Design registration gives the owner the exclusive right to make, import, sell or license design for up to 15 years.
In New Zealand design is defined as the new or original features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament that are applied to an article by any industrial process or means.
A registered design can add value to a product, as the design is often what makes it attractive to customers and is often its unique selling point. This makes a design a potentially valuable asset worth protecting. Registered designs are protected under the Design Act 1953.
How to register a design
IPONZ is the government agency responsible for the registration of designs. The IPONZ website has a lot of excellent information about designs and how to protect them.