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New Zealand Government to introduce a Consumer Data Right

Home Insights New Zealand Government to introduce a Consumer Data Right

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Contributed by: Louise Taylor, Vaash Singh and Liz Blythe

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Published on: July 08, 2021

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The Government confirmed its decision to establish a Consumer Data Right (CDR) framework for New Zealand this week, with legislation to be introduced as soon as 2022. 
 
This follows MBIE's request for submissions in August last year as to whether New Zealand needs a CDR and what shape that CDR should take (MBIE's Discussion Document is available here).

What shape will the NZ CDR take?

Once implemented, the CDR will provide individuals (and potentially also businesses) with a statutory ability to require data holders to share information held about them with trusted third parties and the ability to require them to carry out some form of action on the relevant individual's behalf (more information about CDRs available here).
 
As part of the announcement, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark advised that the Government has already started to develop New Zealand's CDR regulatory regime and intends to make a second round of detailed policy decisions on the CDR framework later this year.
 
Consistent with MBIE's preliminary views set out in the August 2020 Discussion Document, Minister Clark confirmed that the New Zealand CDR framework will align with the Australian multi-sector CDR model introduced in 2019 (more information about Australia's CDR here).   

Who and what will be in-scope?

Minister Clark referenced banks and electricity retailers in his announcement, but noted that officials are still working to identify which sectors should be considered first for designation as in-scope of the CDR. The 2021 MBIE Discussion Document suggested that the banking, electricity and insurance sectors are likely to be the first cabs off the rank on the basis of perceived "high search and switch costs".
 
Importantly, MBIE has announced that, in addition to information sharing, the CDR will also support action initiation (which could include, for example, the making of a payment). This is not yet a feature of the Australian CDR model and, if enacted in New Zealand as part of the proposed multi-sector regime, could make New Zealand's CDR the widest ranging regime globally.  
 
Minister Clark cited improved access to a wider range of products and services as a key driver of the CDR's introduction in New Zealand and emphasised the Government's view that "consumers should be in the driver's seat when it comes to how their personal information is used by third parties".

Next steps

The Russell McVeagh team will be monitoring the developments and will provide a further update when the detailed policy decision has been released. In the meantime, if you would like any advice regarding how the New Zealand CDR might affect you and organisations in your industry, please do not hesitate to contact us.
 
You can view Minister Clark's media release here and MBIE's statement here.

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