Make a person in Australia give evidence in certain New Zealand proceedings

You can ask a New Zealand court for permission to make someone in Australia give evidence in New Zealand court proceedings. This is called a trans-Tasman subpoena.

Trans-Tasman subpoenas cover all criminal court cases and most civil court cases. Some Family Court cases aren’t covered, like cases involving orders under the 1980 Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or relating to a person who is not fully able to manage their own affairs.

Apply to the New Zealand court for permission to serve the subpoena in Australia

You must ask the New Zealand court for permission to serve the subpoena in Australia.

You can do this by making an interlocutory application to the New Zealand court

How the New Zealand court will decide

When deciding whether to give permission, the New Zealand court must consider:

  • the significance of the evidence the person will give
  • whether the court could get the evidence in another way that isn’t a lot more expensive.

The person can travel to New Zealand or appear remotely

The person in Australia can:

The New Zealand court may give permission for evidence to be given remotely if it’s satisfied that:

  • the facilities for making a remote appearance are available
  • it’s more convenient for the evidence to be given from Australia
  • it’s appropriate to give permission.

Costs you might have to pay

If the person in Australia travels to New Zealand to give evidence, you’ll have to pay their reasonable expenses. This could include things like travel, accommodation and food.

If the person doesn’t appear in court

If the person who is issued with a subpoena doesn’t appear in court to give evidence or produce documents, the court might hold them in contempt of court.

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