For many years, New Zealand was one of just a handful of nations in the OECD that maintained a punitive negative-only credit-reporting database. Like Australia, New Zealand housed the credit reporting regulatory framework under the broader rubric of data privacy, where the Privacy Commission looms large. Beginning in 2005, PERC began actively engaging the New Zealand Parliament, the Privacy Commission, industry executives in financial services, consumer advocacy groups, and the mainstream and trade media in New Zealand. PERC’s primary objective was to persuade key stakeholders that credit-reporting reform held many social and economic benefits, and would be necessary to keep pace with regional developments. In March 2012, the New Zealand Privacy Commission implemented incremental reforms permitting “fair file” reporting. PERC activities in New Zealand included:
- Extensive policymaker education and outreach;
- Issue area advocacy;
- Outreach to senior industry executives;
- Media relations (TV and print); and,
- Generate and disseminate original social and economic impact analysis.