Ticket resale

Tickets to most events in New Zealand can be resold at a higher price than the original sale price. 

A number of websites provide a platform for individuals to resell event tickets. There is no law in New Zealand that prevents event tickets being resold for a higher price than the original sale price of the ticket, except where the event is covered by the Major Events Management Act 2007 (MEM Act).

Major Events Management Act

The MEM Act applies to major events held in New Zealand that provide a substantial benefit to the country such as the Rugby World Cup 2011 and the Lions Tour 2017. To date no concerts have been declared major events under the Act. Tickets for an event covered by the MEM Act cannot be sold for more than the original sale price (including charges such as booking fee and delivery fee). The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment administer the MEM Act and only the Governor-General after consultation with specific Ministers can declare an event a major event under the MEM Act.

Ticket reselling websites

There are a number of ticket resale websites operating in New Zealand, such as Ticketmaster Resale and Switzerland based company Viagogo. These websites allow ticket holders to resell their tickets. Where the ticket holder is reselling their tickets, the price is set by the ticket seller, not the company running the website. Generally, when you purchase through a resale website you are not buying tickets from the company running the website, you are buying them from the ticket holder. In the same way when you buy something on Trade Me, you are purchasing from the account holder, not Trade Me itself. 

Where the Commission gets involved

Where the Commission can get involved is if there are any concerns under the Fair Trading Act which applies to traders (not individuals reselling tickets). This would include being misled:

  • about the fact that the website sells tickets for resale and is not the official ticket website
  • by statements on the website that imply it is the trader selling the tickets, and not that you are purchasing from an individual seller
  • by transaction fees that are not disclosed upfront.

If you are concerned that you have been misled by a resale website please contact us on 0800 943 600 or complete this form.

Things to be aware of

When buying tickets you should check whether the official ticket seller, such as Ticketek or Ticketmaster, has tickets available. Make sure you are visiting the official ticket seller site, don’t just assume the first web search result that comes up is the official site. Some resale sites use advertisements on Google that appear at the top of search results. One way you can ensure you have the official site is to visit the artist’s official website and follow the link from their website to buy tickets.

If the official site has sold out and you decide to purchase through a resale website be aware that tickets can be significantly more expensive when purchased on ticket resale platforms. There are other risks when you buy from resale websites rather than from the official ticket website:

  • the ticket you purchase could be fake
  • you might never receive the ticket
  • the ticket might not have the features you thought you were purchasing eg, specific location in the venue, premium add-ons or wheelchair access.