What are the Car Seat Laws in New Zealand?
What is the law?
Why it's important to keep children properly restrained.
In an accident, the passengers' bodies are thrown forward, until something stops them. In the case of a capsule and rear facing seat, this is the shell of the seat; for harnessed car seats, it's the harness, for impact shield seats, it's the impact shield, and for booster seats and adults, it's the car's seat belt.
How to tell if your child restraint can legally be used in New Zealand
All approved child restraints display standard markings to show they are approved. All the car seats stocked here at Global Baby meet the New Zealand legal requirements, and are certified under either the European, or American safety standards.
Look for a child restraint that shows:
- a tick mark (indicates the restraint meets the joint New Zealand/Australian Standard AS/NZ 1754)
- an 'E' mark (indicates the restraint meets the European Standard ECE 44) – the number on the circle will vary depending on the country of certification.
- Or, look for a restraint that complies with the United States Standard FMVSS 213. The restraint must also show the New Zealand Standard 'S' mark indicating it is certified for use here.
Should you use a child restraint for older children?
The current recommendation in New Zealand is that children should be in a booster seat until they're 148cm tall, you may have heard the ads on the radio 'It's safer to wait until 148'. We know that's not always feasible, and we've even had a few mums and dads in the shop who aren't 148cm tall, but we still recommend it as a guide.
A lot of booster seats are made to suit up to a 12 year old child. The Recaro Milano booster seat is a great option for an older child. It has an adjustable headrest that lets it grow with the child, and a handy seat belt latch at the shoulder to ensure that the belt is positioned at the correct position on your child's shoulder.
Most car seats have an expiration date 5-10 years after the date of sale, but it varies from seat to seat. Check the manual of your child restraint to be sure.
This is also important to think about if you're thinking of using a second-hand car seat, or maybe recycling one that you bought for an older child a few years ago. We wouldn't recommend buying a second-hand car seat, unless you're sure you know its history. If the seat has been in a car that's had an impact at more than 10km/h, it will no longer be covered by the safety regulations, so won't comply with the law. If in doubt, don't buy it!