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Consumer Foundation

Consumer NZ is non-profit. We’re not government funded and so much of what we do is funded by our members, for our members.

But our mission is to help all New Zealanders get a fair deal.

The Consumer Foundation, a registered charity, is one of the ways we can achieve that.

The Consumer Foundation’s aims are:

  • To fund research projects and education programmes that ensure the welfare of consumers and raise public awareness of consumer issues

  • To promote change by presenting cases and evidence to organisations and agencies on issues that matter to consumers

  • To represent consumers by funding our participation on committees and councils that have an interest in consumer affairs.

How can you help?

To help us get a fair deal for all New Zealanders, you can support our work by making a donation or a bequest. We’ll use your contribution to:

  • Investigate issues of concern to consumers
  • Educate consumers about issues they need to know about, and
  • Work for positive change

Make a donation

Personal and corporate donations are welcome. No donation money is spent on administration. Donations of $5 or more are tax deductible.

Donate

Ongoing donations

To make an ongoing donation or bequest, please contact:

Suzanne Chetwin (sue@consumer.org.nz)
Secretary and Treasurer, Consumer Foundation
Private Bag 6996
Marion Square
Wellington 6141

Where your money goes

You can tell us where you’d like your donation or bequest to be spent, by choosing a project that you care about the most.

Or you can let us decide, confident that 100% of your contribution will be used to achieve our aims. Consumer Foundation funds are never spent on administration.

Below are some examples of how your donation or bequests could be used to support each of our charitable aims:

Aim 1: To fund research projects and education programmes that ensure the welfare of consumers and raise public awareness of consumer issues.

Product recall register

We keep a comprehensive, independent, up-to-date product recall register. Not only does this provide a list of recalled products, but it also gives the public clear information on the problem with each recalled product and who to turn to for repairs, modifications or replacements.

Campaigns

  • Sneaky fees
    Our latest survey found more than two-thirds of consumers have been stung by sneaky "booking" or "service" fees. We’re calling for all-inclusive pricing rules to make companies disclose the full purchase price upfront.

  • Choosing Wisely
    Modern medicine has given us more ways than ever to diagnose and treat illnesses. But there’s mounting evidence that more tests and procedures doesn’t always mean better care. Choosing Wisley aims to help consumers make more informed healthcare choices.

  • Drop the dates
    Our survey found 1 in 5 gift card recipients had been left empty-handed after the card expired before they could redeem its full value. That’s why we’re calling on retailers to put an end to unfair expiry dates.

  • Do Not Knock
    Our Do Not Knock campaign targets door-to-door traders. We’ve distributed Do Not Knock stickers to more than 400,000 New Zealand households.

Learn more about our campaigns

Aim 2: To promote change by presenting cases and evidence to organisations and agencies on issues that matter to consumers

  • Retail payment systems in NZ
    We submitted evidence to MBIE that showed consumers were being adversely affected by high interchange fees (the fee paid by a merchant when a customer makes a credit or debit card payment) in support of greater regulation to protect consumers.

  • Electricity line charges
    New pricing options for Electricity Distributors are supposed to help consumers. But we’re concerned that some consumers may be unable to take advantage of the new pricing structures, especially those on low or fixed incomes. We raised our concerns in a submission we made on the New Pricing Options for Electricity Distributors discussion paper.

  • Microbeads
    We submitted in support of a ban on microbeads by the Ministry for the Environment. However, we recommended the ban be extended to include all personal and domestic products.

See more of our submissions

Aim 3: To represent consumers by funding our participation on committees and councils that have an interest in consumer affairs.

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Become a supporter

We appreciate not everyone can make a donation or become a paying Consumer member.

But everyone can sign up for free as a supporter. We’ll send you regular emails to keep you in the know and give you the opportunity to take part in our campaigns for change.

History of the Consumer Foundation

The Consumer Foundation, formed in 2010, incorporates the Emily Carpenter Consumer Charitable Trust, which was established in 1994 with funds from a bequest made by the late Emily Carpenter CMG BHSc.

Emily was one of the New Zealand consumer movement’s most dedicated and longest-serving participants.

The board of trustees

An interim board has been established which is chaired by former privacy commissioner and Consumer NZ board member Marie Shroff.

Other Foundation board members includes former Consumer NZ chief executive David Russell, current chief executive Sue Chetwin, and Consumer NZ board members Sue Kedgley and Oscar Alpers.