Three toy companies have been fined a combined $150,000 for selling unsafe toys.
Joint Future Wholesale Limited trading as Joint Future was fined $88,000 for six charges relating to the supply of more than 3500 units of a toy piano, toy rabbit and trike, which did not meet the compulsory safety standards for toys designed for infants.
Toys designed for children aged 36 months and under are required to meet a mandatory standard to reduce the risk of choking or ingesting small parts.
Ebenezer Trade Limited was fined $42,000 on two representative charges for the supply of 80 units of a toy musical instrument set comprising a trumpet, saxophone and two maracas, and 36 units of a toy piano.
Goodview Trading NZ was fined $22,000 on two representative charges relating to the supply of 446 units of a musical instrument set.
It is understood these companies distributed toys to dollar stores throughout the country, including to the Goods 2 U chain with 13 stores.
Joint Future declined to comment when approached by the Herald and Ebenezer has not responded to requests for comment.
Goodview has been taken over by a new owner. The Herald was unable to make contact with the previous owner.
Joint Future is owned by Francis Pak Yee and Wai Kuen Wong, and Ebenezer is owned by Joon Ho Choi and Mi Ok Choi.
The charges for all three companies cover the supply of toys between 2010 and 2017.
In sentencing at the Auckland District Court, Judge Chris Field said the conduct of the three company representatives was "careless".
"All three Defendants failed to make themselves aware, in any meaningful sense, of their obligations under the [Fair Trading Act]," Field said.
Ebenezer had been warned by the Commerce Commission on three occasions that its toys needed to comply with the law in its supply of toys, he said.
Antonia Horrocks, branch manager of competition and consumer at the Commerce Commission, said it was an offence for the toys to be distributed.
"These toys posed a choking hazard to young children because they broke apart or released small parts during testing. Toys must comply with product safety laws so that they don't pose a choking risk, or risk of some other kind of injury, to small children," she said.
"We are concerned that none of these companies made themselves sufficiently aware of their legal obligations when it comes to supplying toys for young children.
"If toy suppliers do not ensure their products comply, they put their business at risk of prosecution and their customers at risk of much worse."
ACC figures show there have been 32 accident claims between 2014 and 2018 relating to chocking on toys by children under the age of 36 months.
The charges of all three companies arose from unannounced visits to retail outlets around the country. The unsafe toys were found in stores in Nelson, Marlborough and Auckland's North Shore.