Common questions about spam complaints

What is spam?

Spam is the generic name for communications sent to you without your permission. 

In New Zealand, spam is defined by the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007.  The Act prohibits the sending of unsolicited email, instant messages such as TXT and fax messages that are commercial in nature. 

The Act does not include postal mail, phone calls or pop-up advertisements.

Find out more about spam

When should I make a spam complaint?

Commercial electronic messages must only be sent when you have given express consent, inferred consent, or deemed consent. They must include a functional unsubscribe facility and accurate sender information so you, the recipient, can contact the sender of the message.

If you receive unsolicited commercial electronic messages and you don’t believe the sender had any consent to contact you, or if you cannot unsubscribe, or are unable to readily contact the sender of the message, then please make a complaint.

Complain about spam

What happens to my spam complaint?

Your complaint will be entered into our database for review and may be examined by one of our Investigators.

Where numerous complaints are received about a particular spam campaign we may investigate the campaign as a whole.

Your complaint should include as much information as possible so we can investigate it effectively. We may contact you to clarify any points or seek further information.

Where can I complain about objectionable material?

If you are concerned that something you have seen may be objectionable, please complete the online Content Complaint Form (specifically for offensive material and classification concerns), or contact a Censorship Inspector.

The Department also enforces the Films, Videos, and Publication Classification Act 1993.

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