WEATHERTIGHT HOMES TRIBUNAL 
Protocol for Weathertight Homes Tribunal operations with COVID-19 in the community

P R Cogswell

Chair

Effective from Tuesday 13 September 2022

Introduction and Outline

  1. Courts and Tribunals are an essential service.
  2. To ensure access to justice, the Weathertight Homes Tribunal (Tribunal) will remain open despite the presence of COVID-19 in the community.
  3. While the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order 2021 is in force, the Tribunal will, as far as is reasonably practicable, operate in its usual manner.
  4. Everyone who attends the Tribunal in person must comply with the health and safety requirements at the Tribunal.
  5. In many cases there will be a need to change (possibly at short notice) the way the Tribunal operates, including by conducting hearings entirely by video-link or telephone or by requiring that documents be emailed rather than posted or delivered.
  6. This protocol applies subject to any directions given by the Adjudicator in a particular case. The Adjudicator may direct that requirements set out in this protocol do not apply in a particular case, if the Adjudicator is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so.
  7. Parties affected by any change to the Tribunal’s usual operating procedures will be advised of those changes and provided with information to ensure that they understand how their claim will be handled by the Tribunal.
  8. The Tribunal’s Protocol dated 24 January 2022 is revoked.
  9. This Protocol applies until revoked or modified by the Tribunal.
  10. Most Tribunal hearings are conducted in the building of the District Court nearest to the location of the property the subject of the claim.
  11. The following requirements apply to entry into District Court buildings:

Entry to Weathertight Homes Tribunal hearings

(a)             A person may not enter the District Court building if they are showing signs of illness;

(b)             A person who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 7 days may not enter the District Court building.

  1. The District 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 permitted to be physically present in Courtrooms and District Court buildings during a Tribunal hearing.
  2. All persons entering the District Court building may wear a surgical mask or a KN95 mask or similar and are strongly encouraged to do so when moving around the District Court building (including Courtrooms).  Masks will be provided at the entry to the Court building for all those who do not have their own mask.

    Conduct of Hearings
  3. Most pre-hearing conferences in the Tribunal are conducted by telephone conference.
  4. Full Tribunal hearings will be conducted in person, unless the Adjudicator directs otherwise. 
  5. A party may seek a direction that a hearing or a part of a hearing be conducted remotely, but a request to conduct a hearing remotely must be made to the Tribunal with as much notice as possible. 

    Filing of documents in the Weathertight Homes Tribunal
  6. The Weathertight Homes Tribunal office will be open for electronic filing.
  7. Courier and post deliveries will also be received although our preference is to receive information by email to WHTenquiries@justice.govt.nz.
  8. The contact phone number for the office is 0800 777 757 and we will respond to any voice mail message that is left. Thank you for your co-operation. 

 

The Weathertight Homes Tribunal provides a speedy, cost-effective resolution process for the owners of leaky homes.

Before filing a claim with the Weathertight Homes Tribunal, an expert from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) must complete a full assessment of the property. MBIE will give the homeowner a written report and tell them if their claim is eligible. The homeowner can then apply to the tribunal for adjudication.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment(external link)

  • About the tribunal

    The government recognised the difficulties with resolving leaky home claims and set up the Weathertight Homes Tribunal to resolve disputes faster.

  • What you can claim for

    Find out about what can be claimed at the Weathertight Homes Tribunal and legal costs.

  • How to make a claim

    What you need to know to make a claim - including the fee.

  • What happens next

    The process a claim goes through from application to decision.

  • Forms & fee

    Forms for the Weathertight Homes Tribunal and how to pay the fee.

  • Decisions

    Find decisions made by the Weathertight Homes Tribunal.

  • Contact us

    Contact details for the Weathertight Homes Tribunal.

Filing of documents in the Weathertight Homes Tribunal