A virtual private network (VPN) can give you better internet privacy and security, protect you from eavesdroppers, let you sidestep internet censorship, and open up the gates of foreign Netflix (or any other out of market streaming service).
Basically, they make your internet experience better.
That said, New Zealand government agencies are known to be quite enthusiastic about looking in on the online activities of anyone inside the country. And since a VPN prevents them from doing so, you might worry about the legality of using one.
In other words, to put it bluntly, are VPNs legal in NZ?
The answer is right below, so read on to find out!
Is Using a VPN Legal in New Zealand?
As briefly mentioned above, New Zealand is a surveillance-happy state. Through the use of military grade encryption, VPN services prevent spying. So, it’s certainly not far-fetched to ask yourself if you’re allowed to connect to a one when in the country.
Here is the good news:
Yes, VPNs are completely legal in New Zealand. There isn’t a single piece of legislation that bans them – nor are there plans to create one.
Whether you’re an NZ resident, citizen, or temporary visitor, you are free to use a VPN to protect your privacy and stay anonymous online.
You can also use any service you want – it doesn’t have to be registered in New Zealand. Indeed, most of the best VPN providers are not.
That all said, there is one (hopefully obvious) caveat. VPN or no VPN, you still shouldn’t commit crimes.
Yes, VPNs can cover your digital tracks. But breaking the law is breaking the law. Selling banned substances online or infringing on copyrights is illegal, no matter what.
The bottom line is simple:
As long as what you do on the internet is within the bounds of the law, VPN use is legal in New Zealand.
Why Use a New Zealand VPN?
So, is VPN legal in NZ? As we have just learned, yes.
But do you need one? Here too, the answer is yes – and very enthusiastically so.
These are the key reasons why everybody should at the very least consider a VPN in New Zealand:
- Watch New Zealand programming abroad. Are you a Kiwi expat? Then, you likely noticed your favorite channels and streaming services are NZ-only. With a VPN, you can connect to a server in New Zealand and make your device look like it’s in the country from anywhere in the world. You can then and watch Bravo, Spark Sport, and all the TVNZ channels you want. Netflix New Zealand, too!
- Access geo restricted content from other countries. Just like VPNs open up NZ-locked entertainment, they also help you work around other regional restrictions. Armed with one, you can access all Netflix libraries, enjoy Hulu from New Zealand, or watch UK TV on the BBC iPlayer.
- Protect yourself from the Five Eyes. New Zealand is a part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. As such, they share information with the rest of the countries in the pact. This means that if NZ is tracking you, the US (and other Eyes alliance members) also gets that data. VPN 256-bit encryption protects you from the prying eyes and makes sure you stay anonymous.
- New Zealand can legally spy on you. In 2013, New Zealand passed new laws that allow officials to spy on residents and citizens. And, it’s not just for anti-terrorism, either. The scope of intelligence spans from diplomatic purposes to economic well-being and everything in-between.
- The GCSB doesn’t follow the rules. To add insult to injury, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) doesn’t even follow the existing (pretty lax) anti-spying rules when it comes to internet traffic. The bureau has had its fair share of privacy-breaking scandals – the case of Kim Dotcom comes to mind. But there are plenty of others, too.
- Protect yourself on BitTorrent and other P2P services. New Zealand law is clear on this one. P2P might be called sharing, but it potentially infringes copyright, so NZ authorities prosecute it. Internet service providers (ISPs) can track you, and based on your IP address, deliver infringement notices. If you are torrenting, make sure your VPN is always on. VPNs hide up your IP and help you prevent the situation altogether.
And there you have it – six solid reasons why all of us in New Zealand should consider singing up with a VPN provider.
Is VPN legal in New Zealand? It absolutely is.
You are free to sign up for any VPN service and use it to protect your privacy and anonymity online. As long as you don’t break the law otherwise, the VPN itself is not a problem.
And, you probably should get a VPN if you’re in NZ, too.
The use of VPNs has many benefits, and very few drawbacks.