About The Code

About The Code

On 25 July 2022, Netsafe and NZTech launched a new initiative that commits a range of technology companies to reducing the risk of online content that may cause harm to New Zealanders.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Practice for Online Safety and Harms has been adopted by Meta (Facebook and Instagram), Google (YouTube), TikTok, Twitch, and Twitter.

The Code commits signatories to a set of Guiding Principles and Commitments that aims to mitigate the risks and reduce the prevalence of harmful content in seven areas:

  • child sexual exploitation and abuse
  • bullying or harassment
  • hate speech
  • incitement of violence
  • violent or graphic content
  • misinformation
  • disinformation 

A key function of The Code is the inclusion of a Complaints Mechanism that allows internet users living in Aotearoa New Zealand to lodge complaints against Signatories if they believe a Signatory or Signatories’ systems, policies, processes, products, and tools are in breach of their Code commitments.

The Code recognises that there are a range of laws or regulatory arrangements that already exist in Aotearoa New Zealand to address harmful content online, which may overlap with some of the commitments covered by The Code. It does not exempt Signatories from meeting their obligations under new or existing laws and regulations and the Signatories already cooperate with authorities in meeting their obligations.

Overall, The Code aims to support industry to build cohesion around addressing online safety and harm concerns so that all internet users in Aotearoa New Zealand have positive experiences on the Signatories services.

The full version of the Code is available for download below:


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Contact us if you are interested in becoming a signatory to The Code

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The Code is underpinned by four driving principles that encapsulate values and concepts sourced in te ao Māori, to serve the diversity and plurality of internet user communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Solidarity | Mahi tahi

Acknowledges the importance of working together to build the collective capability and capacity of industry, government, and civil society to address online safety and harm.

Balance | Kauhanganuitanga

Recognises the need to provide equal and equitable opportunity for the plurality of perspectives concerning issues around online safety and harm, and to make decisions that reflect a fair, transparent, and accountable process.

Dignity | Mana tangata

Emphasizes the importance of civility and humanity in the care and protection of all people in handling complaints and matters of a sensitive nature.

Respect | Mana

Encourages behavior that promotes care, compassion, honesty, and responsibility to establish relationships and processes of high trust.