Defining Energy Hardship consultation

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Submissions due: 16 December 2021, 5pm

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is seeking submissions on its proposed definition and measures of energy hardship. The feedback from this consultation will enable MBIE to further refine and finalise a generally accepted definition and measures of energy hardship to be used in Aotearoa by the government and others.

About the consultation

The government wants to support New Zealanders to achieve their wellbeing aspirations. However some households cannot pay their energy bills, or use enough energy to keep their homes warm, dry and healthy. There is a wide range of factors that can prevent people from experiencing energy wellbeing, and can result in energy hardship. 

Despite this, there is currently no nationally accepted definition or method of measuring energy hardship in Aotearoa.

This work was started by the 2019 Electricity Price Review, which recommended MBIE ‘develop a clear and generally accepted definition of energy hardship, and determine what statistics should be gathered to monitor changes in energy hardship levels’.

What we’re seeking feedback on

The discussion document sets out:

  • A proposed definition for energy hardship and energy wellbeing,
  • A proposed conceptual framework for energy hardship and energy wellbeing,
  • A proposed suite of measures for monitoring energy hardship, and
  • Future possibilities for improving measurement.

You can comment on all or just some sections of the discussion document. With consent, individual submissions will be published on this website, as well as a summary of all submissions.

Additional resources

Learn more before making a submission

MBIE is hosting 2 webinars where you can learn more about the proposals and ask questions. These sessions are designed to help you make a submission on the proposals.

The webinars will be held over Zoom. Both are free to join, and anyone is welcome to attend, however the second webinar is intended to provide a platform for iwi, hapū, and Māori groups and individuals to learn about the proposals. We are holding this second session to make sure that iwi and Māori attendees are informed and have their questions answered as part of our commitment to have meaningful engagement under Te Tiriti.

The dates for the webinars are:

General public, industry, NGOs and other interested parties: 2–3pm, Friday 26 November

Iwi/hapū/Māori groups or individuals: 11am–12pm, Wednesday 1 December.

To register for either webinar please email and let us know which webinar you would like to register for.

Both webinars will be recorded and uploaded to this website.

Please note, the webinars are a platform to learn about the proposals and ask questions. If you wish to submit your feedback on the Discussion Document, you will still need to fill out the online survey, or send your submission via email or post.

Defining Energy Hardship online survey(external link)

How to make a submission

MBIE invites you to make a submission by 5pm on 16 December, 2021.

You can make your submission:

  • by completing the online survey
    • Note that you can only complete the survey once. Please carefully consider your responses before making a submission.
    • Start the online survey
  • by downloading and completing the survey questions and emailing it as an attachment to
    • Attachments in a Microsoft Word or searchable PDF format are preferred.
  • by downloading and completing the survey questions and mailing it to:
    Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
    15 Stout Street
    PO Box 1473
    Wellington 6140
    Attention: Defining Energy Hardship

If possible, we appreciate receiving submissions via the online survey.

Start the online survey

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Privacy statement

The information provided in your submissions will be used to inform MBIE’s development of a definition and measures for energy hardship, related policy development, and will inform advice to Ministers. It will also become official information, which means it may be requested under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA specifies that information is to be made available upon request unless there are sufficient grounds for withholding it.

Use and release of information

To contribute to transparency in our decision-making, MBIE proactively releases a wide range of information. MBIE will upload copies of submissions to this website. By making a submission, MBIE will consider you to have consented to uploading, unless you clearly specify otherwise in your submission.

Your name, or that of your organisation, will be published with your submission on the MBIE website unless you clearly specify you do not consent to your submission being published. Other contact details you provide will not be made publicly available.

Personal information

All information you provide will be visible to the MBIE officials who are analysing the submissions and/or working on related policy matters, in line with the Privacy Act 2020. The Privacy Act 2020 includes principles that guide how personal information can be collected, used, stored and disclosed by agencies in New Zealand.

If your submission contains personally identifiable information that should not be made public, please make clear what can and cannot be made public. For example, information about other people that you are sharing without their consent or information about children.

Contacting you about your submission

MBIE officials may use the information you provide to contact you regarding your submission. By making a submission, MBIE will consider you to have consented to being contacted, unless you clearly specify otherwise in your submission.

Viewing or correcting your information

This information will be securely held by MBIE. Generally we keep public submission information for 3 years. After that, it will be destroyed in line with MBIE’s records retention and disposal policy.  You have the right to ask for a copy of any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to be corrected if you think it is wrong. If you’d like to ask for a copy of your information, or to have it corrected, please contact us at

Last updated: 23 November 2021