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Consumer protection guides available in Pacific languages

Consumer protection guides available in Pacific languages

  • 17 Oct 2022
Examples of updated and translated REA consumer guides cover images

(Picture caption: Consumer guides on the property buying and selling process are now available in seven different languages.)

Information on buying and selling property safely in New Zealand is being supplied in seven languages – including Samoan and Tongan - by the Real Estate Authority (REA).

Recently, REA released updated consumer guides on the property buying and selling process in English, te reo Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Korean, Hindi and Simplified Chinese to enable greater accessibility to REA’s consumer protection information about the real estate transaction.

The Residential Property Agency Agreement Guide and the Residential Property Sale and Purchase Agreement Guide, approved by REA under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, introduce the purpose, contents and usage of the two standard types of contract used in real estate transactions.

Licensed real estate professionals are required under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 to issue these REA approved guides to residential buyers and sellers before they sign a sale and purchase agreement and to residential sellers before they sign an agency agreement.

The REA’s Buying Journey Guide, which maps out an end-to-end overview of the home buying process, has also been updated and translated.

Chief Executive/Registrar of REA Belinda Moffat says the guides have been translated into languages commonly spoken in New Zealand and which licensees have indicated they commonly encounter and use.

“The REA is committed to providing essential information resources to help all New Zealanders confidently engage in real estate transactions and to make informed decisions,” Belinda says.

“Buying or selling a house is often the most significant financial transaction anyone will enter into, and we want to support consumers to understand what can be, a daunting and complex process.”

The guides offer independent information about what consumers should expect during a real estate transaction, as well as some of the key risks and issues to watch for.

Belinda adds having these guides available in seven different languages is one way in which REA can inform, empower and protect more people, and to prevent consumer harm in the real estate transaction context.

“English is not the first language for many New Zealanders, and our aim is to increase the accessibility of our consumer protection information, to help more members of New Zealand’s diverse communities participate confidently in real estate transactions,” she says.

The REA refreshed the guides following feedback from consumers and licensees, to improve their usability and to reflect REA’s commitment to supporting and informing New Zealand’s diverse communities.

It sought feedback from licensee representative REA Board members and REA’s industry advisory group.

Translations were prepared by the Department of Internal Affairs translation service.

The new guides took effect from October 14, and current consumer guides may be used until November 30 under a transition arrangement.

Visit the REA website to download the guides.