Acts and regulations

Acts and regulations of Parliament pertaining to the petroleum and fuel industry in New Zealand.


The Energy (Fuels, Levies and References) Act is the main Act pertaining to the petroleum and fuel industry in New Zealand.

Energy (Fuels, Levies and References) Act 1989(external link)

The distribution and sale of petrol and diesel in New Zealand has been deregulated since 1988. Before then retail prices and margins had been regulated, and fuel quality specifications were set by agreement between government, the oil industry and motor vehicle manufacturers.

The Act makes provision for regulations in relation to fuel quality and related matters, such as:

  • specifications for refuelling equipment and vehicle refuelling inlets, and
  • provision of information for consumers.


Regulations pertaining to the quality of petrol and diesel are comprised according to the best international practices pursuant to the above-mentioned Energy Act 1989.

The current regulations defining fuel parameters are the Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations.

Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations 2011(external link)

Access to test methods referenced in regulations

Standards, including all test methods referenced in regulations, are available for inspection, at no charge, between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm from Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays) at Trading Standards within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 15 Stout Street, Wellington 6011. Arrange to view the material incorporated by reference by emailing Trading Standards.

These standards can also be purchased from the following sources:

Other legislation

Consumer Guarantees Act

Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, goods that are normally bought for personal use must be of an acceptable quality, fit for purpose, free of minor defects and be safe. These guarantees also apply to fuel.

Consumer Guarantees Act 1993(external link)

Fair Trading Act

The Fair Trading Act states that companies can’t misrepresent the qualities of a product they sell. This legislation is enforced by the Commerce Commission.

Fair Trading Act 1986(external link)