Button batteries

This product safety policy statement provides guidance for manufacturers and suppliers of button batteries to help reduce the risks associated with these items.

About this policy statement

Button batteries are the small, round batteries that power products like hearing aids, watches, toys, games, calculators, musical greeting cards and many remote controls.

If a button battery is swallowed or inserted it can get stuck and start causing significant irreversible damage in as little as 2 hours.

Button batteries — product safety

What you can do as a supplier

If you make or supply products with button batteries, check them against the guidance in the policy statement. Can the product be made safer?

If you're sourcing new products that have button batteries, choose:

  • devices with secure child-resistant battery compartments
  • button batteries in child-resistant packaging
  • products with button battery information and warnings.

Policy statement

Product Safety Policy Statement — Button batteries; safer products and packaging [PDF, 483 KB]

In March 2023 MBIE reviewed the effectiveness of the policy statement. It determined that button batteries continue to cause harm in New Zealand especially to children under 5 and there has not been a decrease in numbers of incidents since the introduction of the policy statement in 2018.

Industry engagement with the policy statement is voluntary and change has not been widely implemented, undermining its effectiveness.

However, MBIE is satisfied that the general content of the policy statement remains fit for purpose.

The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has agreed to MBIE's recommendations and has instructed the Ministry to determine if further regulation is needed.