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New Zealand Government to legislate on ticket scalping

New Zealand Government to legislate on ticket scalping
March 4, 2019

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today advised that her Government is to take measures to ban ticket scalping.

Speaking to media on Monday at her post-Cabinet meeting press conference, Prime Minister Ardern advised that the "measures planned include a price cap on resale tickets, enforcing rules around information that needs to be disclosed to better inform consumers, and banning ticket-buying 'bots'."

Advising that she had heard terrible stories that consumers are not getting a fair deal she stated that the New Zealand Government is "going to do something about it".

She also referred to the New Zealand Commerce Commission having received more than 400 complaints since 2017 about Viagogo alone, making it the most complained about trader during that time.

In a subsequent statement, Prime Minister Ardern commented "we all know people who have bought tickets to the big concerts, sporting events and festivals who have not been able to attend because the tickets were fake or were duplicates.

“It’s not just big international events that are the issue – these practices also affect our local cultural sector. I’ve heard that the Upper Hutt Musical Theatre’s production of Blood Brothers had tickets on Viagogo advertised for $135 - that’s $105 more than what the original ticket price.

“It’s fundamentally unfair that people are profiting while our arts and culture sector is short-changed and consumers are being scammed."

New Zealand Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said he was also concerned about professional scalpers using ticket 'bots' to buy up large quantities of tickets online and then reselling them at hugely inflated prices.

Minister Faafoi said the Government was targeting people who onsold tickets to make a profit advising "concern about this practice has already resulted in bots being banned in the United States, the United Kingdom and in New South Wales, Australia – so it seems entirely appropriate we should also be looking to end this practice in New Zealand.

“While misleading and deceptive behaviour is already prohibited under the Fair Trading Act, I am concerned that this doesn’t go far enough towards protecting consumers."

Currently, there is no New Zealand law which prevents tickets being resold for a higher price except where the event is covered by the Major Events Management Act 2007 (MEM Act).

The MEM Act applies to major events held in New Zealand that provide a substantial benefit to the country such as the Rugby World Cup 2011 and the Lions Tour 2017.

Only the New Zealand Governor-General, after consultation with specific Ministers, can declare an event a major event under the MEM Act.

To date, no concerts have been declared major events under the Act.

Image: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Related Articles

19th February 2019 - New Zealand High Court Judge rejects Commerce Commission injunction against Viagogo

11th February 2019 - Concert promoter Michael Chugg says Viagogo is ‘out of control ... f***ing thieves’

5th February 2019 - Commerce Commission interim injunction against Viagogo set for New Zealand High Court hearing

11th January 2019 - ACCC warns against social media ticket scams for sold-out concert tickets

8th December 2018 - Viagogo agrees to UK competition authority demands on ticket resales

12th September 2018 - Viagogo responds to calls for Google AdWords service to reject its resales

15th August 2018 - New Zealand Commerce Commission begins court action against Viagogo

8th August 2018 - New Zealand Rugby calls meeting to help fans tackle ticket resellers

5th June 2018 - FIFA makes criminal complaint against ticket reseller Viagogo

17th March 2018 - Commerce Commission issues warning over buying event tickets through Viagogo

1st November 2017 - Hamilton event patrons urged to purchase tickets from official vendors

30th August 2017 - Consumer NZ calls for clampdown on ticket resellers

22nd May 2017 - Inflated ticket resale prices impacting consumers’ discretionary entertainment spending

20th April 2017 - Consumer NZ investigates ticket resellers

13th January 2017 - Southlanders warned about overseas ticketing websites

24th September 2016 - Growing use of bots for hot sport and entertainment tickets reignite scalping debate

30th August 2016 - Baycourt warns against online ticket scalpers


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