Passed on 1 March 2017, the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 ("CCLA") represents a step taken by our Parliament to consolidate and modernise New Zealand's law relating to contracts and sales. The CCLA will come into force on 1 September 2017.
The CCLA can be treated like a 'greatest hits' album: a compilation of old tracks, digitally remastered for modern day application. The CCLA repeals eleven existing commercial statutes and puts the key provisions under one act, in synchronised, modern language. The eleven original statutes being repealed are as follows:(a) Sale of Goods Act 1908;
(b) Mercantile Law Act 1908 (other than Part 5);
(c) Frustrated Contracts Act 1944;
(d) Minors' Contracts Act 1969;
(e) Illegal Contracts Act 1970;
(f) Contractual Mistakes Act 1977;
(g) Contractual Remedies Act 1979;
(h) Carriage of Goods Act 1979;
(i) Contracts (Privity) Act 1982;
(j) Sale of Goods (United Nations Convention) Act 1994; and
(k) Electronic Transactions Act 2002.
Aside from the modernisation of the statutory text, Schedule 2 lists the minor tweaks made to some provisions. These tweaks were made to either clarify Parliament's intention or reconcile prior inconsistencies. The substance of the existing law remains intact.
The CCLA will affect contracts entered into before 1 September 2017 only to the extent set out in the schedules. The CCLA will however apply in full to all contracts entered into on or after 1 September 2017.
Businesses at this stage can begin amending any standard terms and conditions or template documents to refer the CCLA in place of any of the repealed statutes. By 1 September 2017 all new contracts ought to reference, where applicable, the CCLA.
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