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Buying electricity appliances and equipment

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself or the on-line trader before buying an electrical appliance or item or equipment online. The answers will alert you to the possibility the appliance or equipment may be unsafe or unsuitable for use in New Zealand.

  1. Is the Appliance fitted with a New Zealand plug?
    If not, do not buy, and do not buy if it is supplied with an adapter. The plug should be moulded onto the supply cord.
    Here are some typical examples:
    [image] Electrical plug example 1.    [image] Electrical plug example 2.
  2. Is the voltage correct for New Zealand?
    New Zealand domestic voltage is 230 volts and 50 Hertz. The appliance must be marked with this voltage as part of the manufacturer’s labelling.
  3. Does the appliance come with user instructions in English?
    If not, do not buy. Ask for a copy before you purchase.
  4. Does the seller provide a Supplier Declaration of Conformity that shows that the appliance complies with an AS/NZS Standard?
    If the seller cannot supply a written declaration, and it is a medium risk declared article or a high risk declared article, do not buy.
  5. Where is the seller located?
    Not all “.co.nz” Internet sites are in New Zealand. If they are not in New Zealand, you are not protected by New Zealand law.


Visit the Consumer Affairs website to check what your consumer rights are.


Second-hand appliances

Avoid buying second-hand electrical appliances online because there is no reliable way of determining the safety of a second-hand appliance purchased through the internet. A trader cannot sell a second hand appliance “as is”. They must take all practicable steps to ensure it is safe.

Remember to keep all records of your purchase.

Last updated 17 December 2013
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