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Do I need a permit to run a Sales Promotion in New Zealand?

A question we’re often asked by Australian marketing managers is:  Do I need permits to run a trade promotion in New Zealand?

The simple answer is no, so long as a competition is only promoting the inherent trade of a product or service. Entry to a promotion can be tied to a product purchase. However, the promoter must not benefit financially from the sale of entries / tickets etc.

In addition, gambling / raffle style promotions where the pool size is determined by the number of tickets sold do require government approval. The general rules from the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs are as follows:

Criteria for a lawful sales promotion

Conditions cannot be changed once the competition has started.

Be aware of any other New Zealand legislation, such as the Fair Trading Act, that may also affect your sales promotion scheme.

Promoter conditions

Businesses cannot make any commercial gain from the sales promotion, other than through the normal trading of goods and services. For example, items can’t be sold for more than their usual value.

The goods and services being promoted under the sales promotion are normally sold, created or distributed by the retailer.

All conditions, including the period of the promotion, must be made clear in promotional material before the event is run.

Entry conditions

It must not cost the person anything extra to enter the competition, other than the normal price of the goods and services.

The customer may be asked to pay the cost of sending their entry in, however:

  • the cost of sending the entry must be at the standard rate – for example the standard rate for posting a letter or for sending a text message via a mobile phone.
  • if it is necessary to download an app to enter the promotion, the app must be free to download.

Here is a link to the New Zealand government fact sheet.

For further advice, please feel free to contact us.

Or, for a guide to Australian Trade Lottery Permits, click here.

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