Having this information about a product's water consumption and efficiency means that consumers can make a more informed purchasing decision when buying products that use water.

What is the consumer information standard for water efficiency labels?

Consumer Information Standards (Water Efficiency) Regulations 2010 AS/NZS 6400, and the Consumer Information Standards (Water Efficiency) Regulations 2017 AS/NZS 6400:2016 set the official consumer information standard suppliers of water-using products must comply with.

Suppliers may comply with either Regulations but from 30 September 2019, all suppliers must comply with the 2017 Regulations.

What products do the rules apply to?

The New Zealand Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) applies to these new products:

  • washing machines
  • dishwashers
  • lavatories
  • showers
  • taps
  • urinals.

What are the rules?

The above water-using products must have a WELS label, to show how water efficient the product is, either next to the product or at the point of sale. The rules apply to products being sold in store or online.

Read more on the Ministry for the Environment website.

Complying with the standard

It is your responsibility to ensure water-using products you display for sale have the correct WELS labels.

If you sell or display one of these products for sale without a WELS label, you will have breached the Fair Trading Act. It is an offence under section 28(1) of the Fair Trading Act to supply, offer to supply or advertise to supply certain water-using products without a WELS label.

We enforce the Fair Trading Act, and may issue you with an infringement notice requiring you to pay a fine of up to $1,000. An infringement notice can be issued by the Commission if it has reasonable grounds to believe you have not complied with the requirements to display WELs labels set out in the consumer information standard. Alternatively, we may take a prosecution against you in Court. Companies can be fined up to $30,000 for each breach of the Act. Individuals can be fined up to $10,000.

Read more about WELS on the Ministry for the Environment website.