The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


NZ company fined NZ$36,000 for unsolicited messages

22 October 2019

The New Zealand Trustees Association (NZTA) and its founder have been fined a total penalty of NZ$ 44,000 in the Auckland High Court for sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages.

NZTA is required to pay NZ$ 36,000, while the founder must pay a separate penalty of NZ$ 8,000.

Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs, investigated NZTA after receiving nearly 80 complaints of unsolicited messages being sent to registered New Zealand charities.

Internal Affairs’ Electronic Messaging Compliance Unit found NZTA and its founder sent more than 24,000 unsolicited messages sent between October 2015 and March 2018.

Jolene Armadoros, Director Digital Safety, says this prosecution should act as a deterrent to individuals and groups looking to profit from spam.

“This ruling has set a precedent for businesses on how cases such as these will be pursued moving forward” says Ms Armadoros.

“We are committed to assisting New Zealand businesses, achieve full compliance with the Act.

“However, when there is blatant non-compliance, and people are taken advantage of, we will take legal action” says Ms Armadoros. To find compliancy resources, information and guidance visit:

To report an unsolicited commercial electronic message, text SPAM to 7726 or visit:


Media contact:
The Media Desk
Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Mobile: +64 27 535 8639

Notes to editor:
Under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007, an unsolicited commercial electronic message refers to a message that markets and promotes goods or services or enables a person to dishonestly obtain a financial gain from another person.

The Department of Internal Affairs regulates the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 by investigating complaints about spam. As well as taking enforcement action against those who breach the Act, the Department facilitates international and local industry/agency liaison, monitors emerging technologies, and advises public and private agencies on spam matters.