Your legal rights

In New Zealand, you have a range of legal rights as an employee, consumer or user of services such as health services.

If something happens that you feel is against your legal rights, you can complain. The Complaint line website has a list of agencies you can contact to help solve your problem.

Complaint line

Employment rights

Everyone who works in New Zealand has the same basic rights in the workplace, no matter what work you do or what position you hold.

For more information and where to get help, visit our Employment Rights page.

Employment rights 


Your legal rights in New Zealand

Consumer rights

New Zealand has laws to protect you when you buy any goods. If the goods are faulty or are different from how they were advertised , you can ask for a refund, repair or replacement. You can find out more about your rights as a consumer on the Consumer Protection website.

The Commerce Commission also has information in different languages including Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Chinese and Korean.

Help by product & service | Consumer Protection

Consumer rights - different languages | Commerce Commission

Insurance problems and complaints |

Keep the paperwork

When you buy any major goods and services, keep receipts, quotes and estimates, copies of agreements and similar documents. They can help if you have a problem later on.

Your rights in the health system

When you use New Zealand’s health and disability services, you are protected by the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.

You have a right to:

  • receive the information you need to make decisions about your health and treatments
  • have information given to you in a way that you understand it
  • make a choice based on the information and give your consent before you undergo a test or treatment
  • be treated with respect and dignity, taking into account your cultural needs and values
  • have a support person with you in most situations
  • services being provided with reasonable care and skill
  • complain about a provider, in a way that is appropriate for you.

If English is not your first language, the Health and Disability Commissioner website has information in over 40 other languages.

Health and disability | Community Law

Your rights | Health and Disability Commissioner


Your legal rights in New Zealand


Police and legal rights

For an overview of your rights when dealing with the police, check our New Zealand Police page.

New Zealand Police

Rights to privacy and personal information

You have the right to understand who holds your information and why, and the right to review and correct that information.

There are restrictions on how government and private organisations can store and use your information.

You can complain if an organisation reveals your personal information without your agreement or if they refuse to let you see information about yourself.

Privacy complaints |

Information Privacy Principles | Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Broadcasting and advertising standards

New Zealand has a Broadcasting Act with Codes and standards that outline what is required of broadcasters when they broadcast programmes in New Zealand. The standards differ slightly depending on the format, eg radio, free-to-air TV, or election programme.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) checks that advertising is not misleading, and is socially responsible. You can complain to the ASA if you think an advertisement breaks any of the advertising codes.

You can complain if you think a TV or radio programme or advertisement has not followed the standards, for example if you think it goes against good taste and decency.

Broadcasting Standards Authority NZ | BSA

Advertising Standards Authority | NZASA

Complain about a radio or TV programme |

Complain about an ad |

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