WELLINGTON: Kiwi consumers should be given the legal right to opt-out from being targeted by telephone cold-callers, according to the New Zealand privacy commissioner.

Marie Schroff has formally recommended for government consideration a 'do not call' register, similar to those that already operate in Australia and the United States.

Unsurprisingly, local marketers argue that their self-regulatory system does the job well enough in terms of protecting consumers from sales calls that interrupt their evening meal

Says Marketing Association head Keith Norris: "We have a pretty good system already and this would be just another way of expanding a government department and spending more of the taxpayers' money on something that is already well handled."

The association's own register has around 44,000 numbers on it, and a further 500 are added each month.

However, Schroff points out not all marketers belong to the trade body and those outside it are not bound by its constraints.

She adds: "The issue is whether that should be brought under some kind of government regulation."

Data soured from nzherald.nz; additional content by WARC staff