Disputes Tribunal

Disputes Tribunal COVID-19 protocol at 3 December 2021 up to 31 January 2022
The Disputes Tribunal has put safety measures in place to minimize the risk of participants being exposed to COVID-19. Under both "Red" and "Orange" of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, the following measures will apply in the Disputes Tribunal.

Teleconference hearings
All hearings will be by teleconference from Monday, 6 December 2021 (inclusive).

Parties will be contacted to confirm that their hearing is by teleconference. At the time of the hearing, the Referee will contact the parties by conference call.

This protocol will be subject to ongoing review and modification as local risks change.

Other safety measures in place
Everyone who attends the Disputes Tribunal in-person until the start of teleconferencing must comply with the following health and safety requirements:

  • Scan the QR Code at the entrance to the Court building, or record details in the register provided at the door;
  • Wear a facemask in the Court building and in the hearing room, unless an exemption applies, or unless in the hearing the Referee approves its removal;
  • Maintain a distance of at least 1m from others (unless they are a person attending with you);
  • Apply hand sanitiser upon being seated at your table; and
  • Cleaning products will be available in the hearing room to enable participants to keep their immediate areas clean.

Any concerns about health and safety practices in the Court should be raised with the local 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.

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Disputes Tribunal COVID-19 protocol from 31 January 2022 until further notice

You will receive a Notice of Hearing for your case that advises the date and time for the hearing, and the Court where the hearing will take place. Your hearing will take place by teleconference unless directed otherwise by the Disputes Tribunal Referee.

For your teleconference hearing, please ensure you have sent all documents to the Registrar and the other party well in advance of the hearing, have a fully charged phone, and a quiet place to sit without interruption for the duration of the hearing.

At the hearing, the Disputes Tribunal Referee may assess your proceedings as requiring a further hearing in person. This will be arranged only if needed, and if such a hearing can be conducted within the safety protocols in place under the Traffic Light setting in place at that time.

If you are required to attend in person you will be asked to provide your vaccine pass by the security team at the front door of the court and comply with other safety measures described below.

Other safety measures in place

All frontline Court staff and Referees at the Court for any in-person hearing will be fully vaccinated.

Everyone who attends the Disputes Tribunal in-person must comply with the following health and safety requirements:

  • Meet the entry requirements at the door outlined above;
  • Follow the directions of your Referee as to the number of people who may enter the hearing room at any one time (e.g., support people and witnesses);
  • Scan the QR Code at the entrance to the Court building, or record details in the register provided at the door;
  • Wear an appropriate facemask in the Court building and in the hearing room;
  • Maintain a distance of at least 1m from others (unless they are a person attending with you);
  • Follow the instructions of your Referee during the hearing about how documents are to be exchanged in the hearing;
  • Apply hand sanitiser upon being seated at your table;
  • Cleaning products will be available in the hearing room to enable participants to keep their immediate areas clean.

Any concerns about health and safety practices in the Court should be raised with the local 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.

Future changes

This protocol will be subject to ongoing review and modification as local risks change.

Janet Robertshawe
Principal Disputes Referee

 
The Disputes Tribunal is quicker, cheaper and less formal than court. You can use the Tribunal to settle small claims up to $30,000.

  • About the Tribunal »

    The Disputes Tribunal isn't like a formal court. You usually represent yourself in a hearing - a lawyer can’t represent you, and there are no judges.

  • What the Tribunal can help with »

    You can use the Disputes Tribunal to settle disputes involving small claims so you don't have to go to court.

  • How to make a claim »

    You'll need to fill out a form plus pay a fee and give us specific information to make a claim.

  • When a claim is made against you »

    What to do if you've gotten a notice of hearing that someone has made a claim against you in the Disputes Tribunal.

  • Going to a hearing »

    How to prepare for a hearing at the Disputes Tribunal and what happens at a hearing.

  • Forms & fees »

    Fees to apply to the Disputes Tribunal depend on the amount the claim is for.

  • Contact us »

    You can find a Disputes Tribunal at almost every District Court in New Zealand - they share the same contact details with the court.

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