Advertising claims that goods and services are superior, healthier and better for the environment are everywhere. You have the right to expect sellers' claims are accurate and can be backed up.
Any claim a business makes about a good or service must be able to be proven – whether the claim is express or implied. An express claim is made literally such as "All bikes half price" or "Clinical tests prove". An implied claim is more indirect such as, "Available to you at factory prices" which implies the price is particularly low.
Made in New Zealand?
Whether a product is New Zealand made will depend on the nature of the product and what consumers may understand about it. It is not possible to set out a precise formula as to exactly which products can be called 'New Zealand made'.
for a clothing item, where is it actually changed from fabric into a garment?
for a food item, where were the ingredients grown? Were they transformed elsewhere into another food item?
for a manufactured product, is it substantially manufactured in New Zealand? Where were the critical parts manufactured? Are any significant stages of manufacture carried out overseas?
Imagery on products
Any claims made - or impressions given - about the origin of a product must not be misleading or deceptive for consumers.
This includes the use of symbols that might mislead if they do not match the product qualities. For example kiwis, flags or other national emblems may convey false or misleading impressions that a product is made in New Zealand.
A souvenir supplier sold soap and skincare products that were packaged with claims that they were New Zealand made when this was not true. Packaging included a graphic of a kiwi together with the words Aotearoa New Zealand, and iconic New Zealand images. Names of its products included New Zealand Honey Hand Lotion, New Zealand Kiwifruit Lip Balm and New Zealand Lanolin Soap. However, all the ingredients were sourced from Malaysia, Indonesia and China and all the products were manufactured in China. The company was convicted and fined.
Environmental claims can be a powerful marketing tool and traders are using these claims as a point of difference with their competitors.
Environmental claims can include statements about recycling, biodegradability, and the use of recycled content or natural products.
You have the right to expect traders’ environmental claims to be truthful, accurate, scientifically sound and substantiated.
Health and nutritional claims
Some businesses may claim that using their product has a health benefit. Food Standards Australia New Zealand and Medsafe each have key roles to play in regulating the use of health claims on food products and medicines respectively. Our role is in relation to health claims being inaccurate or misleading.
Nutritional claims are claims that suggest or imply that food or drink products have particular beneficial nutritional properties - such as being 'low fat', 'high fibre', 'rich in vitamin C'.
Health and nutritional claims must be accurate and businesses must be able to back them up.