Reprint as at 17 March 2015

Fair Trading Act 1986

Public Act1986 No 121
Date of assent17 December 1986
Commencementsee section 1(2)


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.


Title [Repealed]

1 Short Title and commencement

1A Purpose

2 Interpretation

3 Application of Act to conduct outside New Zealand

4 Application of Act to the Crown

5 Application of Act to Crown corporations

5A No liability under Act if not liable under Securities Act 1978 or Securities Markets Act 1988 [Repealed]

5B Act does not apply to certain conduct regulated by Takeovers Code

5C No contracting out: general rule

5D No contracting out: exception for parties in trade

6 Functions of Commission in relation to dissemination of information

7 Money to be appropriated by Parliament for purposes of this Act [Repealed]

8 Annual report [Repealed]

Part 1
Unfair conduct

Misleading and deceptive conduct

9 Misleading and deceptive conduct generally

10 Misleading conduct in relation to goods

11 Misleading conduct in relation to services

12 Misleading conduct in relation to employment

Unsubstantiated representations

12A Unsubstantiated representations

12B Court must have regard to certain matters

12C Limitation on commencement of proceedings in relation to unsubstantiated representations

12D Section 12A subject to other enactments

False representations

13 False or misleading representations

14 False representations and other misleading conduct in relation to land

14A When vendor bids are misrepresentations

15 Limited application of sections 9 to 14 to news media

16 Certain conduct in relation to trade marks prohibited

Unfair practices

17 Offering gifts and prizes

18 Trading stamp schemes prohibited [Repealed]

19 Bait advertising

20 Referral selling

21 Demanding or accepting payment without intending to supply as ordered

21A Liability of recipient of unsolicited goods

21B Liability of recipient of unsolicited services

21C Prohibition on asserting right to payment in respect of unsolicited goods or unsolicited services

21D Regulations

22 Misleading representations about certain business activities

23 Harassment and coercion

24 Pyramid selling schemes

25 Provisions of this Part not limited by reference to other provisions of this Part

26 Importation of goods bearing false trade description

Unfair contract terms

26A Unfair contract terms in standard form consumer contracts

Part 2
Consumer information

27 Consumer information standards

28 Compliance with consumer information standards

28A Regulations relating to disclosure by fund-raisers making requests for charitable purposes

28B Disclosure of trader status on Internet

Part 3
Product safety

29 Product safety standards

30 Compliance with product safety standards

30A Product safety policy statements

30B Review of product safety policy statements

31 Unsafe goods

31A Voluntary product recall

32 Compulsory product recall

33 Importation of certain goods prohibited

Product safety officers

33A Appointment of product safety officers

33B Certificates of appointment

33C Powers of product safety officers

33D Suspension of supply notices

Part 4
Safety of services

34 Meaning of services

35 Safety standards in respect of services

36 Compliance with services safety standards

Part 4A
Consumer transactions and auctions

36A Purpose of Part

Subpart 1Layby sales

36B Meaning of layby sale agreement

36C Disclosure requirements relating to layby sale agreement

36D Further disclosure if requested by consumer

36E Risk in goods

36F Cancellation of layby sale agreement by consumer

36G Cancellation of layby sale agreement by supplier

36H Effect of cancellation of layby sale agreement

36I Bankruptcy, receivership, liquidation, or voluntary administration of supplier: completion of layby sale agreement

36J Bankruptcy, receivership, or liquidation of supplier: consumer priority

Subpart 2Uninvited direct sales

36K Meaning of uninvited direct sale agreement

36L Disclosure requirements relating to uninvited direct sale agreements

36M Cancellation of uninvited direct sale agreement by consumer

36N Enforcement of uninvited direct sale agreement by supplier

36O Effect of cancellation of uninvited direct sale agreement

36P Supplier's obligations on cancellation of uninvited direct sale agreement

36Q Consumer's obligations on cancellation of uninvited direct sale agreement

36R Compensation on cancellation of uninvited direct sale agreement

36S Regulations

Subpart 3Extended warranties

36T Meaning of extended warranty agreement and related definitions

36U Disclosure requirements relating to extended warranty agreements

36V Cancellation of extended warranty agreement

36W Regulations

Subpart 4Auctions

36X Definitions

36Y Application of subpart

36Z Each lot is separate contract of sale

36ZA Start and end of auction

36ZB Notice to participants

36ZC Vendors selling in trade

36ZD Vendor bids

36ZE Bids may be withdrawn until end of auction

36ZF Account and payment of proceeds

Part 5
Enforcement and remedies

Jurisdiction of courts

37 Jurisdiction of High Court

38 Jurisdiction of District Courts

39 Jurisdiction of Disputes Tribunals


40 Contraventions of provisions of Parts 1 to 4A an offence

40A Additional penalty for contravention of section 24 involving commercial gain

40B Infringement offence, etc, defined

40C Infringement offence alleged

40D Issue of infringement notice

40E Procedural requirements for infringement notices

40F What Commission does with infringement fees

40G Effect of infringement notice

40H Regulations relating to infringement offences

Civil proceedings

41 Injunctions may be granted by court for contravention of Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4

42 Order to disclose information or publish advertisement

43 Other orders

43A Application for order under section 43

43B Limits on jurisdiction of District Court and Disputes Tribunal to make orders under section 43

44 Defences

45 Conduct by servants or agents

46 Finding in proceedings to be evidence

Enforceable undertakings

46A Commission may accept undertakings

46B Enforcement of undertakings

Management banning orders

46C Management banning orders

46D Terms of management banning orders

46E Offence to breach management banning order

46F Procedures relating to management banning order

46G Seeking leave of court

Declaration of unfair contract terms

46H Application by Commission for declaration of unfair contract term

46I Declaration of unfair contract terms

46J Standard form contracts

46K Terms that may not be declared to be unfair contract terms

46L When term in consumer contract is unfair

46M Examples of unfair contract terms

Part 6
Miscellaneous provisions

47 Power to search

47A Powers conferred by warrant [Repealed]

47B Warrant to be produced [Repealed]

47C Other duties of person who executes a warrant [Repealed]

47D Duty to assist [Repealed]

47E Power to inspect documents and goods [Repealed]

47F Offence to resist, obstruct, or delay

47G Commission may require person to supply information or documents or give evidence

47H Notices

47I Service of notices

47J Offence to contravene section 47G

47K Commission may authorise employees for monitoring and enforcement purposes

47L Powers of authorised employees

48 Proceedings privileged

48A Sharing of information and documents with Financial Markets Authority or Takeovers Panel

48B Purpose of sections 48C to 48O (which relate to assistance to overseas regulators)

48C Definitions of terms used in sections 48B to 48O

48D Restrictions on providing compulsorily acquired information and investigative assistance

48E Government-to-government co-operation arrangements

48F Regulator-to-regulator co-operation arrangements

48G Content of co-operation arrangements

48H Procedures relating to co-operation arrangements

48I Providing compulsorily acquired information and investigative assistance

48J Conditions on providing compulsorily acquired information and investigative assistance

48K Notice to persons affected by provision of information

48L Reporting on use of co-operation arrangements

48M Sharing of non-compulsorily acquired information not affected

48N Information provided by consent

48O Maintenance of privilege

48P Proceedings relating to financial products or financial services

48Q No pecuniary penalty and fine for same conduct involving financial products or financial services

48R Unsubstantiated representations prohibition does not apply to financial markets disclosure

48S Certain conduct under Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 does not contravene various provisions of this Act

49 Repeals and consequential amendments

50 Saving of other laws

51 Application of Act to goods that are, or may be, exported to China

Schedule 1
Enactment amended


Schedule 2
Enactments repealed

Schedule 3
Orders and notices revoked

Financial Markets (Repeals and Amendments) Act 2013

Reprint notes

Title  [Repealed]

  • Title: repealed, on 18 December 2013, by section 4 of the Fair Trading Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 143).