What we do
We work with New Zealand businesses to protect consumers, build market confidence, promote a level playing field for business and support domestic and international trade.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Hīkina Whakatutuki oversees product safety in New Zealand. We regulate the safety of a wide range of products — excluding food, medicines, energy or vehicle products, which are handled by other government agencies.
Our work includes investigating national and international emerging product safety issues. We also work to reduce significant risks and hazards that products may pose to New Zealand consumers.
Effective trade needs transparency and a balance of information and trust between traders and consumers. Trading Standards administers and enforces New Zealand’s system of trade measurement (also known as legal metrology), making sure that weighing and measuring equipment and the quantity in packaged goods is accurate.
Our work provides important controls needed for accurate measurement, to support domestic and international trade.
Fuel quality monitoring
We maintain and administer the Fuel Quality Monitoring Programme. This programme monitors the quality of retail fuel in New Zealand and makes sure it complies with specifications set out in the Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations. Statistical sampling is used to detect non-compliance.
The Regulations specify limits on a number of critical properties for premium and regular petrol grades, diesel, and biofuels such as biodiesel and ethanol. Because the main focus of the programme is to sample and test the quality of fuels as they are sold to consumers, sampling is done from dispenser nozzles at the point of sale.
Motor vehicle traders register
We administer and maintain the Motor Vehicle Traders Register (MVTR). The MVTR holds essential information about registered traders and their business. The Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 (MVSA) sets out the criteria for who must register as a motor vehicle trader. Basically, all persons carrying on the business of motor vehicle trading are required to register.
The online register can be searched for registered traders along with banned traders. You can use it to find out if a motor vehicle trader is registered and therefore legally able to trade.
Acting in its capacity as the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders, Trading Standards is responsible for sections 95-119 of the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003. This includes investigating odometer tampering, and motor vehicle traders who are trading illegally. Complaints about problems with a vehicle purchased should be referred to the Commerce Commission or Consumer Protection.
The Auctioneers Act was passed into law in December 2013, and sets out what information a person needs to provide to become registered as an auctioneer. The Act made a number of regulatory changes that strengthened consumer rights and simplified business compliance. It also resulted in a simpler registration system, and provided for an online public register of auctioneers.
Trading Standards administers and maintains the Auctioneers Register. A person carries on business as an auctioneer if they charge a fee or a commission for a sale by auction, unless they’re doing so as an employee or agent of a registered auctioneer.
Independently qualified pool inspectors
We administer and maintain the register of Independently Qualified Pool Inspectors (pool inspectors). A pool inspector is someone who has been accepted by Trading Standards — on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Hīkina Whakatutuki — as qualified to inspect pool barriers and determine whether they meet the requirements of the Building Act.
When pool owners have their swimming pool barriers inspected, they can choose either their local territorial authority (local council) or an independent pool inspector to carry out the 3-yearly inspection.