About nuisance spam

Nuisance spam is unsolicited commercial email, instant messages such as TXT, or fax messages sent from a legitimate source but reported for allegedly breaching the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007. Such messages can be investigated by the Department with a number of enforcement actions available should the message breach the Act in any way.

In order to investigate a complaint, we must first assess whether the message includes a New Zealand link and whether the message is commercial. A New Zealand link means the message was sent to or from a New Zealand account or to a recipient in New Zealand at the time of opening the message.

Commercial includes the promotion or marketing of goods, services, land, an interest in land, an investment opportunity or including a link to the afore mentioned categories. It is worth noting that goods and services can include electronic messages that promote or market a “free” product or service as they still meet the definition of goods or services regardless of cost.

There are three steps that must be followed to ensure a sender is not in breach of the Act:

If you have received a message that has not followed these steps, report it to the Department.

Please note, there are some messages that are not considered unsolicited or commercial for the purpose of the Act such as messages that complete a financial transaction. For the full definition of a commercial electronic message, please review section 6 of the Act.

Complain about spam

More information