Consumer Protection quarterly reports

Our Consumer Protection team report quarterly on New Zealand's consumer issues landscape.

About the series

The reports provide a snapshot of the potential issues that New Zealand consumers face.

They are one of the sources we use to help us understand the issues of greatest concern and identify opportunities to address them.

The reports are based on analysis of information collated through our Consumer Protection helpline and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.


Summary of the Q1 report — July – September 2022/23

Key insights from this quarter

Enquiry volumes

8,778 consumer enquiries were received, an increase of 9% compared to the previous quarter.

Top enquiry sectors/areas

  • Motor vehicles sales

  • Electronic goods and mobile phones

  • Personal products

  • Commercial goods and services

  • Construction or trade services

  • Non-electrical household goods

  • Motor vehicle repairs

Notable changes

  • Total enquiries to the MBIE service centre decreased by 15% this quarter in comparison to same time last financial year (decreased by 40%).

  • Although lower in volume of enquiries 'Accommodation or travel services', 'Food and drink', and 'Postal, courier, and freight services' experienced large percentage increases this quarter.

  • 'Entertainment' is the second top enquiry but had a decrease in enquiry (down 21%).

The issues

  • Enquiries most frequently relate to potential breaches of the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).

  • Faulty, damaged, doesn’t work as expected is the most common issue, noted in 52% of enquiries received by the MBIE service centre.

  • Potential Fair-Trading Act (FTA) breaches were most likely to be noted in enquiries related to 'Mobile telecommunication services', 'Real estate and property management', 'Health products', 'Internet/landline phone services', and 'Utility services'.

  • 'Poor quality or poor workmanship' was most likely to be noted in enquiries related to 'Motor vehicle repairs', 'Construction or trade services' and 'Legal/accounting/other professional services'.

Purchase method

  • Most enquiries to the MBIE service centre (69%) relate to purchases made through direct sales (either in person or over the phone).

  • Online purchases made up 22% of enquiries, higher than the last quarter in the last financial year (14%).

  • Online was more frequently noted as a purchase method for 'Accommodation or travel services', 'Postal courier and freight services' and 'Personal products' issues.

  • The proportion of motor vehicle sales issues noted as being a private sale is 12%.

All reports

Last updated: 29 November 2022