The term 'spam' refers to emails, SMS texts or faxes from an individual, or a company, that you didn’t ask to receive. It’s the junk mail that you get, advertising products or services you don’t want.

Most spam is annoying, but harmless. However, it can also be malicious — spam can be sent with the intention of gaining access to your personal or financial details. This is called phishing.

Who’s responsible

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) investigates complaints about spam in New Zealand. 

What they’ll do

DIA are responsible for making sure that the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 — which protects people from spam — isn’t breached. They investigate reports of spam and take action against the person or company who sent it. If they receive a lot of complaints about the same thing they may investigate it as one overall complaint, rather than looking at each report individually. DIA may contact you for further information while they’re investigating your complaint.

If someone is found to have knowingly sent spam, DIA may:

  • give them a formal warning
  • ask the sender to agree in writing that they won’t send spam again
  • fine the individual or business responsible for sending the spam. If they pay the fine, no further action will be taken
  • seek a court proceeding.

We recommend you report spam directly to DIA.

Report email spam to DIA

You can report text spam for free on your phone. Forward the spam text message to 7726 and DIA will contact you with details on how to complete a report.

Report text spam to DIA

Related content

CERT TEC 180518 WEB 143

Common Threats


Phishing is a type of email scam. The sender pretends to be a trustworthy organisation — like a bank or government agenc