VPNs available in New Zealand
Information about New Zealand VPNs
What is a VPN for New Zealand?
A VPN for New Zealand is a service that gives all New Zealanders the ability to encrypt their digital communications and increase their online privacy with the touch of a single button, with barely any tech knowledge require. Using apps designed either for the desktop experience or their mobile phone, VPNs are a simple method to get your device’s communication pathways encrypted and protected in a matter of minutes.
New Zealand has a relatively decent internet penetration rate among its 4.6 million citizens, with around 86% of its total population having access to the web in one form or another. This is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum than we’ve seen with other countries, and even beats out its neighboring cousin Australia which only reaches about 78% of the total population.
We haven’t tested any servers in New Zealand just yet, but know there are plans in the works to test more than 100+ locations worldwide with New Zealand leading on that front! Until then you can check out our results in Sydney for some of the best providers who service the OCE region.
Why Use a VPN in New Zealand?
The main reason any New Zealand residents should consider employing the services of a VPN in their home is because New Zealand (along with Australia) happens to be one of the members of a global surveillance collective known as the “14 Eyes”.
This collective includes the membership of nations such as the United States, United Kingdom, France and 11 other countries who have all agreed to enter a collective surveillance agreement where any information gathered can be openly shared across borders with no restrictions in place. This means that any of your digital information collected by the New Zealand authorities is automatically open pickings for any of the largest surveillance actors in the world, making it a risky endeavor to ever connect online without the assistance of some kind of encryption or digital privacy tools.
Also, as of July 2018 New Zealand currently enforces all of its privacy rights off a positively ancient bill that was originally passed all the way back in 1993 known as the Privacy Act, a law that went into effect pretty much before the internet was even invented let alone distributed to the masses in the way we use it today. There is however a move in the country’s parliament to rectify this problem and amend the original legislation with a new law, dubbed simply “The Privacy Law”.
The key changes in the Privacy Bill are:
- Mandatory reporting of privacy breaches: Privacy breaches that pose a risk of harm to people must be notified to the Privacy Commissioner and to affected individuals.
- Compliance notices: The Commissioner will be able to issue compliance notices that require an agency to do something, or stop doing something, in order to comply with privacy law. The Human Rights Review Tribunal will be able to enforce compliance notices and hear appeals.
- Strengthening cross-border data flow protections: New Zealand agencies will be required to take reasonable steps to ensure that personal information disclosed overseas will be subject to acceptable privacy standards. The Bill also clarifies the application of our law when a New Zealand agency engages an overseas service provider.
- New criminal offences: It will be an offence to mislead an agency in a way that affects someone else’s information and to knowingly destroy documents containing personal information where a request has been made for it. The penalty is a fine up to $10,000.
- Commissioner making binding decisions on access requests: This reform will enable the Commissioner to make decisions on complaints relating to access to information, rather than the Human Rights Review Tribunal. The Commissioner’s decisions will be able to be appealed to the Tribunal.
- Strengthening the Privacy Commissioner’s information gathering power: The Commissioner’s existing investigation power will be strengthened by allowing him or her to shorten the time frame within which an agency must comply, and increasing the penalty for non-compliance.
If voted through, this would drastically strengthen the amount of privacy that’s afforded to the average internet user in New Zealand, and shore up privacy rights for native citizens for decades to come. The biggest benefit of the new bill is that it would place greater controls on how information is disseminated when it crosses particular borders.
It would also require authorities to personally notify any citizens who are currently being investigated or having their information pulled by another agency, which is a big bonus if you want to guarantee that you’re always on top of who is seeing your information and perhaps more importantly, when.
Finally, any of the laws that allowed for the interception of the now infamous Kim Dotcom will be overturned. Back in 2012, many of the practices that were used by New Zealand police to capture the internet pirate mogul were called into question by the international privacy community. It was during this inquiry that the public discovered New Zealand authorities had overstepped the law on dozens of different fronts, aided in part by the United States surveillance agency, the NSA.
When Dotcom was arrested the country had all eyes on its own surveillance programs. If passed, the Privacy Bill amendments would ensure that no violations like what happened back in 2012 will be able to go through unnoticed again.
Is it Legal to Use a VPN in New Zealand?
100%! Although the country is currently one of the worst places to browse from if you want a truly private internet experience (of course with the hope that will change in the coming months), there are currently no laws on the books which prevent native New Zealanders from taking their privacy into their own hands.
The only thing we would caution against in this department is to guarantee that the home country your preferred VPN provider is based out of doesn’t reside in one of the 14 Eyes countries. If so, New Zealand authorities would be completely within their legal right to request information from that country’s surveillance teams and get your data transferred over to their system within a matter of minutes.