The Franchise Association of New Zealand (FANZ) Conference Taupo

Article  \  28 Aug 2018

On the 8th – 11th August 2018 the annual FANZ conference was held in Taupo. Franchisors, franchisees, and service providers came together from across New Zealand, Australia and even from the United States to share information, experiences, and to promote best practices in franchising.


AJ Park has a longstanding relationship with FANZ and has been supporting the organisation and its members for 22 years. This year Rachel McDonald attended the FANZ conference and facilitated a round-table discussion, focusing on intellectual property and, more specifically, who owns what, protection of brands, and protection for the franchisor.

The discussion started with a focus on capturing system enhancements that the franchisee might make and the use of Adwords and invisible Adwords. This was particularly interesting due to the InterCity Group (NZ) Ltd v Nakedbus NZ Ltd [2014] case (for more information click here).

There was a strong emphasis on thinking outside of the box for IP protection and reinforcing the importance for franchisors to consider what non-traditional trademarks they are using, including the likes of 3D shapes, colours, store layouts, and store exteriors.  This lead to how the consumer sees the branding of the business, excluding the words. For example, whether there is a particular colour associated with their business that has become well known to them and that would retract from their brand if something similar was used by another party.

We looked at currently registered shape trade marks to give examples of how non-traditional trade marks are being used in New Zealand, including the exterior layout of a BP Petrol Station (Reg. No. 643168) or the colour purple, owned by Cadbury (Reg. No. 285611).

The FANZ conference is an educational hub full of information on marketing, employment, business relationships, and sales support, while encouraging collaboration with others and broadening business networks. Most, if not all, attendees take away relevant and useful information which they can then use in their businesses.

FANZ is a member association that supports best practices in franchising throughout New Zealand. In 2017 there were 631 business format franchisors in New Zealand creating over $46.1b in sales turnover and employing more than 124,000 people throughout New Zealand. FANZ was established in New Zealand in 1996, following an agreed split from the Franchise Association of Australia & New Zealand. 

FANZ is a member of the Asia Pacific Franchise Confederation and the World Franchise Council.  The aim of FANZ is to provide support and educational information to ensure New Zealand franchises are the best they can be.

Further information on the FANZ Conference 2018 and registration can be found here.

This article was written by Rachel McDonald.