After my article published yesterday about the unsolicited e-mail sent to me through Neighbourly by Paul Hunt the Human Rights Commissioner I contacted Neighbourly with my concerns. They responded promptly with the following message. quote.

Hi Juana, thanks for getting in touch.

We appreciate you making contact to raise come concerns you have relating to the recent partnered private message send from Neighbourly on behalf of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. We hope to clear up any confusion there may surrounding how this message delivered and Neighbourly’s data integrity which is extremely important to our team.

You will have receive a private message from our partnered organisation of this month, which happens to be the Human Rights Commission. Although the content of this message has been written by the Chief Commissioner, it is a message that has been sent from Neighbourly to the majority of our members. Whenever you receive a private message, regardless if this is from another member or from the neighbourly team, you will receive an email notification alerting you to the new message in your inbox. We can reassure you that your information has not be shared with any third party and this message has been sent internally from our team. end quote.

Okay, so it is clear that any organisation that has partnered with Neighbourly can get their message sent to everyone on the Neighbourly database but will not have access to their actual e-mail details. Neighbourly is acting as the middle man, providing access to everyone on their database but not actually providing the “partner” with the details.

They are providing access rather than information. I am not sure how I feel about that. It is a bit like saying you gave me the keys to your house. I didn’t give a copy of the keys to my partner but I let myself into your house and delivered to you a package he asked me to send to you.


Neighbourly partners with non for profit organisations each month in the hopes to deliver community relevant content to our members, our intention is only ever to provide helpful information and notify our members of resources available to them that they otherwise may not know about. As an example we have also sent partnered messages on behalf of The Mental Heath Foundation, The New Zealand Fire Service, St Johns New Zealand, The Citizens Advice Bureau and Netsafe just to name a few.

I was not aware that the Human Rights Commission was a not-for-profit organisation. It may operate independently from the government but it is funded by them so it seems quite a stretch to call it a “non for profit group” as if it was a charity when it is actually taxpayer funded. quote.

If you do not wish to receive email notifications relating to these message then you can update and manage your email settings by clicking the below link: […] end quote.

I have acted on the above advice and I will no longer receive any unsolicited, spam e-mails sent via Neighbourly from any of their “partners.” I am still not even sure if what they are doing is legal. quote.

A commercial electronic message may only be sent if the recipient has consented to receive it. If you don?t think that the recipient has consented then the ?click here to unsubscribe? type of email cannot establish consent for future purposes.

Many recipients may treat such a message as spam and may not respond or even open it. There is no real relationship when the communication is one-sided and the recipient’s silence should not be taken as consent.
Unsolicited emails are strictly forbidden, tallying entirely with DIA?s definition of spam. The Act states that ?Unsolicited commercial electronic messages must not be sent?. end quote.

If they only partnered with Charitable organisations, I might reconsider tolerating the spam messages but, since they are happy to serve taxpayer-funded Thought police like the Human Rights Commission whose e-mail encouraged me to spy on my neighbours and to report people for a meaningless, undefined thing such as “Hate speech”, I have closed everything down.