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26 August 2021

Consumer NZ: Younger consumers more focused on right to repair

New Zealanders under 45 years old are more likely to have had broken appliances repaired – compared to those aged 45 or over according to new research from Consumer NZ.

Forty percent of New Zealanders aged from 18 to 44 years old reported having a faulty appliance repaired in the past 12 months, compared to just 18% of those over 45 years old.

“This response shows younger consumers value repairing their broken appliances. It suggests they are aware that tossing something that can be repaired isn’t the best idea,” Consumer NZ product test manager Paul Smith said.

The survey also noted that significantly more younger consumers understand that an appliance might develop minor faults and need repair during its lifetime.

Less than half of all respondents said they would prefer to replace a faulty appliance. Almost a third (28%) said they’d had an appliance repaired.

However, consumers report frustrating barriers to repair. Sourcing spare parts and repair expertise was a problem for 40% of people who paid for a repair outside of warranty or a remedy through the Consumer Guarantees Act. Overall, 71% of appliance owners thought repairs cost too much.

For one in four appliance owners (29%) finding somewhere to get a repair was an obstacle.

“When consumers want to get their products repaired, many hit a brick wall. If repair isn’t a convenient and cost-effective option, appliances that just need a simple fix get thrown away,” Smith said.

"Our Built to Last campaign is pushing manufacturers to take more responsibility. We should all have the right to repair the products we own. Everyone should expect durable appliances that can be easily fixed – manufacturers have to step up to make this happen."

Our survey

The results were obtained from the Consumer NZ Built to Last nationally representative survey of 1499 people undertaken in June 2021. The survey focused on asking respondents about appliances they own that cost more than $300.


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