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How employees can report misconduct of a regulated entity

Guidance for employees (current or former) of insurers, banks or non-bank deposit takers on how to report potential misconduct within their organisation to us (referred to as 'whistleblowing'). 

What you can report to us

You can report misconduct within your organisation either directly via a designated email address or give us a call.

The types of misconduct you can report or disclose to us include:

  • criminal offences
  • breaches of legal obligations
  • miscarriages of justice
  • deliberate covering up of any wrongdoing
  • any dishonest or unethical behaviour by an individual
  • concerns that pose a danger to the public or financial system.

What we cannot help with

We cannot help with:

  • complaints related to customers of your employer or former employer
  • personal, work-related grievances such as bullying, harassment or discrimination.

For personal, work-related grievances, we encourage you to contact your Human Resources department or Employment New Zealand for more guidance on what you can do.

Employment New Zealand

Before reporting to us

Generally, we encourage you to look at your organisation's whistleblowing policy before making a disclosure or reporting to us.

However, under the Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022 (Protected Disclosures Act), you are now able to report serious wrongdoing to an appropriate authority at any time, rather than having to go to your organisation first. Further guidance on the new Protected Disclosures Act can be found on the Public Service Commission's website.

Go to the Protected Disclosures Act 2022 Guidance on the Public Service Commission's website

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is listed as an appropriate authority under the Protected Disclosures Act and therefore, we are able to be the first point of contact for reporting serious wrongdoing. You may also contact us if you are unsure whether your concerns are relevant.

Confidentiality and privacy

We will take all possible steps to protect your identity if you give us information in good faith. We will treat this information in confidence. Depending on the misconduct you are reporting to us, your information can be protected by the following legislation:

  • Banking (Prudential Supervision) Act 1989
  • Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010
  • Non-bank Deposit Takers Act 2013
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009
  • Privacy Act 2020
  • Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022.

When we can disclose your identity

We will not disclose your identity to anyone outside the Reserve Bank, except when:

  • you allow us to do so
  • we are required to by law
  • information you disclose is passed on to another authority (for example, the NZ Police, Serious Fraud Office, the Commerce Commission, the Financial Markets Authority or the Office of the Ombudsman)
  • your information is used as evidence in a prosecution or other court-based application, and it is required to be disclosed to the other party.

In any situation where we might have to disclose your identity, we will inform you first and give you the purpose of, and reasons for, the disclosure.

If you think we have misused or inappropriately disclosed your personal information, please raise your concerns with us first. If you feel we have not addressed your concerns, you have a right to complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

You can make a complaint on the Privacy Commissioner's website.

Making a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner about breaches of your privacy

How to report misconduct concerns to us

You can report your concerns about misconduct by an insurer, bank or non-bank deposit taker you are a current or former employee of by:

  1. emailing [email protected] with the information you wish to refer to us, or
  2. calling us on +64 4 472 2029 to discuss the matter.

Your disclosure or report should tell us:

  • what happened (the nature of the wrongdoing)
  • who is involved
  • why it is in the public interest to disclose it.

Be as detailed and specific and detailed as possible, particularly if you are providing the information anonymously. It will be difficult for us to follow up on broad or poorly defined allegations.

If you are unsure, we can help you determine what information we need.

Be aware that if you choose to provide the information anonymously this may limit our ability to investigate the matter further.

It is helpful if you provide the information in writing, even if your initial contact to us is by phone.

What happens next

After you have reported your misconduct concerns to us, we will:

  • review the information you provided
  • contact you if we need more information
  • decide if we will take any further action.

We will send you a letter acknowledging we have received your disclosure as soon as we can.

We will then decide on how to follow up on the information you gave us. While we are unlikely to let you know what action we will take or processes we will follow, we will let you know if we wish to disclose your identity. We may also contact you if we need more details or to clarify the information you provided.

Where to get legal advice

We cannot give legal advice to a whistleblower. Whistleblowers may wish to obtain legal advice from a lawyer at their own expense.

You can refer to the New Zealand Law Society’s directory of lawyers and organisations to find a lawyer if necessary.

New Zealand Law Society

You could also contact your local Community Law Centre or Citizens’ Advice Bureau for free legal advice or for a referral to a lawyer.

Community Law Centre

Citizens’ Advice Bureau