This section outlines how to pay or dispute your smoke-free infringement notice.
The infringement process is set out in the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 and the Summary Proceedings Act 1957.
Smoke-free Enforcement Officers can issue infringement notices where they can recommend an offence has been committed under section 38A of the Smoke-free Environments 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 in three ways:
Pay via Internet banking into account 030049 0001805 29 (Ministry of Health Crown Account). You must use the 6-digit infringement notice number (referenced 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 Credit card payments page has information on paying your infringement fee by credit card.