On this page:

  • Applying to the Employment Relations Authority
  • Filing a statement of problem
  • Acceptance, rejection or requisition
  • Statements in reply

An application to the Employment Relations Authority begins with a ‘statement of problem’. That is a document that explains what the essential ingredients to the employment relationship problem at issue. To that end, statements of problem must:

1. Identify the parties involved.

2. Explain what the problem is. This would include a description of the facts that have caused the problem to arise.

3. Explain how the problem should be resolved.

4. Describe the steps taken to try to resolve the problem.

Statements of problem are in many ways like statements of claim. See those parts of this text on statements of claim for how you might go about setting out a statement of problem and wording the necessary explanations.

Documents, such as any employment agreement, emails, letters, payslips and meeting notes that relate to the employment relationship problem should also be attached to the statement of problem. You might consider attaching a copy of any bundle of documents prepared for a previous mediation if you had prepared one. See those parts of this text dealing with bundles of documents for more about that.

Template statement of problem

You can download an ERA application form (statement of problem) here.

Filing the statement of problem with the Employment Relations Authority

You should file two copies of your statement of problem, together with any supporting documents and $71.56 filing fee, in the office of the Employment Relations Authority that is closest to you.

The filing fee may be paid by cheque, direct credit or cash. Your nearest Employment Relations Authority office can supply bank account details to you if you propose to make payment by direct credit. You should supply a copy of a bank deposit slip showing payment made by direct credit with your statement of problem if you pay in that way. Payment by cash is really only appropriate if you were to drop the statement of problem off at the Employment Relations Authority in person because you should not send cash in the post. Note that the Employment Relations Authority is not equipped to take payment by EFTPOS.

There are 3 regional Employment Relations Authority offices in New Zealand: Auckland; Wellington and Christchurch.

Auckland: Level 10, The 280 Centre, 280 Queen Street, Central, Auckland. PO Box 105 117, Auckland 1030. DX CX 10257, Auckland. Phone (09) 970 1550. Fax (09) 970 1522.

Christchurch: Level 1, Taylor Shaw House, 53 Victoria Street, Christchurch. PO Box 13 892, Christchurch. Phone (03) 964 7850.

Wellington: Mezzanine Floor, 50 Customhouse Quay, Wellington. PO Box 2458, Wellington. DX SX 11191, Wellington. Phone (04) 915 9550. Fax (04) 915 4592.

Acceptance, rejection or requisition

When the Employment Relations Authority receives a statement of problem it will make a decision about whether to accept it, reject it or require something to be done before accepting it. There could be a jurisdictional issue for example, or that the filing fee has not been paid. If the Employment Relations Authority rejects your statement of problem or requires something more then it should contact you to let you know. You should, at the very least, receive a receipt from the Employment Relations Authority acknowledging it has received your statement of problem.

Statements in reply

When a statement of problem is accepted by the Employment Relations Authority, it sends a copy to the other party involved in that problem. That other party then has 14 days to respond to the problem by a statement in reply. The party to an employment relationship problem who did not submit the statement of problem is known as the ‘respondent’.