The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Faxes now captured by anti-spam law

19 October 2011

From tomorrow (20 October) unsolicited commercial faxes will count as spam.

The schedule of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 has been amended to remove ‘facsimiles’ from the list of exempt electronic messages. This means that an individual or company may no longer send a commercial fax, with a New Zealand link, to a recipient that has not consented to receiving the message.

Internal Affairs, which regulates the Act, has received many inquiries from people receiving unsolicited commercial faxes, since the Act came into force in 2007, but could take no action because faxes were excluded.

The Department advises senders of commercial faxes to familiarise themselves with the Act and, in particular, comply with sections 9, 10, 11, 13 and 15. Messages must clearly and accurately identify the person who authorised the sending of the message, and must include accurate information about how the recipient can readily contact that person. Furthermore, commercial electronic messages must include a functional unsubscribe facility that is free of charge and able to be executed via the same method of communication the principal message was sent.

The Department’s website now provides information to both businesses and recipients. There are instructions to those who wish to submit a complaint about an unsolicited commercial fax, or a commercial fax they feel breach the Act.

Media contact:
Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 0275 843 679