Big fines for dodgy “Made in NZ” goods

Fines cumulatively worth $NZ 601,900 were issued in Rotorua District Court to four people for selling imported goods falsely labelled as being “Made In New Zealand”.

Fairfax reports that products included duvets and rugs, which were sold to Asian tourists.

The court was told that victims of the fraud were sold goods that were claimed to be made from “snow alpaca”, a non-existent animal.

The Commerce Commission, which brought the charges, said deliberately deceptive labelling had to be dealt with.

"The tourist market and New Zealand's reputation for producing premium wool products must be protected," Fairfax reports the commission’s chairman, Mark Berry, as saying.

"When tourists come to our shores they must be able to trust that what they are being told is true.

"Re-labelling items as being made in New Zealand when they are not, misleads buyers and can harm the New Zealand tourism industry."

The firms fined were Hyeon Company, Duvet 2000, JM Wool and Premium Alpaca New Zealand.