Company fined $36,000 for unsolicited messages

Company fined $36,000 for unsolicited messages

Wellington, October 22, 2019

Picture: Shutterstock

The New Zealand Trustees Association (NZTA) and Founder Errol Anderson, have been fined a total penalty of $44,000 in the Auckland High Court for sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages.

NZTA is required to pay $36,000, while Mr Anderson must pay a separate penalty of $ 8000.

The Internal Affairs Department investigated NZTA and Mr Anderson after receiving nearly 80 complaints of unsolicited messages being sent to registered New Zealand charities.

The Department’s Electronic Messaging Compliance Unit found NZTA and Mr Anderson sent more than 24,000 unsolicited messages sent between October 2015 and March 2018. 

Jolene Armadoros, Director Digital Safety, said this prosecution should act as a deterrent to individuals and groups looking to profit from spam.

“This ruling has set a precedent for businesses on how cases such as these will be pursued moving forward. We are committed to assisting New Zealand businesses, achieve full compliance with the Act. However, when there is blatant non-compliance, and people are taken advantage of, we will take legal action,” she said.

Please visit www.dia.govt.nz/Spam; or Text SPAM to 7726

Under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007, an unsolicited commercial electronic message refers to a message that markets and promotes goods or services or enables a person to dishonestly obtain a financial gain from another person.  

The Internal Affairs Department regulates the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 by investigating complaints about spam.

As well as taking enforcement action against those who breach the Act, the Department facilitates international and local industry and agency liaison, monitors emerging technologies, and advises public and private agencies on spam matters.

Source: Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington.

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