The Commerce Select Committee is due to report back on the Consumer Law Reform Bill in August 2012, with submissions now closed on the Bill.

The bill reflects the outcomes of a review of consumer law initiated in 2009, and proposes the most significant changes to consumer laws in New Zealand in more than 20 years.

The Bill amends the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA), the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993, the Weights and Measures Act 1987, the Carriage of Goods Act 1979, the Sale of Goods Act 1908, and the Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 2004. It also repeals the Auctioneers Act 1928, the Door to Door Sales Act 1967, the Layby Sales Act 1971, and the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1975. The matters covered by the four Acts being repealed are incorporated into the amended FTA and a new Auctioneers Act.

Interestingly, in the first reading of the Bill the Minister of Consumer Affairs invited the select committee to consider whether the amendments proposed by the Bill for the FTA should include provisions to address unfair contract terms and unconscionability. These matters were raised during the consultation process, but did not make the cut for inclusion into the Bill.

For further details on the changes introduced by the Bill, see our earlier article Getting ready for the Consumer Law Reform Bill.