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Unsafe power plug adaptor banned

Media release

31 January 2013

Unsafe Power Plug Adaptor Banned

A power plug adaptor has been banned in New Zealand after complaints that the devices fall apart, exposing people to the risk of electrocution.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has issued a Prohibition Notice banning the importation, sale and use of these power plug adaptors.

MBIE Energy Safety, Compliance Officer, Richard Lamb says the unbranded travel adaptors are typically sold online, either individually or with electrical goods, such as tablets and smartphones.

“We’ve had almost a dozen complaints from Trade Me members who received the adaptors as part of Christmas gifts, only to have the casings come away when they are plugged into a power socket, exposing the metal pins inside.

“These adaptors are incredibly dangerous, especially for curious children and pets.

“In one case a teenage girl was using the adaptor in her bedroom to charge her new mobile phone. If she had touched the exposed live parts, she would have been seriously injured or worse.”

Mr Lamb says the adaptors are of poor construction, have uninsulated pins, and do not meet international electrical safety standards.

“Even if the outer casing does not come off, they are still unsafe in failing to provide adequate protection from exposure to live parts.”

Anyone caught importing or selling these adaptors will face an instant fine of $1000 for individuals or $3000 for businesses.

“For people who already own one, do not use it. Anyone who has purchase electrical products supplied with a plug adaptor of any kind should return to the seller and ask for a power supply or charger appropriate for New Zealand that does not require an adaptor,” Mr Lamb says.

The Prohibition Notice was issued under the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 and takes effect today.

More information on buying and selling electrical products is available at:


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