When is ‘Made in New Zealand’ not ‘Made in New Zealand’

June 1, 2016

in Corporate & Business

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The issue of labelling of particular food and health supplements is a hot topic in New Zealand.

Contamination and other scares continue to hit the headlines both nationally and internationally.

Reading the label of products has become far more common at the time of purchase by consumers. Therefore the reliance on the information on the label and in particular its origin or country of manufacture is key information for consumers and the accuracy of it obviously is essential.

Many ingredients show the phrase “NZ Made”. The question is what does it need to qualify for that designation.

The question has recently been considered by the High Court which has held that a product labelled as goats milk powder and tablets labelled as ‘New Zealand Made’ was not actually able to make that reference.

Importantly one of the critical ingredients, namely the goat’s milk powder itself was imported from overseas.

The court held that the packaging process carried out in New Zealand was not sufficient to support the claim that it was ‘New Zealand Made’. It is also interesting to note that Food Safety New Zealand approval of the labels was irrelevant to the issue of the misleading nature of the ‘New Zealand Made’ designation.

The supplier was held to be in breach of the Fair Trading Act as its labelling would mislead a reasonable consumer as to the goods true source.

While this gives some comfort to consumers that the law is trying to protect them, the fact of the matter is that it does show there is a considerable level of product on the market which has claims that stretch the legitimacy of some of the statements made on the labelling.

Farry & Co. provides a full range of services to our business clients around meeting legal and regulatory requirements for their business activities. We can assist on the issues of valid labelling and/or marketing to ensure Fair Trading Act infringement is avoided.

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co. who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Paul Farry
09 379 0055 or 03 477 8870


The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. 

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