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The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › Anti-Spam

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What's new

Information pages for keeping safe online
We're on Facebook
Like us on Facebook to keep up with spam news. We also post about scams that pose a direct threat or risk to New Zealanders.

TXT spam complaints easier to lodge
It has just become easier for people to complain about TXT spam. They can now forward offending messages free of charge to the SPAM (7726) short code, and use our new mobi site to provide more information.

Legal action against spammer
We have lodged a statement of claim in the High Court in Auckland alleging breaches under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 by Wayne Robert Mansfield of Perth, Western Australia.

Faxes captured by anti-spam law
The schedule of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 has been amended to remove ‘facsimiles’ from the list of exempt electronic messages.

Beware using purchased address lists
Companies marketing or promoting their services with email addresses purchased from database marketing companies risk breaking anti-spam law.

About Spam

Spam is the generic term for the electronic commercial email, fax, and mobile/smart phone text (TXT) and image-based messages you receive without having requested them.

These message are commercial in nature as they market or promote goods or services.

The Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 is designed to help stop these activities by creating a safe and secure environment for businesses and the wider community.

Businesses and individuals can Complain about Spam to the Department of Internal Affairs' Electronic Messaging Compliance team. The Department may investigate these complaints and take the appropriate action.

If you are concerned that something you have seen may be objectionable please fill out the online Content Complaint Form or contact a Censorship Inspector. The Department enforces the Films, Videos, and Publication Classification Act 1993.

New Zealand Spam Law

Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 came into effect on 5 September 2007. The Act defines spam as 'unsolicited commercial electronic messages'.

The Act covers email, fax, instant messaging, mobile/smart phone text (TXT) and image-based messages of a commercial nature. It does NOT cover Internet pop-ups or voice telemarketing.

Purposes of the Act

The purposes of the Act are to:
  • Prohibit unsolicited commercial electronic messages with a New Zealand link (i.e. messages sent to, from or within New Zealand)
  • Require commercial electronic messages to include accurate information about the person who authorised the sending of the message and a functional unsubscribe facility to enable the recipient to instruct the sender that no further messages are to be sent to the recipient
  • Prohibit address-harvesting software being used to create address lists for sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages
  • Deter people from using information and communication technologies inappropriately.
The Act is also intended to encourage good direct marketing practice by:
  • Requiring electronic messages to contain a functioning unsubscribe facility
  • Ensuring electronic messages are sent only to customers who have consented to receiving it
  • Restricting the use of address-harvesting software.

Role of the Electronic Messaging Compliance team

The Department of Internal Affairs' Anti-Spam Compliance Unit was established in September 2007. It has since changed its name to Electronic Messaging Compliance. It consists of a Manager, a Team Leader, several Investigators, and an Analyst.

Electronic Messaging Compliance directly enforces the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 by investigating complaints about spam.

It takes enforcement action against those who deliberately flout the law, facilitates international and local industry/agency liaison, monitors emerging technologies, and advises Government on spam matters.

Electronic Messaging Compliance employs a five-pronged strategy for tackling spam. This encompasses: We publish information for businesses to comply with the Act and the latest reported scams. You can also read the results of our investigations and view statistics about spam and scams.

Make sure to read our press releases and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Approach to Compliance and Enforcement

The Department's approach to compliance and enforcement in this area is set out in the document:

Contact Us

Contact the Electronic Messaging Compliance team by email, phone, fax or post:


General enquiries:

Questions about making spam complaints:

Report a scam:

If you know the name of the person you want to contact, you can email them at


(+64 4) 495 7200


(+64 4) 495 9314


Electronic Messaging Compliance

Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 805
Wellington 6140
New Zealand