The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Liquor company fined for spamming

11 November 2015

The Department of Internal Affairs’ anti-spam unit has won court backing to enforce a $10,000 fine against a company for spamming – sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages.

In December 2013 the Department issued Topshelf Liquor Online Ltd with a $10,000 Civil Infringement Notice after 20 complaints from the public that they had received marketing messages from the company without their consent and without a facility to unsubcribe.

The company did not object to the notice, as the law allows, and paid only $300 of the penalty.

Judge David Harvey in the North Shore District Court said the full amount was properly due. He also ordered a further $6351 in costs and disbursements.

The Department’s Electronic Messaging Compliance Unit Manager Toni Demetriou welcomed the decision and warned that the Department will continue to prosecute spammers.

“The Department takes the matter of spam seriously and the decision by Judge Harvey sends a strong deterrent message that those sending spam, can expect to be held accountable,” Mr Demetriou said. “We are concerned about the burden unsolicited commercial messages have on Internet users and systems and we will continue to pursue spammers by promoting compliance that minimises harm and maximises benefit.”

Read Judge Harvey’s decision (PDF, 198KB)


Media contact:

Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 021 245 8642


Toni Demetriou, Manager Electronic Messaging Compliance, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 021 937 630