This privacy statement describes how Consumer NZ Incorporated (Consumer NZ) deals with your personal information, and how we protect your privacy.
Consumer NZ is New Zealand’s independent, not-for-profit, product and service research organisation. We provide services to the public to help consumers make informed decisions about products and services, including offering advice on the most appropriate and cost-effective power providers for household needs through our Powerswitch service.
This privacy statement outlines what personal information we collect, how we store, use and share it, and how you can access or correct your personal information. We are committed to protecting your privacy when you visit our websites or contact us in any way.
We deal with your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020 and this privacy statement.
We may occasionally update this privacy statement, to reflect changes to our practices, and will notify you when we do so. This statement was last updated on 9 January 2023.
We collect personal information that we need in order to deliver our services to you. We collect personal information directly from you when you access our services or engage with us through our websites and surveys.
Information collected from you
If you access any of our services (including supporting our campaigns, responding to surveys, contacting us with a Consumer Trusted business enquiry, signing up for our newsletters or checking plan options on Powerswitch), we will collect some or all of the following personal information:
Collectively, this is known as your “personal information".
Information collected from third parties
We may collect information from third parties to enhance our services, however, when we do so, this information is collected in aggregated form. That means that we do not collect any personal information from third parties about you. However, we may collect aggregated information and information about household electricity consumption and combine that information with personal information we hold about you.
In order to deliver our services (whether through Consumer NZ or Powerswitch), we use your personal information in the ways set out below. If we need to use information in a way not outlined below, we will only do so if required or permitted by law or with your authorisation.
We use your personal information to:
All Powerswitch and Consumer members and Digital Pass holders will be signed up to automatically receive email marketing communications, including surveys. For all our marketing emails, you can choose to remove yourself from receiving these communications by following the "unsubscribe" prompt at the bottom of each email.
Comments and community contributions
We may use some of your information to display it within the Member comments section. When you submit a comment or review, your first name and last name initial e.g. Mary B, or your display name (if you have set one), is displayed with your comment. You can set up or change your display name in your account profile at any time.
We do not publicly display any other personal information in our community areas. We strongly advise that you do not post your email address, home address, phone number or other personal information as part of your community contributions.
Sometimes, we might want to use the messages you post on consumer.org.nz in our articles or marketing material. If so, we will endeavour to get your permission before copying or quoting your message.
We do not sell or rent your personal information to any third party. However, we do share your personal information with trusted third parties that work on our behalf to deliver our services (such as for computing and storage purposes, for email correspondence and marketing purposes and to assist you in switching electricity providers).
Third parties, some of which are based overseas, which we share your personal information with include:
We do not authorise third parties to use or disclose your personal information except for the purpose of providing the service we request from them. All third parties, which we disclose your personal information to, are subject to obligations under the New Zealand Privacy Act 2020 to protect your information from unauthorised use or disclosure.
You can choose to opt out of having your email address provided to Google and Facebook for targeted advertising by emailing us with your request to [email protected]umer.org.nz.
We do not share your personal information with any overseas providers which are not subject to the New Zealand Privacy Act. If we were to do so, we would obtain prior authorisation from you before we disclose it to any such third parties.
We sell aggregated survey results to third parties but the results do not contain any personally identifiable or personal information.
We store your personal information we collect from you in accordance with our obligations under the Privacy Act and take reasonable steps to ensure the security of your personal information. We use trusted third-party providers to store and process our data and ensure that our cloud-based platforms meet New Zealand privacy requirements. For more information on privacy practices for our key third party providers, see the following links:
We retain personal information only for as long as we need it in order to continue to provide you with our service(s), maintain the security of our websites or as required by law.
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the personal information we collect is protected against loss, unauthorised access and disclosure or any other misuse. We have an information and communications technology policy in place to ensure staff manage and protect Consumer NZ data and devices. Access to our systems and platforms is controlled, through role-based access, and all access is logged and audited.
Temporary cookies: We use temporary (per-session) cookies to "remember" that a member, Digital Pass holder or Powerswitch user has logged in. This means you do not have to enter your email address and password more than once during a visit.
Please note: Our temporary cookies must be accepted to login and access consumer.org.nz, or to purchase a membership or Digital Pass from us. If your browser is set to notify you when you receive a cookie, you will be prompted to accept the cookie. Please select "Yes".
Our temporary cookies will disappear when you logout of your member or Digital Pass account.
Important: You should not use a “remember my login” feature on a browser unless you are the only person who has access to the browser. Never enable this feature on a public access computer as this could allow other people to access your personal information.
Third party cookies and other technologies: We use third party cookies and other technologies for marketing and to gather website analytics. This includes:
You can opt out of Google Analytics without affecting how you visit our site. For more information on opting out, please visit this page.
For more information on Marketo, our third party inbound marketing and sales software, please visit this page.
You can also ask your browser to delete or block third party cookies: simply search online for “cookies” + the name of your internet browser (for example, “Google Chrome”) for step-by-step instructions.
Our websites provide links to other websites when we consider you may be interested in the content of those sites. We do not endorse any third party sites or their content and we have no control over the conduct of the companies or organisations operating those sites.
Before you disclose any personal information to another site, we advise you to check its terms and conditions, including its privacy and security policies.
You have the right to request access to and correct any personal information we hold about you at any time.
Consumer NZ members and Digital Pass holders can change their information on consumer.org.nz by entering your email address and password and updating your account profile.
Alternatively, you can contact Customer Services on 0800 266 786 or at [email protected].
Rights of access
You have the right to request a copy of the personal information we hold about you. When any such request is received, we will process your request as soon as possible and provide you with our decision on your request within 20 working days after your request. We will also take steps to verify your identity before providing you with any requested personal information.
Asking us to stop using your information
You can ask us to stop using your information. However, if you ask us to stop using your information, we may not be able to provide you with all our services, such as emailing you newsletters and updates.
You can choose to opt out of having your email address provided to Google and Facebook for targeted advertising by emailing us with your request to [email protected].
Consumer NZ is committed to dealing quickly and appropriately with any privacy complaints.
If you are concerned this privacy statement may have been breached or your privacy has been compromised, please email us immediately on [email protected] or call customer services on 0800 266 786.
If we cannot adequately address your privacy concerns, you have the right to complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. For more information on privacy see the Privacy Commissioner's website.
You can find more information about our policies for protecting your personal information in our terms and conditions and our security policy.