On this page:

  • Disputes Tribunal rehearings
  • Reasons for a rehearing
  • Rehearing application form
  • Rehearing hearing allocation and procedure

A rehearing means hearing a claim all over again. Rehearings are provided for by section 49 of the Disputes Tribunals Act 1988 and rule 23 of the Disputes Tribunals Rules 1989.

Section 49:

(1)       Subject to subsection (2), a Tribunal may, upon the application of a party to any proceedings, order the rehearing of a claim, to be had upon such terms as it thinks fit.

(2)       A rehearing may be ordered under subsection (1) only –

(a)       where an order has been made under section 18(8); or

(b)       where an order has been made under section 46(2) or section 47(3)(b), or a term of an agreed settlement has been varied under section 47(3)(a), and, in all such cases, shall be limited to rehearing the enforcement proceedings taken under those sections; or

(c)        where an agreed settlement has been approved by a Tribunal under section 18(3) and, after the hearing, a party to the settlement discovers facts directly relevant to the dispute that could not, with reasonable diligence, have been obtained before the hearing and that, if known at the time, would have had a bearing on whether that party agreed to the settlement

(3)       Every application for a rehearing shall be made within 28 days after the Tribunal’s order (or, in the case of an agreed settlement, the Tribunal’s approval of the settlement or the variation of a term of that settlement under section 47(3)(a), as the case may require) or within such further time as the Tribunal may, on application, allow, and shall be served upon the other parties to the proceedings.

(4)       Upon a rehearing being granted, –

(a)       the Registrar shall notify all parties to the proceedings of the making of the order and of the time and place appointed for the rehearing; and

(b)       the order or approval or variation made or given by the Tribunal upon the first hearing shall cease to have effect.

(5)       Notwithstanding subsection (4)(b), if the party on whose application a rehearing is ordered does not appear at the time and place for the rehearing or at any time and place to which the rehearing is adjourned, the Tribunal may, without rehearing or further hearing the claim, direct that the original order or approval or variation, as the case may be, be restored to full force and effect.

(6)       This Act shall apply to a rehearing in all respects as it applies to an original hearing.

Rule 23 of the Disputes Tribunals Rules 1989:

Every application for a rehearing under section 49 of the Act must –

(a)       be in form 9 or in an online form to the same effect and made available by the Secretary for Justice on an Internet site maintained by the Ministry of Justice; and

(b)       specify the grounds on which the application is made.

Reasons for a rehearing

According to the Ministry of Justice (Disputes Tribunal Fact Sheet 7 as at 3 May 2015):

You can apply for a rehearing if you believe that something prevented the proper decision from being made; for example, the relevant information was not available or a mistake was made.

For example:

– you did not receive the letter notifying you of the date of the hearing; or

– you or your witness was unexpectedly unable to attend the hearing for a valid reason; or

– the referee made a material error in the amount of money you were ordered to pay (for example, incorrectly added up losses); or

– after a hearing where the referee approved a settlement, you discover facts that:

– are directly relevant to the dispute, and

– could not, with reasonable effort, have been known before the hearing, and

– would have had a bearing on whether you would have agreed to the settlement.

A rehearing will not be granted just because you disagree with the decision.

Rehearing application form

You can download a rehearing application form from the Disputes Tribunal website: http://www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/disputes-tribunal/forms-and-resources#detailed-guidelines

Generally, your application should include:

1. Details of your particular case in the Disputes Tribunal, such as:

1.1. Any reference number that the Tribunal has assigned to your case.

1.2. Who the parties to the case are and their contact details.

2. Details of the original hearing, such as:

2.1. The date and time when the hearing took place.

2.2. The location or ‘registry’ of the Tribunal where the hearing took place.

3. The reasons why you are making the application, and the reasons why it should be granted. For example, that you found out new and important facts about the dispute after the original hearing was over.

4. Your contact details.

Rehearing application form template

You can download a rehearing application form template here.

Rehearing hearing allocation and procedure

If granted, rehearings proceed in the same way as ordinary applications per section 49(6) of the Disputes Tribunals Act 1988 as quoted above.