctioneers will have to be registered and meet a number of minimum standards. 3. All goods sold by traders via auctions -including online auction sites such as TradeMe – will be subject to the “acceptable quality” provisions of the Consumer Guarantees Act 4. Traders and retailers will be prohibited from making unsubstantiated claims about products. 5. Couriers and other carrier services will come under the Consumer Guarantees Act. 6. People who are found to have breached the Fair Trading Act twice within a 10-year period may be banned from managing or directing a company.
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