Knowing your rights

Know your rights

Many organisations and government agencies are here to provide help in the form of services or information.

If you're ever concerned by the spiralling cost of your debt, or if you've bought a faulty product or even something you didn't really want in the first place, know that there may be options available. 

Understanding your rights as a consumer and as an investor can make a big difference should things go pear-shaped. Especially when it comes to the costs that debt brings, faulty goods or not-good-enough services, this becomes even more important.

Here are some places to seek help, understand you rights, make a complaint or find a solution to your situation.

A financial mentor can help you navigate your rights

MoneyTalks is a free helpline available to provide free budgeting advice to individuals, family and whānau.

Their financial mentors can:

  • Understand your financial situation
  • Organise your debt
  • Advocate for you with your lender if required
  • Help plan for your future
  • Get you in touch with a local budgeting service

Their free helpline is 0800 345 123, and you can also text 4029 or email them at help@moneytalks.co.nz.

Where to go for help and support

Your rights as a consumer

It is important that as a consumer, you know your rights. Whether you are buying goods or services in a shop, online, over the phone, or signing up to a consumer loan, you have rights. 

The Commerce Commision have helpful resources – find out about your rights as a consumer.

Consumer protection when buying products or services

Consumer Protection provides a range of information and advice on the process of buying: what to know and do before, during and after purchasing a product or service.

Support with dispute resolution

Dispute resolution services are available if you are concerned about the actions of a financial services provider that you are a customer of. All providers belong to one of these approved independent dispute resolution schemes:

Queries, concerns or complaints about investment products

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) can help you with queries, concerns or complaints about investment products like KiwiSaver, financial advisers or share-trading activity. They also have a variety of guides specifically for investors and consumers.

Know and understand your rights and obligations

Citizens Advice Bureau helps people to know and understand their rights and obligations and how to use this information to get the best outcomes. They provide people with the confidence and support they need to take action, and work for positive social change within communities and wider society. It is a a free and independent service to all.   

Find free legal help

Community Law provides access to free legal help. This can be useful if you want to understand your rights and how you could make a complaint or find a solution to your situation. 

Make sure you're getting a fair deal

Consumer NZ is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to getting New Zealanders fairer deals and offers a range of helpful information and advice.

What Consumer NZ do:
  • Test products and services, and recommend which we think are best
  • Investigate issues we reckon consumers need to know more about
  • Mystery shop and survey to keep businesses honest
  • Advise thousands of consumers about their rights and how to exercise them
  • Campaign to get laws and regulations changed to benefit consumers
  • Recommend businesses you can trust
Get help resolving a dispute over your utilities

Utilities Disputes resolves complaints about power, gas, water and broadband on shared property.

Don’t know where to start?

Check out our 6 steps Get Sorted programme to get you on track.

Head to the 6 steps