Trust & Safety Blog

Safer Internet Day 2016

It’s Safer Internet Day 2016

You may have noticed that Kevin the kiwi has changed his appearance to show that we’re getting behind Safer Internet Day.

Kevin -nest -trademe

This day is celebrated worldwide to encourage the safe and positive use of the internet and digital technologies, especially among families and young people. It’s a great chance to take stock of your family’s digital activities, and consider ways to enjoy the awesomeness of the internet more safely.

Like last year, the good folk at Netsafe are coordinating a range of activities across 27 organisations nationwide. Here’s a list of the participating organisations.

Martin Cocker from Netsafe describes the day like this:

“Safer Internet Day is a global event that celebrates the positive work going on every day of the year to make the internet a safer place for all users. We’re pleased to have so many organisations supporting the event in New Zealand. This highlights how creating a safer internet is a shared responsibility.”

Here are some of the activities and resources supporting Safer Internet Day 2016 that organisations are getting involved in:

1. Project Positive – national compliments campaign

Project Positive is being run by young people with support from Sticks ‘n Stones, NetSafe and Facebook. The goal for the day is to share as many compliments online as possible. Students across NZ have created compliments for use on the day.

Organisations can support the campaign by encouraging staff, members and other stakeholders to participate in the campaign by

  • sharing a compliment using Project Positive’s graphics (download them here)
  • posting a photograph of themselves with a compliment on Facebook or Instagram.

Remember to use #projectpositivenz or #nationalcomplimentsdaynz with #SID2016 and check out Project Positive’s Facebook page.

2. Staying Safe Online - resource

NetSafe has worked with NZ’s leading online companies to develop advice about staying safe online using their services. These resources are designed as ’self-help’ guides to promote positive actions by individuals to improve their own online safety, as well as providing valuable support for those with duty of care responsibility.

Have a read

3. So you got naked online – resource 

NetSafe is publishing a resource that provides children, young people and parents with advice and strategies to support them in the event of sexting incidents. It promotes positive action by individuals to improve their own online safety, as well as providing valuable support for those with duty of care responsibility.

Find out more here.

SID 2016.

Public Records are a matter of Public Record

Public -records

Unauthorised sale of public records and local authority protected records

A guest post by Archives New Zealand. 

Under the Public Records Act 2005, it’s an offence to sell a public record or local authority protected record without authorisation from the Chief Archivist. A record could be a document or other information in any form including (without limitation) a signature, seal, image, plan, map, recording, data, and computer file. 

What are public or local authority records?

The Public Records Act defines a record as “information, whether in its original form or otherwise, including  (without limitation) a document, a signature, a seal, text, images, sound, speech or data compiled, recorded or stored… in written form… on film or other medium” (section 4).

A public record or local authority record is any record, in any form, created or received by a public office or local authority in the conduct of its affairs. Broadly speaking, a record is any documentation or evidence of activity.

The problem

Government records are paid for by public funds and managed under the Public Records Act 2005[AF5] . These records contain a wealth of information of historical interest and enable the government to be held accountable. When records are sold without authorisation, the public can be deprived of their right to access this information. Buyers and sellers should ensure that all government records have left government control lawfully, and may then be lawfully bought and sold.

How you can help

To ensure that New Zealand’s documentary heritage is preserved and publicly accessible, Archives New Zealand needs your help to safely and securely return any government records that are lost, stolen or have been disposed of without authorisation. They should be returned to Archives New Zealand’s public office or archival holdings – or to the local authority of origin.

What if the government threw the records away?

Public offices and local authorities are required to follow strict procedures when disposing of records. The Public Records Act and standards issued under it require that the destruction, sale, archiving or other disposal of records happens in line with schedules approved by the Chief Archivist. The lawful disposal of records is therefore documented and any undocumented claim of disposal for sale may be considered suspect.

What do I do if I find a government document being offered for sale?

We ask dealers and collectors to cooperate with us so that all the historical materials belonging to Archives New Zealand are returned.

Avoid buying, selling, or trading in historical New Zealand Government records that have been lost, stolen or otherwise not authorised for disposal.

If you’ve got any questions or concerns about documents you have or come across, pleaseemail or phone on 04 499 5595 and Archives New Zealand  will be able to help.


Trade Me's thoughts: 

We support the efforts of Archives NZ and work with them to remove from the site any listings that are confirmed as being public records. 

Image used courtesy Archives NZ.

Electric scooter hoverboards now have strict safety compliance requirements


Even though they have wheels, the so-called ‘hoverboards’ have been the must-have item over the Christmas period. They’ve already proven notoriously tricky to ride and can be even more difficult to use when they catch fire. You might have come across this video where a hoverboard rider suddenly discovered his board had caught fire. This spontaneous combustion has occurred several times around the world and led to some pretty serious concerns around the safety of these contraptions.

We understand that two traders have been issued fines by Energy Safety for failing to comply with the law. 

What is NZ doing about hoverboard safety?

Energy Safety, NZ’s regulator for ensuring the safe supply and use of electricity and gas in New Zealand, has investigated the issue and thinks there is sufficient concern for new rules to be made for the sale of hoverboards.

A Gazette notice has also been published and changed the status of the following items to a ‘medium-risk’ article:

  • a self-balancing personal transport device (commonly called a hover board)
  • a charger used for the charging of a battery powered self-balancing personal transport device.

These rules come into effect from 15 February 2016.

What does this mean for selling hoverboards on Trade Me?

Quite a few legal terms are about to follow, but for Trade Me members selling hoverboards, the requirements for the compliance documentation of these devices has changed.

Any ‘self-balancing personal transport device’ will require a Supplier Declaration of Conformity to be completed by the manufacturer (if manufactured in New Zealand) or the New Zealand importer. This will involve reliance on a test report to the relevant standard for the item.

Any device used for charging a battery-powered self-balancing personal transport device will also need to have a Supplier Declaration of Conformity and a test report that this document relies on.

Energy Safety will be actively auditing sellers of the above items and asking for:

  • a Supplier Declaration of Conformity for both items
  • a test report on electrical safety for the self-balancing personal transport device
  • a test report on electrical safety for the charger that proves that the charger is safe to use with the self-balancing personal transport device.

All Trade Me ‘in trade’ sellers listing these items must have both the required SDOC and test reports prior to listing on Trade Me. Please note that this is four separate pieces of documentation.

If you do not have this documentation, do not list your electric scooters.

For further advice regarding the standards and to ensure your product is compliant, please contact an electrical test lab such as Spectrum Labs.

The standards Energy Safety is looking for are:

Hover BoardsAS/NZS 60335.2.82 including 60335.1.1 Edition 5.1

Chargers:         AS/NZS 61558.2.16 or

                        AS/NZS 61558.2.6

After 15 February, Trade Me will also be monitoring hoverboard listings. Members unable to provide the correct documentation will have their listings removed. 

Creative Commons image used courtesy Automobile Italia on Flickr. 

Facebook scams and Trade Me – how do they work?

Iphone -screen

Facebook is an amazing phenomenon. 1.55 billion active monthly users, and more than 1 billion of those log in every day.  

We use it to catch up with old friends and new friends, and recently even get in touch with locals through community pages where we can buy and sell, or even find employment. While there are many wonderful aspects to connecting with a cyber community, the downside remains a constant threat: you often don’t actually know these people. 

Facebook scammers: they’re awfully good at what they do

There are people from all over the world whose full time job (yes, they get paid) is to scam you. These people specifically create Facebook profiles with photos of “them” playing with their kids, off on holiday; basically everything they can think of to get you to relax into thinking “they are just like me, obviously a local, a real person, and worthy of my trust”.

How do they go about scamming people?

Let’s run through a common scenario. On a Facebook “odd jobs” page for a local area (e.g. Queenstown, Horowhenua, or an Auckland suburb), someone who seems local advertises for a bit of help. They’re say they’re really busy and they need someone trustworthy to do some of the online jobs they’re too busy for. They then ask you to message them for more details.

You think to yourself “I could use a bit of extra money, I’m trustworthy, where is the harm?” So you message them, and it turns out they say there’s quite a bit of money in this for you. They need to sell a brand new iPhone on Trade Me, but don’t have the time, or maybe something happened to their membership. Perhaps they’re even on holiday at the moment, and need it gone pronto. 

They say that all you have to do is either create a new membership on Trade Me (or use your established one), list this iPhone for them (they’ll even tell you what to write) and if Trade Me asks for proof of possession, they’ll even give you the photos to show they’re real. 

Simple right? Just sell the phones on this person’s behalf, give their bank account for the Trade Me buyer to pay it into, and when the money comes through, they will give you a third of the profit. 

What could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately as a few people have found out recently; lots can go wrong. These people are scammers whose full time job is to defraud people. You don’t know them, and they are not who they’re claiming to be. There is no phone, the money will never be given to you, and you’ve just committed fraud, under your own name and details. You’ll be liable and will most likely lose your Trade Me membership.

What should I do if this happens to me?

If it seems too good to be true, it often is.  If you see these types of ads/Facebook posts floating around, you should report them to Facebook. If you’ve already listed an item for one of these people, please give our Site Policing team a call on 0800 334 332 as soon as possible – we’re here to help.

Unfortunately this is not the only kind of scam out there, be wary of these scams too!

Creative Commons image used courtesy Janitors on Flickr. 

Puppy love – how to avoid being puppy scammed

Puppies. Nothing tugs on the heart strings like baby animals, and puppies are sure to melt even the iciest of hearts. With the Christmas rush upon us and little Timmy aching for that fluffy companion (let’s be honest, you’ve always harboured a secret desire for a Bichon Frise like your folks have),  you’re left with the perfect conditions to extend your family with an ever-enthusiastic, canine buddy.

Sadly, there are those that prey on our love for puppies. Considering that some breeds can fetch upward of $3,000, puppy scamming can be an incredibly lucrative enterprise. To ensure your Christmas stays fun, furry, and stress-free, here are a few tips to help you stay safe from puppy scammers this season.

Scammers are pure-breed enthusiasts

Fancy a French bulldog? Hankering for a Husky? Chomping-at-the-bit for a Chihuahua?

Puppy scammers mostly go for purebreds, not just because they can be some of the cutest pups, but also because they usually carry a heftier price tag. Purebreds are less common, and basic supply/demand dictates that, as a scammer, listing these breeds will likely put you in touch with more motivated buyers.

Scammers use Google too

Are photos of the seller’s litter looking a bit more professional than expected? Try a reverse image search. If you’re using Google Chrome, simply right-click on the picture and select ‘search Google for image’. Scammers will regularly use stock Google images or even photos from legitimate, unaffiliated kennels when looking to create a fake listing. If you get a hit that doesn’t line up, be sure to let us know via Community Watch.

Be mindful of the oldest tricks in the book

Ever heard a salesman say “I only have one left” or “I have lots of other interested buyers, so you better act now”? Questions like these are designed to pressure you into making a decision without taking the time to think things through.

While it’s common for puppies to sell quickly and sellers to list with a ‘first come, first served’ disclaimer, don’t hand over any cash until you’re satisfied the person you are dealing with is legit.

Take the time to do your due diligence

Getting a puppy is a big commitment, one which will have significant impact on your life. This is not a decision that should be rushed, so be sure to take your time and ask yourself if you (and Timmy) are ready for the responsibility of owning a pup. We provide a helpful buyer’s checklist at the bottom of every puppy listing description, so if you’re having trouble weighing things up, be sure to give it a read.

Get to know the seller, their breeding practices and the temperament of their dogs. For example: is this their first ever litter? Make sure to check their feedback, as this is often a good indicator of a member’s behaviour and/or integrity.

Have a read of our Code of Animal Welfare and check to see whether the seller is complying. If you’d like to know more animal welfare, check out our help page on animal welfare.

Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

At the end of the day, if you aren’t comfortable, hang on to your cash. If you think you’ve got a scammer on your hands, please report the listing to us through the Community Watch link on the bottom of the listing page so that we’re aware of the member and can take action.