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External Complaints Policy and Procedure


  • The purpose of this policy and procedures is to outline the steps New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated’s (NZKGI) will take when dealing with external complaints, the different categories of complaints, and the process that follows once a complaint is received.
  • It provides a framework to detail the steps that will be taken, how the data will be captured, the investigation and resolution process of a complaint.
  • It identifies that not all external complaints received will be able to be resolved by the internal resources at NZKGI.
  • This policy is intended to ensure NZKGI deliver a consistent, high-quality, and accountable response to complaints received.


  •  This policy applies to all NZKGI employees, contractors employed by NZKGI, Grower Forum (Forum), and Executive Committee Members.


  • Complaint: A complaint (or dispute) is a challenge over a specific set of facts where an assessment or investigation is required to determine what the facts are and to reach an outcome.
  • Complainant: The individual who has raised/lodged a complaint.


  • Responsibilities: It is the responsibly of the relevant NZKGI employee receiving the complaint to ensure that the complaint is logged immediately and referred to the most appropriate person for action.
  • It is the responsibility of the assigned NZKGI employee to prioritise the complaint, action the complaint in a timely manner and adhere to the agreed timelines for each category of complaints.
  •  It is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to oversee all Priority One complaints, ensuring they are escalated to a third party where appropriate, or if handled internally then actioning the process in the agreed timelines. This includes ensuring there is no risk or damage to NZKGI’s brand or reputation.
  • It is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer to escalate any serious complaint to the Chairman.
  • It is the responsibility of all NZKGI employee’s, Forum and Executive members to respect the Privacy of all complainants and adhere to the Privacy Act 2020 at all times.
  • Approving authority: This policy can be removed or varied at any time at the sole discretion of the CEO or designated person.
  • Filing complaints: All complaints should be filed in the Complaints Folder found under Organisational Management/Administration/Policies.


Category Priority Description
1 Urgent, potential high business risk
Response time – no later than 2 Business days
• Includes risk to external employees, harassment, suicide threats, vulnerable workers, exploitation, serious harassment.
• Immediate or imminent damage to NZKGI’s brand or reputation
• Immediate or imminent harm to Growers, contractors, or workers (covers Health & Safety risks, could include spray complaints)
2 Non-urgent,      lower business risk
Response time – no later than 5 business days days
• Could include Grower complaints on schedule payments, allocations, shipping, other low risk spray complaints), general complaints



NZKGI will implement the following steps for all complaints that are received whether in writing or verbally:


Step Action Responsibility


Receive and log complaint on complaint form (or in an email covering the same headings on the complaint form)

#Appendix 1

Relevant NZKGI employee
2 Categorise complaint.

#Priority One or Two

Relevant NZKGI employee
3 Acknowledge complaint.

Respond to complaint by email, acknowledge receipt of complaint, explain when they will receive a response and the person who will be dealing with the complaint

Relevant NZKGI employee
4 Refer the complaint to the most relevant NZKGI employee

The following steps will be followed for all complaints:

Next steps – Complaints process

Step Action Responsibility


Determine next steps.

If the complaint is a serious employment relations issue and requires external expertise (eg legal advice or H&S advise, or is a matter covered by a Zespri compliance programme) then refer the person to an external provider. Spray complaints should follow the process agreed with Zespri.


Refer to Third Party

2 Investigate

If the matter can be investigated internally then:

i.      Gather all relevant information from the complainant (including authority to work on behalf of the complainant if required)

ii.         Seek clarity on who was involved, what happened, where it took place, when, and why

iii.         Document all information received

iv.         Determine a possible resolution

Assigned NZKGI employee
3 Resolve

i.         Ensure your decision is fair and can be validated

ii.         Discuss your investigation findings and potential resolution with the CEO

iii.         Ensure the resolution does not prejudice NZKGI in any way, the decision maybe at this stage to refer the complainant to a third party.

iv.         Agree the final resolution and the final response

Assigned NZKGI employee and CEO
4 Respond

i.         Provide the complainant with the resolution, first verbally and then follow up with a written response

ii.         The written response should include a summary of the findings of the investigation and the resolution.

iii.         If you are not able to respond within the agreed timelines, you must communicate this to the complainant prior to the deadline.

iv.         Follow up with the complainant to establish that they are satisfied with the resolution.

v.         If they are unsatisfied, then refer any negative

feedback to the CEO for further action if required

Assigned NZKGI employee









5. Follow up

i.         Any final comments should be added to the complaint form.

ii.         The complaint form needs to be completed and closed once the issue has been finalised.

iii.         Any final comments received should be added to the form.

iv.         All complaints should be reviewed quarterly.

v.         Any learnings should be documented and held on the database for future referral.



  • This policy document shall be reviewed every two years, or when needed to consider internal procedure development.
Document Control
Document Name External Complaints Policy and Procedure Document Owner Chief Executive Officer
Approver of Document Executive Committee Date Approved May 2023
Next Review May 2025


Appendix 1

Complaint Logging Form – Download Form