New Zealand Law Society - Electronic interactions bill passed

Electronic interactions bill passed

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Parliament has given a third reading to the Electronic Interactions Reform Bill. The bill will come into force on the day after it receives the Royal Assent.

The omnibus legislation was introduced on 21 September 2016. It amends a range of legislation to enable digital interactions between individuals, businesses, and government agencies, and forms part of ongoing information management and digital transformation work in the State sector.

The 17 Acts which are amended are the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Act 1995, the Civil Union Act 2004, the Marriage Act 1955, the Electronic Identity Verification Act 2012, the Commerce Act 1986, the Copyright Act 1994, the Designs Act 1953, the Corporations (Investigation and Management) Act 1989, the Fair Trading Act 1986, the Financial Advisers Act 2008, the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982, the Insolvency Act 2006, the Patents Act 2013, the Trade Marks Act 2002, the Conservation Act 1987, and the Wildlife Act 1953.

The bill is in four parts.

Part 1, Enabling electronic applications, allows certain services offered by the Department of Internal Affairs' Births, Deaths and Marriages section to be applied for without requiring written statutory declarations.

Part 2 removes some restrictions on the use of photographs stored in the RealMe identity verification service, with the consent of the individual. A new section 20A in the Electronic Identity Verification Act will permit a person who has access to an individual's electronic identity photograph to supply it, with the individual's consent, to a participating agency for specified purposes.

Part 3 allows people or businesses to appear before government agencies via electronic means in some circumstances. It also allows for certain types of notices to be provided electronically.

Part 4 facilitates the online sale of game hunting licences, and online voting for Fish and Game Council elections.

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