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New Zealand Travel Tips & Questions

What are your consumer rights?

There are two main laws in New Zealand which serve to protect consumers. These are the Fair Trading Act and The Consumer Guarantees Act.

The Fair Trading Act

This law is in place primarily to prevent false advertisement. In other words any tax-registered seller or service provider – whether they are a hostel, store, restaurant, car mechanic or tour provider etc - has to be able to deliver goods or services which match their claims and descriptions. All advertising or promotion of goods and services is breaking the law if it promises something which misleads the customer.

 The Consumer Guarantees Act

This protection law applies to both goods and services which a customer has spent money on for individual personal purposes (as opposed to business purposes).

In order to be fulfilling legal obligations whatever you spend money on through a seller or service provider must:

  • be of reasonable quality or in the case of services provided the work must be of at least a reasonable level and executed with due care and skill
  • be able to fulfil the purpose it was intended for
  • be as described
  • have a fair price attached (for services)

Additionally, if ordered, goods must arrive (or services be carried out) within time periods agreed on or what is otherwise deemed reasonable, be the same as any models or samples you have been shown and have spare parts or repair options available.

If any of the above criteria is not met by a seller or service provider you have the right to a solution. It is worth noting that these guarantees only apply in the case of legal trading or sales which are publicly available to other buyers.

If you do encounter a problem with goods or services which are faulty, not fit for purpose or which otherwise don't fulfil the guidelines of the laws outlined above your first step is to approach the seller or provider to arrange repairs, replacement or refunds. If after doing so you are still left with the same issue you can take steps to enforce your rights under the law.

For issues regarding the Fair Trading Act you can find more information here

For issues regarding the Consumer Guarantees Act you can go through the Ministry of Justice's Disputes Tribunal which is a non-court system for small claims up to NZ$15,000. More info can be found here.