Complaints about Utilities Disputes

Sometimes we receive complaints about the service we provide. This page explains what is involved and how we respond to complaints about our service.

What you can complain about

You can complain about the service you receive from us, for example, about the way we have handled a complaint, or about the conduct of staff.
The complaint procedure is not a judicial review or reconsideration of the decision made by the Commissioner. We cannot consider a complaint about the Commissioner’s decision.

Time frame

You should make any complaint about the service you received from us within three months.

Who to complain to

You can complain to any staff member. If you would prefer, you can address your complaint to the Commissioner or directly to the Chair of Utilities Disputes Board. The postal address is on this page, or you can email either commissioner@utilitiesdisputes.co.nz or chair@utilitiesdisputes.co.nz.

What happens to your complaint

All complaints about our service are reported to a senior staff member. They will either contact you to try and resolve the matter or refer your complaint directly to the Board. All complaints are reported to the Board, and are included (anonymously) in the Annual Report.

Referral to the Board

Your complaint is referred to the Board if senior staff members are not able to resolve it, or if it involves serious or widespread issues. If this happens, the Chair of the Board will let you know within seven working days how it intends to investigate your complaint.

The Board’s investigation

The Board's investigation may include:

  • Discussing the complaint with you
  • The Commissioner or a senior staff member not previously involved in the complaint reviewing the file and reporting to the Board
  • Setting up an independent panel (which may include a Board member) to look into the complaint and report to the Board.

The Board’s decision

The Board will let you know the outcome of the investigation. This will include telling you if any action is to be taken, by whom and by when. Outcomes for previous complaints about the Scheme have included requiring the Commissioner to publish an information sheet to give complainants better information on a topic, reviewing the investigation, and an apology for delays in dealing with the complaint.