Company fined for false information

Yesterday the District Court in Christchurch fined a company for selling tourist products which looked like New Zealand products but were made in China. A Christchurch company, ProKiwi International, imported body care products from China but labeled them with New Zealand symbols like a picture of a kiwi, Mt Cook, a merino sheep, and a bee on a Manuka flower. They used names like “New Zealand Kiwifruit Lip Balm”, “New Zealand Lanolin Soap”, but these products were made in China and the ingredients to make these products came from Malaysia, Indonesia or China.

Many tourists visit souvenir shops to buy New Zealand products to take home as gifts or as a reminder of their visit to New Zealand. They don’t want to take home a New Zealand gift made in China. Under the Fair Trading Act (FTA), sellers cannot mislead consumers. It is not necessary for a product to have the name of the country where it is made but the seller cannot give false information. The name, “Aotearoa New Zealand” or pictures of New Zealand animals on a product gave false information because people thought that the product was made in New Zealand.

Products which are made in New Zealand are usually more expensive than products made in China. ProKiwi International was able to sell products more cheaply and this was unfair to makers of New Zealand products. These products were sold in many souvenir shops in New Zealand.

The Commerce Commission took this company to court. The company pleaded guilty to 17 charges of misleading the public and was fined $48,000.


1 If orange juice is imported from Australia but bottled in New Zealand with some New Zealand water added, is this New Zealand-made? (Answer: The FTA says, NO. The main ingredients must be New Zealand ingredients.)
2 The FTA says food products do not need to have the country of origin on them. Do you think we need to know where our food has come from?
3 If a jacket is designed in New Zealand but made in China, can this have a New Zealand label on it?

One Comments

  1. i think it is not important to know from where our food comes from .
    cause i am sure of that if the country has good regulations or rules we can be ensured that all the food products in the market are safe and healthy .
    about the it can not have a new zealand label on it .cause according to fta the main part must be made in new zealand to has a ,made in new zealand,label on it

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