International Franchise Lawyers Association e.V.
Franchising in New Zealand
For further details please contact:

MAC DONALD, Rory Malcom

Rory MacDonald Principial MacDonald Pilcher
92 Parnell Road
P.O. Box 37851
New Zealand

Phone +64  9 307 3324
Fax +64 9 307 3325   


New Zealand is a prosperous country of 4.4 million people.  Franchising is a popular method of conducting business in New Zealand and there are approximately 400 franchise systems of various sizes according to a 2010 survey.  Small business is widespread throughout New Zealand and franchising fits well with that concept.

 There is a good mix of imported as well as local franchise systems in New Zealand which is regarded as a relatively easy country in which to establish a new business.  Establishment costs for a new business are relatively low when compared with other western countries.  There are no laws specific to the operation of franchising in New Zealand but there are the usual laws that apply to fair trading, consumer protection, employment, health and safety, etc.

 The Franchise Association of New Zealand Inc is an active association with voluntary membership and an emphasis on promotion of high standards.  There are a number of law firms and accountancy firms that specialise in franchise law and there are two well regarded franchise consultancy firms in New Zealand.  All the Banks have specialist franchising teams.  There is one magazine dedicated to franchising in New Zealand.

 Economically, prospects are relatively sound for New Zealand in the foreseeable future with a big emphasis on exports (particularly in the rural area) that are sought after in Asian and other nearby markets.  New Zealand does have too much net external debt (largely personal debt rather than government debt) but consumers are focused on personal debt repayment so retail spending is growing at a sluggish pace.  However, the forecast for the economy for 2012 and 2013 is growth in the order of 2.5% per annum. 

 The population of New Zealand is diverse with the indigenous Maori people representing some 15%.  Traditional immigration was mainly Anglo-Saxon, Scottish and Irish people but in more recent times there has been a steady inflow of immigrants from many countries.  Generally speaking immigrants adapt well to New Zealand.  There are good standards in health and education and well developed social and commercial infrastructures.

 Although New Zealand is somewhat remote, it is a three hour flight to Australia which has a much larger population.  New Zealand is very much in touch with the Western and Asian world and all of the interesting influences of these countries.

Australia and the USA have been the traditional suppliers of offshore franchise systems to New Zealand.  There is no reason why systems from other countries cannot succeed in New Zealand if the franchisors are prepared to do adequate research and organisation.  Already, there are a range of companies operating in New Zealand that are based in countries such as the UK, Germany, France, China, India, Brazil, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries.  There is no reason why franchisors from these countries can not operate here as well.

 MacDonald Pilcher is a small but specialised law firm with 20 years of experience in franchising.  The firm is a member of the ILFA and the Franchise Association of New Zealand Inc and represents offshore as well as local franchise systems.  The firm has good links with all the key suppliers of the franchise industry in New Zealand.