Knowing your rights

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.

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. 

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

Consumer Protection

Consumer Protection (part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) 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.

Dispute resolution schemes

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:

Financial Markets Authority

The 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.

Financial mentors

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
  • 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

Citizens Advice Bureau

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.   

Community Law Centres

Community Law Centres provide 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. 

Consumer NZ

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

Utilities Disputes

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 program to get you on track.

Head to the 6 steps