Introduction and Privacy Act 2020 (“The Act”)
We are committed to protecting your personal information, and ensuring that we deal with your personal information in accordance with the Act. If we hold personal information about you, we will comply with the Act. Meridian, “we”, “us” and “our” means Meridian Energy Limited and our related companies.
You can choose not to provide us with your personal information, though we may not be able to provide you with access to certain information or our services as a result.
Information we collect and how we collect it
We collect a variety of information about you. It is important that you know that we collect some personal information about you as an individual, even if you sign up on behalf of a business. If you’re providing information about anyone else, you must have their consent to give us their information. Information we collect includes:
- Information about you: including your name, date of birth, customer account login information, health information (where you provide that to us in connection with health needs that we should be aware of), contact details, property details and plan information.
- Financial information: including details about the purchases you make, your payment history and methods of payment, your bank account details and other types of information that are necessary in order for us and credit reporting agencies to assess your credit rating.
- Communication information and preferences: including marketing preferences and how you would like us to communicate with you.
- Meter information: including meter identifying information and electricity consumption data. Please note, we cannot see who uses your power or what you use it for.
- Mobile application information: including details of your usage, preferences, as well as mobile device information like model, brand, operating system, performance and IP address.
- Our communications with you: including emails, chats and telephone calls, so that we may record any instructions you give us and our verbal commitments to you. Telephone recordings may also be used for training purposes.
- Website/social media information: including your website/social media visits, details of your visit (e.g. the date, time, and duration of your visit, the pages viewed by you, the internet protocol address and domain name used by your computer to connect to the internet, the operating system and the browser your computer uses), our website performance details and any issues you have with our websites/social media pages.
We collect your information in different ways including:
- Directly from you: including when you interact with us or use any of our services or offerings, such as via promotions, surveys, emails, calls, live chats, filling out forms on our websites, posts on our social media sites, or feedback given via our mobile application.
- From your former electricity retailer: we may collect personal information, such as your consumption data from your old retailer so we can display this information to you and use it to be more accurate in our estimates and pricing. You authorise us to collect your personal information in this way.
- Via third parties: For example, from our related companies, rural partners, regulatory bodies, UDL (Utilities Disputes), electricity supply partners (e.g. lines companies, meter equipment providers and/or readers), credit agencies and marketing partners (e.g. Google Analytics) where those marketing partners are authorised by you to provide that information.
Use and disclosure of your information
We use and sometimes disclose information we hold about you and your property. We do this for reasons connected to our business. The ways we use or disclose your information are set out below (please note we do not use all of your information for all of these purposes):
- To contact you to discuss our products or services where you have indicated an interest in joining us.
- To provide our products and services to you, improve or personalise them (including for medically dependent consumers) or to tell you about them, for account verification and management, resolving a complaint you have made or to facilitate you switching to another retailer.
- To carry out credit checks or otherwise assess your creditworthiness (we will tell you before we do this), or for debt collection or fraud detection purposes.
- To provide credit information about you to credit reporting agencies and their customers (which those agencies will do in accordance with the relevant privacy code), including your payment history (whether that information is positive or negative).
- To comply with our contractual, legal, regulatory or government obligations to you and other third parties. We may also disclose information where we believe it is reasonably necessary to enforce any legal rights we may have, or to protect the rights, property and safety of us, you, our customers, or others.
- To send you communications in relation to our products, services, specials, promotions and giveaways (this may include using your email address to communicate about these directly and via advertisements through channels such as Facebook and Google AdWords).
- To help prevent us from sending you irrelevant communications.
- To provide you with information on third party products and services or enabling select third parties to contact you where we think you’ll be interested in receiving such information (unless you’ve asked us in writing not to).
- For marketing purposes, including to personalise our websites, promotions or advertising on other sites to make them more relevant to you such as by using Google Remarketing, Facebook Ads or marketing services like Custom Audience.
- For the lines company’s needs or if it has requested the information. Some examples of when we may do this are if the information is to help supply energy or to distribute money on the lines company’s behalf, or the distribution of any lines company publications and surveys.
- To assist us in carrying out our responsibilities under the Consumer Care Guidelines published by the Electricity Authority.
- In an emergency situation when it is necessary or desirable to share your personal information with a civil defence organisation or another emergency service.
- For our general business purposes, e.g. improving our products or services, aggregating customer consumption information to track trends, analysing usage and optimising the performance of our website and mobile application, for training or testing purposes, or as part of transferring our business or assets as part of a sale or potential sale.
- For internal and external research purposes, for example, where we undertake internal analytics or commission a market research or data analysis organisation to produce a report.
- When we are required or permitted to by the Act, other law or industry codes and standards, or when we are requested to provide information by a government or regulatory department, agency or other entity.
- Where you have authorised us to do so, including where we’ve given you notification of the intended use or disclosure and you haven’t objected to that use or disclosure.
Parties we may disclose your information to for the above purposes include our related companies and brands (who may use your information for the same purposes that we do), agents, other electricity retailers, service providers (such as metering equipment providers), lines companies, rural partners (where applicable), advertising partners, credit agencies, debt collectors, civil defence organisations, emergency services, government or regulatory bodies, UDL (Utilities Disputes) and persons listed on your account or nominated by you.
You agree that we may use any information you provide to us for the purposes of carrying out our responsibilities under the Consumer Care Guidelines published by the Electricity Authority and to assist you, including discussing your account with Work and Income New Zealand, District Health Boards, lines companies, private health practitioners or any other social agency, budget advisor, civil defence organisation or service provider as we consider reasonably necessary.
If you choose to leave us or stop using any of our products and services, then you agree that we can retain your information where we need to, including to meet our legal obligations and for legitimate business purposes. We may also continue to send you information about our products, services, specials and giveaways, unless you’ve asked us in writing not to, provided we meet our legal obligations.
In the event that you are not a Meridian customer but you have provided us with your details, for example, by beginning the customer sign-up process, then you agree that we can retain and use your information including to meet our legal obligations and for legitimate business purposes.
Storage and security of your personal information
While we take steps to protect user privacy, no data transmission over the internet can be entirely secure. We therefore do not guarantee the security of personal information that you send to us via the internet, or your use of our website or mobile application. Any personal information you do provide to us is at your own risk, but once we receive it, we use appropriate procedures and generally accepted industry standards to safeguard against unauthorised access, use, disclosure, alteration, or destruction of that information.
Access to your information is only provided to specific staff on a ‘need to know’ basis. Our staff have unique user identifications and passwords and are regularly trained on their responsibilities under the Act. Our physical premises are protected by reasonable security precautions. We use some services which involve the transfer, processing and storage of some personal information outside of New Zealand - these are likewise protected by unique user identifications and passwords.
Contacting you by email and other electronic communication
Sometimes we send our customers information. We may do this by email, text message, or via our mobile application (or by another form of communication we are authorised to contact you by). We may also send to you, by email, newsletters or other information we think you may be interested in. Newsletters and other information you receive will have instructions for how you can remove yourself from that mailing list. If you ask to be removed from a mailing list, we will do this.
You can control the notifications you receive from us through your online account or through your mobile application, or by calling us.
Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computer, smartphone or other device and are used when you access the internet. Cookies allow a website to recognise a user’s device and track, personalise and save information each time you visit a site.
The browsers of most computers, smartphones and other web-enabled devices are typically set up to accept cookies. If you wish to amend your cookie preferences for our website, you can do this through your browser settings. Your browser’s ‘help’ function will tell you how to do this. If you choose to disable certain cookies, it is likely to affect your ability to use some of the features on our website.
The cookies we use are safe and secure. Many of them are used purely to provide important safety features such as protecting your data and account information. The cookies we use cannot look into your computer, smartphone or other device or read any material kept on your hard drive.
To learn more about cookies and how you can manage them in your web browser, visit:
External links from our site
We may include hypertext links to third party sites. While we endeavour to check that the content of these sites is suitable, we are not responsible for such content, nor the manner in which these sites deal with any personal information you provide. We encourage you to read the privacy statements of those websites so that you can understand how your personal information may be collected, stored, used and disclosed.
Right to access and correct
You may request access to, or correction of, any personal information we hold about you, by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0800 496 496 or +64 4 802 7533 if you are overseas. To ensure that the information we hold about you is accurate and current, you must notify us of any changes to your information as soon as possible.