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NZ government unveils anti-touting measures

The New Zealand government has committed to tackling ticket touting, starting with a review into the industry, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The planned measures will include introducing a price cap on resold tickets, banning bots and enforcing increased transparency for buyers.

Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said, according to Stuff, that there would be consultation before any legislation is drafted.

He said that the “buyer beware” approach was not working, which is an existing law that was launched during the Rugby World Cup in 2011, but only covers major events.

To date, no concerts have been declared major events under the Major Events Management Act 2007 (MEM Act).

Ardern said: “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 NZ$135 (£70/€81/$92) – that’s NZ$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.”

Last month, New Zealand’s Commerce Commission failed to win an injunction against controversial secondary website Viagogo, preventing them from making alleged false claims about ticket scarcity, pricing and a guarantee of validity.

Faafoi said, according to NewstalkZB, that while Viagogo is a legal company, their practices are “questionable”.

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