03 November 2020

Dispute Resolution Services – Outreach to Pasifika Communities

 Mālō nī, Noa'ia, Mauri, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Tālofa, Kia orana, Mālō e lelei, Talofa lava, Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings  

Dispute Resolution Services – Outreach to Pasifika Communities

A free service to consumers regulated by the Minister of Consumer Affairs


Sometimes when you have a problem, it seems that there is nothing you can do.  If you have a complaint about a big company like your bank, your insurer or finance company, or your phone, internet, electricity or gas provider, they are too big and you are so small, it seems like you cannot win.  They are too big to take to court, and it will cost you money.


The Government recognises your disadvantage and has promoted Dispute Resolution Schemes to help to resolve these issues AT NO COST TO YOU.  The Minister of Consumer Affairs regulates these schemes in many of the areas where people may have problems.


What do the dispute resolution schemes do?
All schemes are free and independent. They can answer your questions, look into your complaints, or get you to the right place.


The financial service provider schemes cover banks, credit cards, insurance companies, small lenders, money transfer operators, financial advisers, and savings funds.  If you have a complaint about any of these you can contact one of the four schemes: The Banking Ombudsman, The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, Financial Services Complaints, or Financial Dispute Resolution Service.


Utilities Disputes deals with complaints against electricity and gas companies.  If you have a dispute with your electricity or gas company, they will look into it for you.


The Telecommunications Dispute Resolution scheme can help with problems and complaints with your phone or internet provider, such as billing issues.


The Dispute Resolution Schemes are FREE, independent and impartial and act to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.  That means that if it is within their power to do so, they will look at your complaint and decide what is right.  They must be accessible to all consumers. Many have material available in Pacific Island languages and Te Reo, and all offer interpretation services. They will attempt to help you resolve the problem by direct contact with the supplier of services to you.  If that does not work, the scheme can investigate the complaint and make a decision which is binding on the supplier but not on you – by law you always have access to the courts instead, if the complaint cannot be settled.


While the Dispute Resolution Scheme is looking at your problem or complaint, the Scheme can direct the service provider NOT to take any action against you, such as repossessing a car or cutting off power, until they have looked into your problem. Complaints made to the Schemes are handled confidentially.


How do I contact the dispute resolution scheme?


You can make contact by phone, email, or online with the contact details provided in the Attached Sheet. 

Banking Ombudsman:  T: 0800 805 950; E: help@bankomb.org.nz W: www.bankob.org.nz

Financial Services Complaints: T: 0800 347 257; E: complaints@fscl.org.nz

                                                    W: www.fscl.org.nz

Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman: T: 0800 888 202 E: info@ifso.nz 

                                                                        W: www.ifso.nz

Financial Dispute Resolution: T: 0508 337 337; E: enquiries@fdrs.org.nz

                                            W: www.fdrs.org.nz

Utilities Disputes: T: 0800 22 33 40; E:  info@utilitiesdisputes.co.nz  
                            W: www.utilitiesdisputes.co.nz

Telecommunications Dispute Resolution: T: 0508 98 98 98; E: contact@tdr.org.nz

                                                            W: www.tdr.org.nz

If you aren’t sure who to contact with your problem, don’t worry. The scheme you contact will make sure that you are put in touch with the right one.

PLEASE Listen Out to your Pasifika Ethnic Radio Programme on PMN/Niu FM Network Broadcasting for a TALANOA Session on this Topic. Translated versions of the Information Sheet will also be available from your Ethnic Programme Presenters or below online from:  www.sdlconsultancy.com 

Pasifika Language Translations of the Information Sheet

If you have any queries about any of the Services, contact them via the details provided and for this email, contact: 
Sai Lealea MNZM, E: sai.lealea@sdlconsultancy.com; T: 027 249 0472