2.9 Tribunals

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The Official Information Act 1982 does not apply to information held by a tribunal in relation to its judicial functions.

Accident Compensation Appeals District Court Registry

The Accident Compensation Appeals District Court Registry is provided for under the Accident Compensation Act 2001. This Tribunal sits as a judicial authority to hear and determine appeals against ACC's Disputes Resolution Service decisions.

Decisions are published by the New Zealand Legal Information Institute (NZLII) and can be found at www.nzlii.org/nz/cases/NZACC (external link) . Please note that the URL is case sensitive.

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Copyright Tribunal

The Copyright Tribunal is provided for under the Copyright Act 1994. It hears disputes regarding the provision of licences allowing the copying, performing and broadcasting of copyrighted works. This only applies where the copyright owner has set up a scheme for licensing the use of copyrighted works.

Anyone who believes a copyright owner has unreasonably refused to grant a licence for the copying, performing or broadcasting of a copyrighted work may apply to the Tribunal, which will decide if the applicant is entitled to a licence and if so, on what terms.

The Tribunal also considers breaches of copyright via file sharing. They can only accept applications after the copyright holder has warned the internet account holder three times that they are breaching copyright.

Decisions are published by NZLII and can be found at www.nzlii.org/nz/cases/NZCopyT (external link) . Please note that the URL is case sensitive.

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Disputes Tribunal

The Disputes Tribunal deals with claims between parties in respect of amounts up to $15,000 (or, with consent of both parties, up to $20,000).

Disputes are heard by a referee. The referee will normally ask whoever made the claim to give their side of the story first. The other people involved will then be asked to say how they see the situation, and the referee will work with the parties to reach an agreed settlement. If that doesn't succeed they can determine the dispute. Hearings are informal and cases are determined on the principles of the relevant law and the merits and justice of the case. Any order of the Tribunal is binding and will, if necessary, be enforced by the courts. Rights of appeal are limited. Parties to disputes are not legally represented and all hearings are conducted in private and can therefore not be reported on.

Disputes Tribunals are in District Courts nationwide. Decisions are published by NZLII and can be found at www.nzlii.org/nz/cases/NZDispT/ (external link) . Please note that the URL is case sensitive.

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Human Rights Review Tribunal

The Human Rights Review Tribunal is a statutory body that hears and determines complaints that are unable to be resolved by the Human Rights Commissioner, Privacy Commissioner or Health and Disability Commissioner.

Matters dealt with by the Tribunal include:

  • discrimination, sexual harassment and racial discrimination under the Human Rights Act 1993
  • alleged infringements of the information privacy principles under the Privacy Act 1993
  • breaches of the Code of Patients' Rights under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994.

Decisions are published by NZLII and can be found at www.nzlii.org/nz/cases/NZHRRT (external link) . Please note that the URL is case sensitive.

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Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal

The Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal is provided for under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007. The Tribunal considers matters relating to the licensing of immigration advisers. The Tribunal considers matters that are referred to it by the registrar and hears appeals against decisions made by the registrar.

Its functions are to promote and protect the interests of consumers receiving immigration advice and to enhance the reputation of New Zealand as a migration destination by providing for the regulation of people who give immigration advice.

Cases will usually be heard in private, usually on the papers. The files are not available to be searched.

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Immigration and Protection Tribunal

In 2010, the Immigration and Protection Tribunal was established as an independent body established to hear appeals and applications regarding:

  • residence class visas
  • deportation (including appeals on the facts and humanitarian grounds)
  • claims to be recognised as a refugee or as a protected person.

The Tribunal replaced the following four appeal bodies:

  • Refugee Status Appeals Authority
  • Removal Review Authority
  • Residence Review Board
  • Deportation Review Tribunal

All decisions are published on the Ministry's website.

See Immigration Protection Tribunal decisions on this site.

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Land Valuation Tribunal

The Land Valuation Tribunal deals with matters arising from several Acts, relating to land valuations and titles and claims for compensation in respect of damage to land.

Decisions are published by NZLII www.nzlii.org/nz/cases/NZLVT (external link) . Please note that the URL is case sensitive.

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Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal

The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal hears and determines:

  • charges against practitioners (referred from the Legal Complaints Review Officer or the standards committees)
  • applications to review a decision not to issue a practising certificate
  • applications for the restoration of a practising certificate to the roll of lawyers or register conveyancers.

All decisions are published on the Ministry's website.

See Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal decisions on this site.

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Legal Aid Tribunal

The Legal Aid Tribunal reviews decisions made by the Legal Services Commissioner about grants for legal aid.

All decisions are published on the Ministry's website.

See Legal Aid Tribunal decisions on this site.

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Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal

The Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal resolves disputes between consumers and motor vehicle traders.

The Tribunal has authority to order a vehicle be returned to the trader and for the purchaser to receive a refund of the purchase price paid for the vehicle or an award of the purchaser's costs of carrying out repairs to the vehicle. The Tribunal may also order the transfer to the trader of the purchaser's obligations under any financing arrangement made at the time the vehicle was purchased.

These hearings are conducted in private and cannot be reported on. Decisions are published by NZLII and can be found at www.nzlii.org/nz/cases/NZMVDT (external link) . Please note that the URL is case sensitive.

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Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal

The Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal is provided for under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008. It deals with matters relating to the licensing and discipline of people licensed to carry out real estate agency work.

The Tribunal hears and determines charges that the Real Estate Agents Authority or Complaints Assessment Committees have laid against licensees. It also hears appeals against determinations made by Complaints Assessment Committees and reviews decisions made by the registrar of the Real Estate Agents Authority.

All decisions are published on the Ministry's website.

See Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal decisions on this site.

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Tenancy Tribunal

The Tenancy Tribunal hears disputes between landlords and tenants of residential properties who have not been able to reach agreement in mediation provided by the Department of Building and Housing. It also hears disputes concerning unit title developments.

The Tribunal is supported jointly by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), with MBIE performing the bulk of the support functions including administration of the legislation, management of cases before the Tribunal and scheduling of hearings.

Tenancy Tribunals are located in selected District Courts nationwide. The Tenancy Tribunal conducts proceedings in an informal environment.

Decisions of the Tribunal can be enforced by the District Court. All decisions are published on the Ministry's website (see Tenancy Tribunal decisions) unless the adjudicator directs otherwise.

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Trans-Tasman Occupations Tribunal

The Trans-Tasman Occupations Tribunal is provided for under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997. The Act allows a person registered in Australia for an occupation to be registered in New Zealand for the local equivalent of that occupation.

Applications are first heard by local registration authorities. If an applicant questions a registration authority's decision they can appeal to the Tribunal.

All decisions are published on the Ministry's website.

See Trans-Tasman Occupations Tribunal decisions on this site.

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Victims' Special Claims Tribunal

The Prisoners' and Victims' Claims Act 2005 established the Victims' Special Claims Tribunal to determine claims by victims against money held in trust, by the Secretary for Justice, for prisoners awarded compensation payments due to state action.

Some decisions may be available on the Tribunal's website, though the Tribunal may give an order forbidding publication of all or part of the evidence presented in a case, to protect a victim's personal details.

All decisions are published on the Ministry's website.

See Victims Special Claims Tribunal decisions on this site.

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Waitangi Tribunal

The Waitangi Tribunal is a commission of inquiry charged with making recommendations on claims brought by Māori relating to actions or omissions of the Crown that breach the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Tribunal comprises up to 21 members who are appointed by the Governor- General, on the recommendation of the Minister of Māori Affairs. Tribunal members are chosen for their expertise in matters that are likely to come before them.

The Tribunal produces a report of its findings for the claimants and the Crown. These reports can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.waitangitribunal.govt.nz/publications-and-resources/waitangi-tribunal-reports/ (external link) .

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Weathertight Homes Tribunal

The Weathertight Homes Tribunal provides quick, cost-effective and independent adjudication for leaky homes compensation claims.

Affected homeowners must first apply to the MBIE to have their claim assessed for eligibility before they can apply to the Tribunal for adjudication. The Tribunal provides independent adjudication services with impartial treatment for all parties. The chair and members of the Tribunal act as adjudicators of leaky homes disputes.

They are supported by Ministry of Justice staff who provide registration, case management and other administrative services.

Decisions and procedural orders of interest are published on the Ministry's website

See Weathertight Homes Tribunal decisions on this site.

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