The Government is planning to stop the practice of ticket scalping through implementing a price cap on resale tickets and banning ticket-buying bots because the "buyer beware mentality is not working."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was "fundamentally unfair that people are profiting, while our arts and culture sector is short-changed and consumers are being scammed."
She said there was an "obligation and a responsibility" on the Government to do something about this issue.
In response to a number of complaints from various consumers about reselling practices, the Government has begun the process of a review into ticket reselling.
As well as the price cap and banning bots, Ardern said enforcing rules around information which needed to be disclosed to better inform consumers, was needed.
This would mean if someone planned on on-selling a ticket, on TradeMe for example, the seller would have to disclose what the original ticket price was.
"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," Ardern said.
She said it was not just big international events that were the issue and ticket scalping practices also affect the 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 the original ticket price."
Viagogo is a Swiss-based ticket reselling company which the Commerce Commission has received more than 400 complaints about since 2017.
Ardern said she had also heard from artists that they are "devastated" that their fans are being taken advantage of.
Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said he was particularly concerned about professional scalpers using ticket 'bots' to buy up large quantities of tickets online and then reselling them at hugely inflated prices.
He said some resale websites are "ripping off New Zealanders."
"We're committed to better-protecting Kiwis when they buy tickets."
He said the average ticket resale profit was roughly $195 for a high demand concert – some sold with a 205 per cent profit.
He cited Consumer New Zealand statistics, which show 6 per cent of consumers had purchased fake tickets and some 30 per cent had purchased tickets that had never arrived.
"It is a significant problem; there is little or no protection for consumers at the moment."
Anita Sherry recently bought tickets for Elton John through Viagogo and said she was worried about their authenticity.
"We made the silly mistake in our desperation to see Elton to buy tickets through Viagogo ... and we paid through the roof! So fingers crossed we can get in!" she said.
Sherry paid around $2500 for four tickets to the concert, where individual tickets sold for as low as $180-$250.
"My business partner bought them, while my husband told us a little too late not to buy them off Viagogo," she said.
"We have done a little bit of research about them, and tried to cancel the payment at the bank, but they couldn't do that.
"So the only thing we can do now is hope to get in, and if we don't then chase them up after.
"I would be devastated. I have not seen him live before and I'm a big fan."
Sherry said the Government's decision was a "really good idea" and good for consumers.
Faafoi said concern about this practice has already resulted in bots being banned in the United States, the United Kingdom and in New South Wales, Australia.
"It seems entirely appropriate we should also be looking to end this practice in New Zealand.
"This will give broader protection to those consumers who have been caught out by some of these websites."
He said the "buyer beware" mentality was not working when it came to this issue.
Cabinet agreed to address this issue and has begun a consultation process to make sure all the bases were covered.
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.