New Zealand spam law

The Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 came into effect on 5 September 2007. The Act defines spam as 'unsolicited commercial electronic messages'.

The Act covers email, fax, instant messaging, mobile/smart phone text (TXT) and image-based messages of a commercial nature. It does NOT cover Internet pop-ups or voice telemarketing.

Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007

Purposes of the Act

The purposes of the Act are to:

  • prohibit unsolicited commercial electronic messages with a New Zealand link (i.e. messages sent to, from or within New Zealand)
  • require commercial electronic messages to include accurate information about the person who authorised the sending of the message and a functional unsubscribe facility to enable the recipient to instruct the sender that no further messages are to be sent to the recipient
  • prohibit address-harvesting software being used to create address lists for sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages
  • deter people from using information and communication technologies inappropriately.

The Act is also intended to encourage good direct marketing practice by:

  • requiring electronic messages to contain a functioning unsubscribe facility
  • ensuring electronic messages are sent only to customers who have consented to receiving it
  • restricting the use of address-harvesting software.

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