How your Huawei phone could soon be a target for 'ratbags on the internet' - expert

Kiwis with Huawei phones could be in for a nasty surprise in the coming months, as the restrictions in place for the company take effect.

Following President Donald Trump's limiting the business US firms can do with Huawei, Google has blocked the Chinese telecoms company's future access to Android updates.

This means Huawei phones will no longer have access to the apps, or security updates from Google. And in the long run, that's bad news for people who own Huawei phones.

"In the short term its business as usual, apps will run, phones will work," said technology commentator Paul Brislen on Tuesday.

"But when Google updates the operating system (OS) as it does from time to time, then those updates won't be pushed out to Huawei devices, which means you run the risk of your phone becoming unsecured, or becoming a target for ratbags on the Internet who want to cause you trouble."

As well as a security risk, apps like Gmail, Google Maps, and Play Store could stop working.

But there's good news too - according to Brislen, there's a chance of a refund.

"The Consumer Guarantee Act says the device must be fit for purpose - and it will be for a few months. So you have to ask yourself, is a few months long enough for a phone to work?"

"You have to wonder if it's worth keeping the phone at all," he continued.

"I'd be looking to go back to my retailer, and I'd be saying 'Here's your device, I'd like my money back.'"

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government won't follow the steps of the US in restricting trade of Huawei devices.

"Our legislation is very specific, it's neutral on country, and it's neutral on vendor. It makes an assessment though around security issues and protecting the security and data of New Zealanders.

"On that basis, an assessment has been made by the GCSB on an application that came through from Spark and Huawei and that is still being worked through," she said on Tuesday.

Ardern did make it clear the Government has a" process" in place to protect the security of Kiwis - although she did not expand on the details.

"It works well for us, and ensures the security of New Zealanders. Those issues that need to be addressed by Spark and Huawei, the ball now sits in their court,"

"Some concerns have been raised, and put back to them to resolve. And that's where we stand at the moment."