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Important Changes to Commercial Legislation

Written By: Commercial Team

The law is constantly changing. It’s one of the many reasons why our clients retain our services to keep a finger on the pulse for them. A rather significant change is coming into force next month. If you operate in the commercial space you need to be aware of changes to the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 (Act).

These changes will consolidate and modernise New Zealand’s laws relating to contracts and sales.

What does the Act do?

The Act repeals a suite of existing commercial statutes, consolidates the provisions of those statutes within the Act. The Act replaces the following statutes:

– Carriage of Goods Act 1979;
– Contracts (Privity) Act 1982;
– Contractual Mistakes Act 1977;
– Contractual Remedies Act 1979;
– Electronic Transactions Act 2002;
– Frustrated Contracts Act 1944;
– Illegal Contracts Act 1970;
– Mercantile Law Act 1908 (other than Part 5);
– Minors’ Contracts Act 1969;
– Sale of Goods Act 1908; and
– Sale of Goods (United Nations Convention) Act 1994.

How will this affect the original legislation?

The general substance of the law will be relatively unchanged. However, its language has been modernised and made easier to understand. Several minor changes have been made to clarify Parliament’s intent or reconcile inconsistencies.

What should you do next?

We recommend reviewing your standard form contracts now, to see if they refer to any of the above statutes that are being replaced. If they do, then they may need to be amended to refer to the relevant part of the Act. The most common updates will be to anything relating to privity of contract, electronic transactions and the carriage of goods.

Now is the time to review your contracts to ensure that they will remain valid. If you have any questions or need our assistance reviewing your contracts, please contact us.