Auckland-based duvet and rug business Nangong Ltd and its owner, Yun Qiang Hou, have been convicted and fined a total of $109,200 in Auckland District Court after pleading guilty to 14 charges of making false claims that their duvets contained alpaca wool and were made in New Zealand.
The Commerce Commission says Nangong and Mr Hou admitted to falsely claiming that the duvets contained alpaca wool when they were made from 100% sheep wool. They also misrepresented that the duvets were New Zealand made when they were actually made in China.
The claims were made on packaging and labelling, on invoices and in a conversation with a Commission investigator.
Labelling included images of alpacas, a silver fern and the Woolmark logo along with wording such as "Made in New Zealand", "New Zealand alpaca", "Pure Wool Alpaca" and "Premium alpaca duvet".
Nangong was able to reduce costs and increase profits by using sheep wool instead of alpaca wool.
Nangong was fined $91,000 and Mr Hou was fined $18,200.
Commerce Commissioner Anna Rawlings says country of origin claims are of ongoing concern to the Commission and it is committed to protecting consumers who are influenced by these types of claims when purchasing goods.