15 March 2021

Guide to Product Disclosure Statements

What is a Product Disclosure Statement?

A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) provides you with essential information to help you decide whether to invest in a financial product. It uses clear language to explain the product and replaces older forms of financial product disclosure information such as investment statements and prospectuses.

Why is a PDS important?

A PDS describes how a product works and provides you with information about the organisation that is offering it. Importantly, it will give you an understanding of the risks and returns and any fees and charges. You must be given the PDS before you invest in the financial product.

Start with the key information summary

Every PDS has a key information summary at the front of the document. This summarises the most significant points about the product and guides you on where in the document to go to read more. What’s included in a key information summary for each type of financial product is set out in law, so you can easily compare similar financial products. Key information summaries will include:

  • What the financial product is
  • Information about the organisation offering the financial product
  • The key terms of the investment
  • The key risks affecting the investment

Other key information will depend on the type of investment being considered. For example:

  • The key information summary for a fund will also tell you what your money will be invested in. 
  • The key information summary for a bond will also tell you whether you can get your money out bond of the investment early and whether the investment has been given a credit rating.


The content and size of a PDS will vary depending on the type of financial product

Investment type

PDS Information


A PDS will be no longer than 60 pages, or 30 000 words. It will enable you to assess the underlying business, including the current value of the assets, growth prospects, and how the money raised will be used.


A PDS will be no longer than 30 pages, or 15 000 words. It will explain who the issuer is, the reasons they are trying to raise money from you, and enable you to assess the likelihood they will pay you the money they are promising to pay.

Managed funds

A PDS will be no longer than 12 pages, or 6000 words. It will enable you to understand the scheme’s investment aims (including the balance between risk and return) and fees.


A PDS will be no longer than 30 pages, or 15,000 words. It will enable you to assess what the derivative does and the risks it poses.

Investments that are not financial products do not require a PDS. For example, if you are buying a house the seller won’t need to give you a PDS. Some simple investments, such as bank term deposits don’t require a PDS either.


Other useful resources:

  • More detailed information about offers is available online the Disclose Register website
  • Look for the issuer name, or offer or scheme number in the PDS – this is the quickest way to find additional information about an offer on the Disclose Register website.
  • Information on the Disclose Register website will include things such as financial statements, further information about the company such as constitutional documents and description of key contracts and, where relevant, how the provider manages the investment (their Statement of Investment Performance and Objectives). Providers must keep this information up-to-date whilst they continue to offer the financial products, so you can check online for the latest product details.
  • If you are purchasing financial products from someone other than the original issuer, for example buying shares that are already listed on the NZX, the PDS and Disclose information may be out of date. Information updates for companies listed on the NZX are published on the NZX website
  • If you are not sure, seek financial advice from a financial adviser. The New Zealand Companies Office publishes a register of Financial Service Providers.