Tackling excessive prices, ensuring consumers have enough information to make ethical choices and giving the Commerce Commission more teeth are highlights of Labour’s Consumer Rights policy.
“The rising cost of living is a concern for thousands of Kiwi families. A result of our small size and small population is that some markets lack competition, leading to higher prices,” Labour’s Consumer Rights spokesperson Carol Beaumont says.
“A Labour Government is committed to looking into developing a Code of Practice for supermarkets to ensure consumers are getting a fair deal. While we are still awaiting the outcome of the Commerce Commission investigation into supermarket behaviour, our preference is for an independent adjudicator. We do not believe that a voluntary code of conduct will suffice.
“Alongside that we’ll move to make sure New Zealanders know exactly where their food is coming from - something that is increasingly important for many thousands of people who make purchases based on ethical and environmental choices - through Country of Origin (CoOL) labelling.
“Boosting the powers of the Commerce Commission will allow it to better promote and protect the interests of consumers. We will review Section 36 of the Commerce Act to make it easier for the Commission to stop monopoly businesses stifling competition.
“Labour is also committed to providing consumers with better access to advice and advocacy around their rights and will look at ways to better help vulnerable consumers by ensuring information in alternative languages is made available.
“Kiwis deserve to know about the products they buy and consume. Our laws should give all New Zealanders the confidence to make purchases in the knowledge that those products or services are safe.
“A Labour Government will ensure they are as well-equipped as possible to make the best choice,” Carol Beaumont said.