PROTOCOL OF THE TENANCY TRIBUNAL UNDER THE COVID-19 PROTECTION FRAMEWORK

This protocol sets out the measures that apply in respect of Tenancy Tribunal proceedings on and after 5 April 2022 at levels Red, Orange, or Green of the traffic light system.

What hearings may proceed?
1.All Tenancy Tribunal proceedings will be conducted at Red, Orange and Green settings.

2. Where possible hearings will proceed remotely but if the application does not meet the criteria to be conducted remotely by phone or video link, it may be held in person.

What safety measures and requirements are in place for in person hearings?

3. The Courts remain open to the public, but for health and safety reasons there may be limits on the number of people who are not directly involved in proceedings who are physically present in courtrooms and Court buildings.

4. All participants attending the tribunal for hearings of half a day or longer may be asked to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), prior to the hearing commencing. The decision whether to request a RAT test will be made by the Adjudicator. Registry will advise the party of the arrangements for testing for their case. If participants are asked to take a RAT and any participant declines to do so, the Adjudicator will determine whether and how the hearing will proceed. If any participant tests positive, the Adjudicator will determine on a case-by-case basis whether and how the hearing may be able to continue.

5. Everyone who attends the Tribunal in person must comply with the following health and safety requirements (and any other requirements advised by staff at the Court or hearing facility):

  • Have a temperature check if required by security staff at the building entrance. Anyone showing signs of illness or has a body temperature of 38 degrees or higher will be denied access.
  • Must wear a facemask, a surgical mask or a KN95 ( or equivalent) in the building and in the hearing room unless that person has a mask exemption card issued by the Ministry of Health or the Adjudicator agrees to its removal.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others (unless they are a person attending with you).
6. Access will be denied to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is required isolate or is a household contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.

7. A person wishing to attend a Tribunal hearing who has not complied with paragraph 4 and 5 will not be permitted to attend the hearing in person, and the hearing may proceed in their absence, unless alternative arrangements to attend have been made.

8. Any concerns about health and safety practices in the Court should be raised with the Court Manager in the first instance. In the event of community transmission in your area, public health advice will be taken and further measures may be put in place.

9. This Protocol applies from 5 April 2022 until revoked or modified by the Tribunal.

Jenny Robson

Principal Tenancy Adjudicator

 
The Tenancy Tribunal holds hearings to settle disputes between tenants and landlords. It also settles unit title disputes. Before coming to the Tribunal, you can try to settle your dispute through mediation.

Contact the Tribunal through Tenancy Services which is the main point of contact for the Tribunal(external link)

Contact the Tribunal directly if:

  • your hearing is less than 5 days away and you can’t attend
  • you have a question about a rehearing or an appeal.

Legislative changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986

Amendments were made to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) which aimed to balance the rights and obligations between both landlord and tenant. A number of amendments came into force on 11 February 2021 with some more coming in early August.

The changes affect both Tenancy Services and the Tenancy Tribunal by removing certain provisions from the Act and giving the Tribunal wider powers to how the operate. To find out more information please go to https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/law-changes(external link).

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