Harmful communications

See why this matters on Trade Me, and how to report any harmful communications.

The Harmful Digital Communications Act (HDCA) sets out to deter, prevent and mitigate harm to individuals by digital communications.


What is the HDCA?

The HDCA is made up of a list of communication principles Link-external, all of which apply any form of electronic communication.
All Trade Me members are expected to abide by these principles.

While it's the right thing to do, it's also outlined by law that members must respect others and conduct themselves honestly and in good faith at all times. If a member breaches these principles or their content is deemed harmful and/or offensive, we may take action by removing specific content.

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What can I do if I've received harmful communication?

If you're subject to harmful communication from another member on Trade Me (e.g. through the Q&A of a listing, feedback you've received, a Community post, or a listing) you can report this below.

Once we've received a complaint, we'll assess whether to remove the content based on our own terms and conditions, or we may get in touch with the person who posted the communication to see whether they stand behind it (known as the 'safe harbour' process under the HDCA).

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Safe harbour process

The safe harbour process means that if a complaint is made about some content, we'll notify the author within 48 hours – removing any personal information, if requested. If we can't notify the author within 48 hours, we'll remove the content.

They have 48 hours to decide whether to:

  • stand by the content and dispute the complaint
  • request for the content to be removed entirely.


If the author doesn't contact us after notification, we'll remove the content from the site.

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