Spam and cyberbullying

The next steps to take if you are receiving spam or being cyberbullied.

Who do I go to?

Department of Internal Affairs(external link) to complain about spam and breaches of legislation relating to spam.

The Privacy Commissioner's Office(external link) to compain about breaches of your rights to privacy.

The Marketing Association(external link) to complain about direct marketing such as unaddressed mail.

The District Court(external link) to apply for a civil order if you are not able to resolve the issue.


From November 2016, Netsafe(external link) will investigate complaints and try to resolve the issue through negotiation and mediation. It can also lodge complaints with online hosts on your behalf and provide you with help.


What kind of problems do they handle?

Department of Internal Affairs deals with complaints about unsolicited commercial electronic messages (spam) you have received by email, TXT (mobile/smart phone) message, or fax (facsimile) from a business.

What do I need to do?


  1. Delete the email or text without replying
  2. Unsubscribe from the email list on the website
  3. If you still are receiving email spam from the same company after unsubscribing, make a complaint to the Department of Internal Affairs
  4. Text 7726 to report spam texts directly to your mobile phone provider. You should get an automated response thanking you and giving you further instructions
  5. If you continue to receive text spam, make a complaint to the Department of Internal Affairs(external link).


  1. Follow the process set out in the Ministry of Justice flowchart on What to do if you are being cyberbullied(external link)


What else do I need to consider?

The District court can order:

  • the bully to stop
  • the content to be changed or removed
  • the online content hosts, telephone companies or internet companies to remove the content, and publish a correction or your response online.

Where can I get more information?



Provides information on online safety for a variety of audiences and allows people to report scams through their website.

Report a scam(external link)
Phone: 0508 NETSAFE 0508 638 723

Ministry of Justice

Provides information on the Harmful Digital Communications Act including the provisions of the Act and Safe Harbour provisions.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 04 918 8800 (General Inquiries)

Department of Internal Affairs-Anti Spam

Provides information on the legislation around spam and guidance on how to complain about spam.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 25 78 87

Privacy Commissioner

Provides information and advice on the Privacy Act and the Credit Reporting Privacy Code and investigates complaints about breach of the Act and Code.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 803 909

NZ Police

Find details for your local Police station.

Visit the website(external link)

The Commerce Commission

Provides information how to make a complaint if you feel a business is not complying with the Fair Trading Act.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 943 600