Mobile Marketing Legislation – New Zealand

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

The Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 came into effect on 5 September 2007 and is designed to help stop these activities by creating a safe and secure environment for businesses and the wider community. 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:

• Directly enforcing the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007
• Promoting education and awareness
• Facilitating industry liaison
• Monitoring emerging technologies
• Working with international agencies.

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.


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