Harcourts Group Limited and its related entities (collectively, Harcourts, us, we, our) are committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information. Harcourts is required to comply with the Privacy Act 2020 (Privacy Act) in New Zealand.
What personal information do we collect?
The kinds of personal information we collect and hold about you, and our use of that information, is dependent on the products and services we provide to you.
In addition to operating a national real estate franchise network, the products and services that we (and/or our franchisees and licensees) provide include providing real estate agency services for the buying, selling, leasing, development and advertising of residential, commercial and rural properties, business broking, training and providing services in connection with arranging utility connection, removalists, cleaners, conveyancing, financing and insurance.
Generally, this personal information may include (but is not limited to) your name, address, date of birth, telephone number, email address, details of the products or services you have enquired about, property value, rental amounts, insurance details, references (in relation to rental arrangements and job applicants) and photo identification.
In addition to the above information, when you enrol in a course we will collect information which may include credit card details for payment of course fees and for nationally recognised training identification documents such as birth certificates, drivers licenses and/or passports in order to create a Unique Student Identifier (USI) unless you can provide a USI to The Academy. Collection of your personal information may be required by law for the purpose of reporting to government agencies for planning, evaluative and administrative relating to your training or course.
How do we collect your personal information?
Generally, we collect your personal information directly from you unless it is impracticable or unreasonable to do so (for example where you deal with our franchisees, rather than us). From time to time, we may collect personal information about you from third parties (for example, from your representative, from publicly available sources, from your referees where you apply for a position with us, when you transact with our franchisees or if you apply to become a franchisee).
If you enrol in a course, we may also collect personal information about you from third parties, for example:
• from schools and other educational institutions where necessary to verify qualifications and course credits for enrolment and assessment purposes;
• from organisations where you may be completing a work placement, or practical component of your course;
• from your employer if your course is being supported by them or incorporated into your employment;
• from professional or member associations or government departments via website such as confirming membership or registration or license check.
When collecting your personal information, we will take reasonable steps to provide you with certain information as required under the Privacy Act, including the purpose of collection, who we may disclose your personal information to, any law that requires or authorises us to collect the information and the main consequences if we do not collect all of the personal information we require. If we collect your personal information from another source, we will take reasonable steps to ensure you are aware of the fact and the circumstances of that collection.
Generally, if we are unable to collect the personal information we require, we may not be able to provide you with the products and services you seek. If the information provided is incorrect or incomplete, this may also prevent, limit or otherwise affect our ability to provide products or services to you.
How is your personal information collected by the Harcourts website?
Why do we collect, hold and use your personal information?
We will use and disclose your personal information for the purposes for which we collected it, and for other related purposes that you would reasonably expect.
Generally, these purposes include responding to your enquiries, providing you (or arranging for our franchisees to provide you) with products and services such as those set out in the section above, providing you with marketing information about our products and services and those of our franchisees, obtaining your feedback on your customer experience, conducting promotional activities and for our general business operations (for example, recruitment, maintenance of our business records, compliance with our legal and insurance obligations and statistical purposes).
By providing us with your personal information, you consent to us using your personal information for these purposes. You agree that we may send you such information by post or by electronic means such as email. You can opt-out of marketing and promotional communications at any time by contacting our Privacy Officer via the details shown below.
How do we disclose your personal information?
We may disclose your personal information to:
• Our franchisees, licensees, agents and contractors for the purposes set out above, and for the purposes of those parties providing services to us or performing business services or functions on our behalf;
• Members of the Harcourts corporate group;• Other companies or individuals who assist us in providing services or who perform functions on our behalf (such as mailing houses, hosting and data storage providers, specialist consultants and legal advisers);
• other companies or individuals who perform checks (such as but not limited to compliance reviews and audits) that are necessary or desirable under law on our behalf;
• other companies, agencies or individuals that maintain databases against which your identity may be verified, which may include (but is not limited to) the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs, and New Zealand Transport Agency;
• social media sites on which we may have a presence;
• courts, tribunals and regulatory authorities (such as the Real Estate Authority, and Ministry of Justice in New Zealand);
• Office of the Ombudsman, where a complaint relates to official information;
• any person or agency we believe could assist in responding to a serious privacy breach.
• Office of the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner, where a complaint relates to breach of the Privacy Act 2020;
• Human Rights Commission, where a complaint relates to discrimination;
• CERT NZ, where appropriate to assist with the management of a voluntarily notified privacy breach
• Overseas privacy regulator, where a complaint relates to the actions of an overseas agency;
• If you are undertaking a Harcourts training course we may disclose information to a third party about you or your course for the purposes of assessing your progress, tracking your attendance, providing student support, issuing your results, and providing certificates of completion and/or Statement of Attainments (SoA for nationally recognised training); and
• Anyone else to whom you authorise us to disclose it.
Apart from the above instances, we may also use and disclose your personal information with your consent and as otherwise required or permitted by law.
Storage of personal information
We may hold your personal information in electronic formats or in hard copy, at our offices at 7-9 Alpers Avenue, Newmarket, Auckland or Level 1, 54-58 Cambridge Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington or 12 Hazeldean Road, Addington, Christchurch OR at premises outside our offices, including data storage facilities or online storage located within or outside New Zealand, which may be operated by independent service contractors.
Where your personal information is transferred outside New Zealand we will ensure the intended recipient has provided appropriate safeguards and that requisite rights and remedies in relation to the personal information remain available, or we will obtain your explicit consent for the transfer.
Management of personal information
We take reasonable steps to securely store your personal information to ensure it is protected from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure, and from other types of misuse, interference and loss. This includes electronic and physical security measures and procedures, staff training and use of password protection software.
We will take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify your personal information when we no longer require it for any purpose for which it was collected. We may retain your personal information for as long as necessary to comply with any applicable law, for legal, insurance and corporate governance purposes, for the prevention of fraud and to resolve disputes. Your personal information may also be retained in our IT system back-up records.
The transfer of data over the Internet is inherently insecure. We cannot guarantee the security, during transmission, of any personal information provided to us via our websites. Please bear this in mind when transmitting information by this means to us.
Your right to access and correct your personal information we hold
The Privacy Act and the GDPR give you the right to access information held about you by us. You may lodge a request to access and correct personal information that we hold about you if you believe it is inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date, irrelevant or misleading by contacting our Privacy Officer via the contact details shown below.
You may request that we provide you with access to the personal information we hold about you. Generally, we will provide you with access, except in limited circumstances where the Privacy Act permits us to deny access. Any such requests must be made in writing and directed to our Privacy Officer via the details shown below. We will respond to your request within 20 working days of the day on which the request is received.
Under the Privacy Act, we may be permitted to charge you a reasonable fee for providing access to your personal information. Please note that no fee will be incurred for requesting access, and if your request for access is accepted we will inform you of the fee (if any) that will be payable for providing access if you proceed with your request.
You may ask us to inform you of the source of any personal information about you that we have collected from a third party. We will provide this at no cost, except in limited circumstances where laws permit us to withhold this information.
You have the right to change the permissions that you have given us in relation to how we may use your data. You also have the right to request that we cease using your data or that we delete all personal data records that we hold relating to you. You can exercise these rights at any time by writing to our Privacy Officer at the address detailed below.
Making a complaint
You may lodge a complaint with us if you believe we have handled your personal information other than in accordance with the Privacy Act. To do so please contact our Privacy Officer via the contact details below. We will confirm receipt of your complaint and set out the time frame we require to investigate your complaint and provide you with a response. We will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible, which will typically be within 14 days of receiving your complaint.
You have the right to make a complaint to the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner. This can be done through the Privacy Commissioner online complaint form here: https://privacy.org.nz/your-rights/making-a-complaint/complaint-form/
If you would like further information about the way we manage your personal information, or if you have a privacy-related complaint, please contact our Privacy Officer by telephone on 09 520 5569, by mail at PO Box 99 549, Newmarket, Auckland 1023 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the purpose of the GDPR, we are the data controller and any enquiry regarding the collection or processing of your data should be addressed to our Privacy Officer at the contact details above.
Office of the Privacy Commissioner
More information about your rights and our obligations in connection with your personal information are available from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner at www.privacy.org.nz