Weights and Measures Act, Human Rights Act, and specific rules for car sales and lenders/financial services.

Weights and Measures Act

Intent of the Act

To make sure customers get what they pay for, and businesses sell correct quantities.

Your rights under the Weights and Measures Act

Goods sold by weight, volume, length, or number must be:

  • accurately weighed, measured, or counted
  • clearly labelled with the correct net quantity — this means the product itself, not product plus packaging.

Equipment and processes used to weigh or measure goods must be accurate. The Act also specifies which measuring units, e.g. kilogram, metre, millilitre, must be used for certain types of goods.

When the Weights and Measures Act applies

Businesses that sell, make, process, pack or import goods to be sold by quantity. Examples include:

  • coffee beans by kilo
  • firewood by cubic metre
  • potting mix by litre
  • railway sleepers by number.

When things go wrong

If you can't resolve it with the retailer, you can make a complaint to Trading Standards. It can inspect weighing and measuring equipment in response to a suspected problem. You might also think about taking a case to the Disputes Tribunal or district court.

Making a complaint(external link) — Trading Standards

Responsible Lending Code

Intent of the Code

To offer guidance to lenders on the lender responsibility principles in the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA). The aim is to stop consumers signing up for loans they cannot afford.

Download the 64-page code, or read the summarised lender responsibility principles on this page:

What lenders must do

Your rights under the Responsible Lending Code

The Code is a set of guidelines for lenders, including mobile traders like truck shops. Examples include:

  • clearly explaining the cost of credit in advertising
  • checking your financial position before finalising a loan or payment plan
  • acting ethically if you fall behind on repayments.

In respect of high-cost loans, all lenders, including mobile traders, must also adhere to limits on interest and fees set out in the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA):

  • They cannot ask you to pay back more than twice the amount borrowed.
  • They cannot charge compound interest.
  • They cannot charge more than 0.8% of the unpaid loan balance in interest and fees per day when averaged across the loan term.
  • Default fees for missed payments must be $30 or less.

Your rights as a consumer — as a borrower or as a loan guarantor — are set out in the CCCFA.

When the Responsible Lending Code applies

It applies to all consumer credit transactions apart from consumer leases.

When things go wrong

If you think a lender has broken the Code, you can make a complaint under the CCCFA. See If things go wrong on the CCCFA page:

Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act

Motor Vehicle Sales Act

Intent of the Act

To make sure customers get what they pay for and know their rights if there’s a fault with the vehicle.

Your rights under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act

A motor vehicle dealer must:

  • be registered
  • comply with consumer laws that apply to all retailers, e.g. Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act
  • display a consumer information notice (CIN) for second-hand vehicles in the window or online listing
  • give each buyer a copy of the sales agreement
  • keep copies of sales agreements, either electronic or on paper, for at least six years.

Auctioneers must tell prospective buyers of any debts owing on the vehicle — also known as security interests.

When the Motor Vehicle Sales Act applies

The Act applies to any person or business that buys, sells, imports or auctions vehicles, including online sales and vehicles sold at car markets or fairs.

When things go wrong

If you can't resolve your issue directly with the seller, you might be able to apply to the Disputes Tribunal or the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal (MVDT).

Solving issues with your car dealer

Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal Annual Reports

Commerce Act

Intent of the Act

To prevent anti-competitive practices that hike up prices for customers — both the public and other businesses.

Your rights under the Commerce Act

The Commerce Act prevents traders from:

  • agreeing with their competitors to fix prices, restrict output, or carve up markets
  • any other agreement that will reduce competition
  • misusing market power to stifle competition.

When the Commerce Act applies

The Act applies whenever anyone is agreeing something that might affect market competition, or who has a lot of market power. This includes retailers, service providers, manufacturers, distributors, and importers.

When things go wrong

Customers and businesses can make a complaint about anti-competitive conduct to the Commerce Commission or take a case to court themselves.

Making a complaint(external link)  — Commerce Commission

Human Rights Act

Intent of the Act

To help ensure all people in New Zealand are treated fairly and equally.

Your rights under the Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act protects people in New Zealand from discrimination.

It is illegal for a business to refuse a sale, or provide sub-standard products or services, because of any of your personal characteristics, e.g.:

  • age
  • colour
  • disability
  • employment status
  • ethical belief
  • ethnic or national origin
  • family status
  • marital status
  • political opinion
  • race
  • religious belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation.

You also can’t be denied access to things like:

  • government services
  • education
  • public places
  • employment
  • housing and accommodation.

This applies to your past, present or assumed circumstances. For example, it's illegal to discriminate against someone because they have a mental illness, had one in the past, or someone assumes they have a mental illness.

What are human rights?(external link) — Human Rights Commission

When things go wrong

The Human Rights Commission has the power to resolve disputes relating to unlawful discrimination. If you believe you have been discriminated against, you can ask the Commission for help.

How to make a complaint(external link) — Human Rights Commission