This section explains how to pay or dispute a smokefree infringement notice.
The infringement process is set out in the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 (the Act) and the Summary Proceedings Act 1957.
Smokefree Enforcement Officers can issue infringement notices where they can recommend an offence has been committed under section 38A of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990.
If you receive an infringement notice you can:
- pay the fee within 28 days of the date of the notice; or,
- request in writing to waive the fee; or
- request a defended or non-defended hearing in the District Court.
The Ministry may withdraw the infringement notice or reject a waiver request. A letter will be sent following the Ministry’s decision advising you of the outcome and the options available to you.
If you do not respond within 28 days following receipt of the infringement notice a reminder notice will be sent to your last known address. For assistance please call 0800 855 066 and ask for the Health Legal Team.
Request for waiver: Information and process
If you want the Ministry to consider waiving the notice you need to provide a written explanation outlining your reasons for this. When writing to the Ministry you must include the date of the infringement, the 6-digit infringement notice number, and your name, phone number and address. These details are on the infringement notice.
The Ministry will consider your explanation and advise you in writing of the outcome.
If the notice is waived you do not need to do anything further. If the notice is not waived, you can either pay the infringement fee or request a defended or non-defended hearing.
Request for a hearing: Information and process
If you want to deny liability for the offence you must write to the Ministry of Health within 28 days of the date of the notice (using the addressed envelope provided) and request a defended hearing. The request must be signed and include the infringement notice number. You will need to attend Court on two occasions: 1. to arrange a hearing date and 2. to put your case to the Court. If the Court finds you guilty, costs will be added to the initial infringement fee (usually $132.89).
If you want to admit liability but want the Court to consider extenuating circumstances (e.g. you are facing severe financial hardship), a non-defended hearing request must be made in writing to the Ministry within 28 days of the date of the notice. The request must be signed and include the infringement notice number. Neither you nor the Ministry appears in Court. You will submit in writing those factors you want the Court to consider and the Ministry does the same. The Judge considers both sets of submissions and will make a decision on the appropriate penalty. You will then be advised in writing of the outcome.
You can pay your infringement fee by internet banking, cheque, or credit card.
Pay with internet banking into the Ministry of Health Crown Account number 030049 0001805 29. Use the six-digit infringement notice number, which iswritten at the top left-hand corner of your notice.
Send a cheque payable to ‘Ministry of Health’, write the infringement notice number on the back of the cheque or include a copy of the infringement notice with your cheque. Send in the addressed envelope provided or send to:
Ministry of Health,
Health Legal – Infringement Officer,
PO Box 5013,
Payment must be made within 28 days of the date of the notice.
The Ministry of Health only accepts Visa or MasterCard credit cards.
To pay by credit card. the Ministry needs your name (as it is on the infringement notice), the six-digit infringement notice number (at the top left-hand corner of the notice), and the total amount of invoice.
Note: All credit card payments have a convenience fee of 2% per transaction. This convenience fee is the bank fee the Ministry is charged for processing credit card transactions. If a processed payment is reversed or refunded, the convenience fee portion of the payment is non-refundable.
Payments received up to 22:30 hours New Zealand time will be applied on the next business day. For assistance please call 0800 855 066 and ask for the Health Legal team during business hours, or email [email protected]. Credits or refunds will not be processed through this facility. Instead the Ministry will arrange for an electronic funds transfer (ie, Internet banking) if a refund or credit is required. Contact the Ministry on the above number for refunds.