24 October 2018

Minister in Canberra to discuss competition, consumer issues and banking regulation

Hon Kris Faafoi
24 October 2018 

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Hon Kris Faafoi travels to Canberra today and Melbourne tomorrow for meetings with Australian government Ministers and officials to discuss competition and consumer issues, banking regulation and tax issues relating to superannuation.

Mr Faafoi will meet with Hon Clare O’Neil, Shadow Minister for Financial Services and will discuss the Australian Royal Commission’s enquiry into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry. The Commission’s recently released its interim report, and Mr Faafoi with Government colleagues has monitored findings.

“New Zealand agencies are taking seriously the issues that the Royal Commission has highlighted in Australia and are considering how its findings might relate to the New Zealand financial sector. Our RBNZ and FMA are undertaking a review, which is due for report back soon – so we are closely monitoring the Australian situation to ensure any matters relevant to New Zealand are addressed.

“I also look forward to discussing Australia’s approach to open banking with Hon Stuart Robert, Assistant Treasurer for the Australian Government.  Australia is introducing a new right for consumers to access and use their data.  This Consumer Data Right covers issues relating to open banking, and the Australian financial services sector will be the first sector to which this right will be applied.

“New Zealand is in a position of being able to learn from what Australia is doing, and at the same time, to progress its own regime.”

With Hon Stuart Nash, Minister for Small Business, Mr Faafoi will meet with Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnel, and Council of Small Business chief executive Peter Strong.

“I intend to discuss the opportunities and challenges they see for small businesses from the implementation of open banking,” says Mr Faafoi. ”These meetings also provide a good opportunity to discuss Australia’s competition law, which is similar in many respects to a number of changes that we are about to pass in New Zealand.”

In Melbourne, Mr Faafoi will attend the Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF). CAF consists of all Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory, and New Zealand Ministers responsible for fair trading and consumer protection laws.

CAF's role is to consider consumer affairs and fair trading matters of national significance and to develop consistent approaches to addressing these issues. CAF has contributed to achieving alignment between New Zealand and Australian consumer laws and in taking a joint approach to trans-Tasman consumer issues.

As Minister of Customs, Mr Faafoi will also visit Australia Post’s Melbourne Gateway Facility to understand how the company and Australian border agencies are responding to the challenge of increasing volumes of international e-commerce postal items, and what insights could be applied in the New Zealand context. Mr Faafoi returns to New Zealand late on Friday night.