Agencies


.nz Dispute Resolution Service

A service provided by the Domain Name Commission for use by parties in situations where there is a dispute over who should be the registrant for a domain name.

Complaints are made online, and then mailed to our offices, accompanied by annexes which back up the statements made in the online complaint. The initial stages of the process including mediation are free for both parties to use. A fee is charged only if referral to an Expert is required for a determination.

For further information:
Email: info@dnc.org.nz
Website: www.dnc.org.nz


Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

Complaints about advertising content in all media.

The complaint must be lodged in writing and a name and address is required. This service is free.

For further information:
Website: www.asa.co.nz


Banking Ombudsman

Free service for resolving or determining complaints about banks, if unresolved after consideration by the bank.

Also advice on making a complaint about a bank.

For further information:
Website: www.bankombudsman.org.nz


Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA)

Complaints about content in television and radio programmes.

Complaint must be made to the broadcaster in the first instance (except if a breach of privacy or an election programme) and if not satisfied with the response the complaint may be referred to the BSA. Complaint must be made with reference to one of the standards in the broadcasting codes of practice. Free service. Website contains codes and online complaint form.

For further information:
Telephone: 0800 366 966
Website: www.bsa.govt.nz


Commerce Commission

The Commerce Commission promotes dynamic and responsive markets so that New Zealanders benefit from competitive prices, better quality and greater choice.

We enforce:

  • Fair Trading Act:
    • Misleading and false representations/conduct
    • Misleading advertising
    • Trade practices breaches
  • Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act:
    • Credit and lending
    • Banks, credit unions, lenders, credit providers, pawnbrokers
    • Consumer credit, consumer leases and property buy-back transactions
    • Personal loans, mortgages, overdrafts, credit cards, vehicle loans, revolving credit.

The Commission also has a regulatory role in the telecommunications sector, the dairy sector, and parts of the electricity, gas and airports sectors.

Please note that we are not a complaints resolution service. We do not take action on behalf of individuals, but act in the public interest, using screening criteria to prioritise and select cases.

We do not enforce the Consumer Guarantees Act which deals with your rights when you buy faulty goods or services.

For further information:
Website: www.comcom.govt.nz


Consumer Affairs

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs investigates complaints from the public about short weight or measure and unsafe consumer goods.

The Ministry also provides general information and education on consumer law and related issues. However, it is not resourced to provide direct advice to all consumers. In the first instance, consumers should contact their nearest Citizen's Advice Bureaux, Community Law Centre, or for credit issues their Budgeting Advice Service.

The Ministry's other roles include:

  • enforcing the Weights and Measures Act 1987
  • administering and developing policy around consumer protection legislation (including the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993, Fair Trading Act 1986, Weights and Measures Act 1987 and the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003)
  • providing a consumer representation nomination service to government departments and agencies.
  • monitoring the quality of New Zealand’s retail fuel supply under the Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations 2008.

For further information:
Website: www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz


Consumer NZ

Consumer NZ offers a free advice service to its members about all issues relating to consumer goods and services.

It has a particular expertise in matters relating to the Consumer Guarantees Act and the Fair Trading Act. However, it offers advice on a wide spectrum of consumer topics.

For further information:
Telephone: 04 3847963
Email: www.consumer.org.nz
Website: www.consumer.org.nz


Department of Internal Affairs - Charities

The Department of Internal Affairs will investigate any person or organisation who is engaged in conduct in breach of the Charities Act or where there is serious wrongdoing in connection with a registered charity.

Internal Affairs is able to initiate its own inquiries, or act in response to information or complaints provided to us.

Complaints must be submitted in writing to Internal Affairs and should include as much information as possible to enable Internal Affairs to effectively assess the complaint and decide the appropriate course of action. You can use our online complaints form on our website.

For further information:
Email: compliance@dia.govt.nz
Website: www.charities.govt.nz


Electricity & Gas Complaints Commissioner

Handles complaints about electricity and gas retailers, electricity lines companies and gas distribution companies.

Individuals and businesses can complain over the phone or by email, fax or letter. This scheme is independent and free to complainants.

For further information:
Telephone: 0800 22 33 40
Website: www.egcomplaints.co.nz


Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR)

A free and independent service for consumers to make complaints about financial service organisations and advisers.

A free and independent service for consumers to make complaints about financial service organisations-finance and insurance companies; banks; credit unions; superannuation trustees; forex operators; pension plans; fund managers; public issuers; contributory mortgage brokers and nominees companies etc; and financial advisors.

The financial organisation organisation or adviser being complained about must be a member of the FDR service. Consumers can see the full list of scheme members on the FDR website: http://fdr.org.nz/members

Complaints must be made first to the financial service provider or adviser, who must be given a chance to respond.

Complaints can be made in writing, online or by telephone.

For further information:
Telephone: 0508 337 337
Email: enquiries@fdr.org.nz
Website: www.fdr.org.nz


Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL)

Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL) is an independent dispute resolution scheme for resolving and determining complaints against financial service providers.

FSCL has been approved by the Minister of Consumer Affairs under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008.

FSCL's service is free to consumers.

FSCL can consider complaints about financial services including:

  • financial planning
  • financial advice and investments
  • insurance broking
  • mortgage and finance broking
  • stock broking
  • loans and credit
  • superannuation funds
  • managed funds
  • funds transfers
  • foreign exchange
  • card services

For further information:
Website: www.fscl.org.nz


Health & Disability Commissioner (HDC)

The Health and Disability Commissioner considers complaints that providers have breached the rights of consumers using health and disability services.

Consumers are encouraged to first complain to the provider or use the free independent advocacy service.

For further information:
Website: www.hdc.org.nz


Human Rights Commission (HRC)

For unlawful discrimination complaints and human rights enquiries.

Mediation and information service is free. Complaints do not need to be in writing.

For further information:
Telephone: 0800 496877
Website: www.hrc.co.nz


Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA)

The Independent Police Conduct Authority is an independent body that keeps watch over the Police.

The Authority is not part of the Police. It has its own investigators and is headed by a High Court Judge.

It accepts complaints alleging Police misconduct or neglect of duty, or about Police practices, policies and procedures. Examples of ‘misconduct’ include excessive or unreasonable use of force, dishonesty, threats or harassment, unlawful arrest, and a range of other actions. ‘Neglect of duty’ includes failure to investigate, prosecute, notify or respond to a crime.

The Authority also investigates incidents of death and serious injury involving Police. The Police are required by law to notify the Authority about these incidents and the Authority considers them even if it does not receive a complaint.

For further information:
Website: www.ipca.govt.nz


Insurance & Savings Ombudsman (ISO)

The Insurance & Savings Ombudsman ("ISO") is an independent service for resolving insurance and savings disputes, which is free to consumers.

The ISO can consider complaints about personal health insurance, life insurance and savings services and complaints about personal and small business fire and general insurance and financial services. Complaints can be considered where the amount claimed is up to $200,000 (or for a disability benefit up to $1,000 per week), unless a claim has been accepted but a dispute arises over an amount which does not exceed the limits unless the insurer agrees to a higher amount.

For further information:
Website: www.iombudsman.org.nz


Ombudsmen

Complaints against most central, local and regional government agencies including school boards and concerning the release of official information.

The Ombudsmen may investigate administrative acts or decisions by public sector agencies which affect someone in their personal capacity. These include:

  • most central government agencies, such as those responsible for accident compensation, benefit payments, education, housing, health, immigration, passports, taxation and child support;
  • local government agencies, including those responsible for roads, drainage, animal control, schooling, planning and enforcement of building or resource consents.

Complainants are encouraged to attempt to resolve the complaint with the agency concerned first.

The Ombudsmen will also investigate responses, decisions, delays and extensions involving requests for access to official information to these public sector agencies and Ministers. Such requests could concern requests for access to information on government policy or a copy of a specific document. There is no requirement to approach the agency first with your complaint.

Ombudsmen can also assist employees who wish to report serious wrong doing in their workplace (‘whistle blowing’).

Ombudsmen do not act as an advocate for a complainant or the agency complained against and cannot investigate complaints about private individuals, private companies, lawyers, MPs or the Police (NB However Police are covered by the Official Information Act).

An Ombudsman’s investigation is free and is conducted in private.

For further information:
Website: www.ombudsmen.parliament.nz


Press Council (NZPC)

Accepts complaints against the editorial content of newspapers and magazines (and their websites).

You must complain in writing to the editor of the publication first. This service is free.

For further information:
Website: www.presscouncil.org.nz


Privacy Commissioner

The Privacy Commissioner will accept complaints where a party is alleged to have breached a Privacy Act provision.

Complaints are received in writing; or via our 0800 number. The service is free of charge.

For further information:
Telephone: 0800 803 909
Website: www.privacy.org.nz/home.php


Quality Commission Scheme

A free, independent complaints resolution service for students of private education providers who are Participants(members) of the Scheme.

The internal complaints procedures of the provider must first be accessed.

For further information:
Website: www.qualitycommission.co.nz


Real Estate Agents Authority

The Real Estate Agents Authority is the government agency responsible for licensing the real estate industry and handling complaints against real estate licensees.

We process complaints through to Complaints Assessment Committees who run an independent, fair and open complaints and disciplinary process.

Anyone can make a complaint to us about the conduct of a licensee or former licensee.

Your complaint must be in writing. You need to identify the person you are complaining about, outline your complaint, any steps that you have already taken to try and resolve the complaint, and provide any relevant documents. You must also provide a contact details and address.

A complaint form and more information about the complaints process can be found on our website.

It is free to lay a complaint with the Real Estate Agents Authority.

For further information:
Telephone: 0800forREAA (0800 367 7322) OR 04 471 8930
Email: info@reaa.govt.nz
Website: www.reaa.govt.nz


Telecommunication Dispute Resolution (TDR)

A free and independent service for consumers to make complaints about their telecommunication company.

The TDR service covers the majority of telecommunication companies in New Zealand. Complaints must be made to the telecommunication company concerned first, and the company given a chance to respond. Complaints can be made in writing, online or by telephone.

For further information:
Telephone: 0508 98 98 98
Email: contact@tdr.org.nz
Website: www.tdr.org.nz