The Government will ban ticket scalping, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.
"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'," Ardern told media at her post-Cabinet press conference
Ardern had heard terrible stories that consumers are not getting a fair deal.
She said the Government is "going to do something about it".
She said ticket scalping also affects local artists, as well as international acts.
The Commerce Commission received more than 400 complaints since 2017 about Viagogo alone, making it the most complained about trader during that time.
"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," Ardern said.
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.
Faafoi said the Government was targeting people who onsold tickets to make a profit.
He said he has heard that the mark up on some tickets was 205 per cent.
Faafoi said there needed to be better price disclosure and Cabinet has agreed to address the issue of ticket scalpers.
He said the policy was being drawn up to address this issue, but expected legislation to be in place by the end of the Parliamentary term.
"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," Kris Kaafoi said.
Currently, there is no 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 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.