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High Court Judgments of Public Interest

 

This page provides access to judgments of the High Court in the last 90 days deemed to be of particular public interest.

More information about finding court judgments is available on the judgments section of this website.

 It is the responsibility of users of the information contained in these decisions to ensure compliance with conditions or other legal obligations governing access, release, storage and re-publication. See also the guide on statutory provisions that prohibit publication of certain information in certain circumstances. If in doubt you should consult the court that issued the decision(s).  Judicial Decisions are presented in PDF format to preserve the integrity of the documents.

Guide on statutory provisions prohibiting publication


CaseSummary
Stumpmaster v Worksafe New Zealand
09 August 2018
[2018] NZHC 2020

Three appeals against sentences imposed on companies fined under s 48 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HASWA) for failing to comply with a workplace duty, such failures having exposed someone to risk of death, serious injury or serious illness. The maximum fine has risen from $250,000 under the previous Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 to $1.5 million under s 48 of HASWA and this Court has convened to review the existing guidelines. The Court has set out what is required in approaching sentencing under the HASWA and four guideline bands to be used in fixing the fine. In relation to the individual appeals, two ofthe appeals are dismissed and one is allowed. For Tasman Tanning Co Ltd, the existing fine of $380,000 is quashed and a fine of $363,000 is imposed in its place.

R v Malcolm Rewa
06 August 2018
[2018] NZHC 1846

Mr Rewa faces a third trial of the charge of murder. He applied for discharge or stay of the charge of murder. Transitional provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 applied. The application for discharge was under s 347 Crimes Act 1961. There was sufficient evidence to support the charge. There was no requirement for fresh evidence for a third trial. While there had been a significant passage of time from the first two trials there was no general or specific prejudice. It was not unfair for the Crown to change its position and lift the stay. While there had been significant publicity Mr Rewa could still have a fair trial. Application for stay/discharge dismissed.

R v Xu, Chen & Jiang
03 August 2018
[2018] NZHC 1971

Sentencing of three defendants (lawyer, bank officer and wife of property developer) for their involvement in a large-scale mortgage fraud, involving 57 loan applications and borrowings of approximately $54 million. The defendants were involved to varying degrees; Ms Xu provided lower level support, while Mr Chen and Mr Jiang's involvement was essential to the scheme and included a gross breach of trust arising from,  respectively, Mr Chen's status as solicitor, and Mr Jiang's status as a bank officer employed by one of the victim banks.

Ms Xu was sentenced to concurrent sentences of one year's home detention for charges of obtaining by deception, having received a discount of nine months for her previous good character, remorse, and her difficult personal circumstances.

Mr Chen was sentenced to concurrent sentences of 6 years' imprisonment for obtaining by deception and one year and six months' imprisonment for corruptly giving secret commissions to insider bank officers (Jiang and Cheng). He received a discount of six months to reflect his personal circumstances (not including remorse). He received an MPI of 50 per cent.

Mr Jiang received concurrent sentences of four years and nine months' imprisonment for his obtaining by deception offending and one year and six months' imprisonment for corruptly receiving secret commissions. He received a discount of nine months to reflect his personal circumstances, includ ing his previous good character and remorse. He also received an MPI of 50 per cent.

Waho v Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust
31 July 2018
[2018] NZHC 1935

As a member of Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board Mr Waho took actions of his own volition when his fellow trustees failed to take steps he believed it was necessary to take. He was removed from office. Mr Waho brought proceedings seeking a declaration that he was unlawfully removed. Held: Mr Waho acted in pursuance of his contractual and fiduciary duties and in accordance with the trust deed. The Board had no objectively supportable factual foundation for asserting Mr Waho had brought the Trust into disrepute. As the condition precedent for exercising its discretion to remove Mr Waho was not satisfied, it followed that Mr Waho was wrongfully removed and entitled to a declaration to that effect. As well, he was entitled to payment of the honorarium which he would have received but for his unlawfully.

Department of Internal Affairs v Qian DuoDuo Limited
27 July 2018
[2018] NZHC 1887

Determination of appropriate pecuniary penalty for civil liability acts in terms of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009. Defendant had accepted liability for four civil liability acts; failure in respect of risk assessments, failure to carry out enhanced customer due diligence, customer due diligence and account monitoring, and failed to keep records. Substantial number of transactions and significant amounts of money transacted. Plaintiff, DIA, sought pecuniary penalties of $2.496 million.

Held: Notwithstanding liability accepted a number of relevant factors placed nature and extent of the civil liability acts at lowest end, while the circumstances of the offending also substantially reduced QDD's culpability. After adjusting for overlaps between the civil liability acts the starting point for the four acts was assessed at $420,000. This was uplifted by $25,000 for a discrete act of misleading conduct by defendant in course of investigation before applying an overall discount of 20 per cent for admission of liability and cooperation generally. Final penalty assessed at $356,000.

R v Lewis
27 July 2018
[2018] NZHC 1877

Sentence of life imprisonment with minimum non-parole period of 11 years for murder and three years imprisonment for aggravated robbery.

Blumberg v Frucor Beverages Ltd
26 July 2018
[2018] NZHC 1876

The proceeding is brought by three drivers who lost use of their cars for the period necessary to repair collision damage negligently caused by other drivers, the cost of repair being borne by the at-fault drivers (though really their insurers). The not at-fault drivers replace their cars with replacement cars rented for the period of the repair work. They hire those cars from a company whose business is to provide not at-fault owners with replacement cars, and to obtain authority from the not at-fault drivers to reclaim those costs from the at-fault drivers (or rather their insurers). In these three cases, the insurers have refused to pay. At issue is whether the at-fault drivers are liable to the not at-fault drivers for the price of the replacement vehicles charged. The Court ultimately finds that they are.

Held, after a lengthy discussion of NZ, UK, and Australian authorities, the Court concludes the pleadings - which sought special damages for the cost of the replacement vehicle - should be reframed as a claim for mitigation expenses. The replacement cars are hired to (fully) mitigate the loss of use of undamaged cars for the period of the repair. The issue then becomes reasonableness of incurring the mitigation expenses, and that is an objective test from the perspective of what would have appeared reasonable to the not at-fault drivers at the time. After discussing the position of those drivers further, and comparing the company's pricing with other car rental companies (while acknowledging the distinctiveness of the company's business model), the Court finds the mitigation Company's apparent disavowal that they should ever be required to pay for their replacement car hires, does not entitle insurers to avoid liability to the at-fault drivers (and, on their behalf, to the not at-fault drivers).

Axiomatic Media Pty Ltd t/a Axiomatic Events v Regional Facilities Auckland Ltd (Minute)
25 July 2018
CIV-2018-404-001501
R v Rahman
20 July 2018
[2018] NZHC 1808

Disposition judgment following finding that Ms Rahman is unfit to stand trial on charge of murder. Order that Ms Rahman be detained as a special patient.

Wilson v R
19 July 2018
[2018] NZHC 1778
Media release

Judgment dismisses appeal from a decision of the District court declining name suppression to a doctor sentenced to seven months' home detention for covertly filming female victims in a changing room/toilet at a hospital.

R v Smith
17 July 2018
[2018] NZHC 1763

Five year, five month prison term for dealing a little over a quarter of a kilogram of methamphetamine.

White v James Hardie New Zealand
03 July 2018
[2018] NZHC 1627

The plaintiffs seek orders for a staged trial. They say it is impractical to conduct a single trial because their claims, in relation to defective cladding and water ingress, span over 1,200 properties. The defendants oppose, saying the application is premature until discovery is complete, and that issues of causation cannot be sensibly divided from issues of duty and breach.

The evidence suggests it is possible to determine more general issues of duty, breach, and misleading conduct without the need to prove causation across all properties. The defence raise valid concerns about the scope of pre-trial discovery, but these can be mitigated by expert caucusing and case management. The application is granted, with leave granted to any party to seek refinement of the issues following discovery.

F v Ministry of Social Development
02 July 2018
[2018] NZHC 1607

Appeal from the Social Security Appeal Authority by way of case stated on two questions of law. During the period in which she received various income-tested benefits under the Social Security Act, Ms F had also borrowed money from various sources. The Ministry assessed these as "income" for the purposes of the Act, and sought to recover the overpayments of various benefits to Ms F.

Held that the statutory definition of "income", when interpreted in light of its purpose, does not encompass an authentic and bona fide loan,  namely the transfer of a sum of money with a certain obligation of repayment. Ms F's borrowing on her credit card and by way of bank loans was therefore not properly treated as income. As for the money received from her mother, the Authority had determined it was gifted to Ms F, but had erred in law by failing to make a crucial factual finding as to whether Ms F had repaid the funds to her mother or not. There was no error of law in the Authority's treatment of money received from other unknown sources.

R v Tai
29 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1602

Sentencing for second strike murder. S104 engaged because of particular vulnerability of victim (serial and serious violent abuse in months leading up to murder which had left her emotionally defenceless aggravated by circumstances of death which saw her backed into the corner of a room with 12 gauge shotgun). However, manifestly unjust to sentence to life imprisonment without possibility of parole (primarily as a result of age of the defendant - 23), 17 year minimum non parole period imposed .

R v Toru
29 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1598

Sentence of 12 years nine months' imprisonment imposed for two discrete groups of sexual violence and violence offending and one conviction for perverting the course of justice. Aggravating factors from R v AM included violence and detention, harm to victim, degree of violation. Starting point of 11 years six months adopted for first group of sexual offending, uplifted by three years, three months for the second group. Perverting the course of justice attracted a starting point of 24 months. No personal aggravating or mitigating factors applied. Totality principle applied to reduce the overall sentence to 12 years nine months. No MPI imposed for reasons including the wishes of victim.

Biggs v Biggs
29 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1592

Husband has been cooperative in providing accounts and detailed financial information. Accountants demands for production of documents, to audit in detail all of husband's business activities, oppressive/disproportionate. Documents sought by husband as to wife's contributions to relationship unnecessary for case and oppressive. Husband required to make distribution to assist with wife's costs, to be credited against her share. Husband and wife entitled to share equally in interim distribution of proceeds from sale of home. No need for settlors and beneficiaries of trusts to be separately represented. Proceedings being pursued in a way that resulted in very high accounting and legal costs.

R v Alexander
29 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1584

Jayden Alexander sentenced to life imprisonment with 11-year minimum non-parole period on a charge of murder. He killed his brother by a single stab to the chest with a knife during an alcohol-fuelled argument and tussle. Murder was second-strike offence. The Crown conceded a sentence of life imprisonment without parole would be manifestly unjust - Mr Alexander's age (25), the circumstances of the offending, his remorse, and a cultural report was brought to account. Mr Alexander needs alcohol and drug rehabilitation and introduction to his Maori heritage and to his whakapapa. An 11-year minimum term was given and three-strikes warning given.


R v Momoisea
29 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1577

Sentencing of (female) defendant for murder and attempted murder. Offending caught by s 104 of the Sentencing Act 2002. Minimum period reduced to 14 and a half years to avoid manifest injustice. Discussion of cultural matters in relation to diminished culpability and penalty.

S v New Zealand Police
28 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1582

Appeal against conviction for driving with an excess blood alcohol level allowed on the grounds the evidential basis for the offence was obtained in breach of ss 21 and 23(5) of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1980. This rendered the evidence improperly obtained.

Proper grounds existed for excluding the evidence, without which the prosecution failed.

Strathboss Kiwifruit Limited v The Attorney-General
27 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1559
Media release

Claim by kiwifruit growers and postharvest operator alleging Crown owed and breached duty of care by granting a permit to import kiwifruit pollen and giving clearance to a consignment of anthers under it. Claimants say consignment contained Psa disease and negligence led to loss. Claim partially upheld. Duty of care owed to growers with property rights in affected crops and vines. No duty to post-harvest operator. Breach in granting permit to import kiwifruit pollen. Clearance of consignment at border not causative. Consignment more likely than not contained Psa and caused disease outbreak. S 163 Biosecurity Act did not apply to personnel deciding whether to grant permit. Crown not immune.

R v Robati
26 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1537

Sentence of 9 years and 3 months' imprisonment for supplying (within a drug syndicate) 14.9 kilograms of methamphetamine and 1.9 kilograms of cocaine. No MPI imposed: defendant only 20 and his role relatively minor.

Chief Executive, Department of Corrections v Paniora
22 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1505

The Crown sought an extended supervision order due to Mr Paniora's history of serious violent offending and very high risk of serious violent recidivism. Mr Paniora's previous offending, drive to commit violence, and inability to selfregulate satisfies the threshold for an ESO. Although the risk assessment models can only predict risk for a five year period, Mr Paniora exhibits many risk factors that are unlikely to change over time. The maximum ten year period is therefore justified. There will also be a maximum 12 month intensive monitoring condition.

 

The Minister of Education v James Hardie Limited
21 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1481

CIVIL PROCEDURE: The plaintiffs (the Ministry) sue Carter Holt Harvey Ltd in relation to 833 allegedly leaky school buildings clad in "Shadowclad", which was manufactured by Carter Holt. This judgment concerns the mode of trial for the substantive claim, the Ministry's application to strike out aspects of Carter Holt's claim and also miscellaneous directions sought by Carter Holt.

HELD, on the mode of trial: It was appropriate to proceed to trial using the Ministry's proposal for a split trial, where stage-1 determines whether Shadowclad is inherently defective; Carter Holt owes the Ministry a duty of care and has breached that duty. Carter Holt's application to conduct a full Stage-1 trial in relation to 20 buildings (including determining claims of contribution against local government entities and further third parties) dismissed.

HELD, on the strike-out application: the parties had reached agreement at the earlier stages that the particulars currently provided on the pleadings were sufficient. This prevented Carter Holt from arguing further particulars were required (at least of the claim as presently pleaded), but did not prevent the Court from requesting further particulars of its own volition. Those aspects of the statement of defence alleging insufficient pleadings were struck out.

HELD, regarding miscellaneous directions: Whether the Boards of Trustees of the relevant schools consented to the Ministry suing on their behalf was to be determined at a stage-1 trial. It was agreed that it would not be appropriate at this stage to make formal orders on whether the defences of contributory negligence bind the Boards of Trustees. Leave was granted for Carter Holt to file a counterclaim mirroring its affirmative defences. It was not currently appropriate to make wasted costs orders in relation to buildings withdrawn from the claim, but such orders could be sought in the future under the appropriate circumstances.

Sutherland v Department of Corrections
20 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1366
Save Chamberlain Park Incorporated v Auckland Council
19 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1462

JUDICIAL REVIEW APPLICATION. The applicant challenged decisions of the Auckland Council and Albert-Eden Local Boardn (AELB) regarding the proposed redevelopment of Chamberlain Park Golf Course. Four causes of action were pleaded: that the Council unlawfully transferred decision-making responsibility for the Park to the AELB, that the AELB should have consulted with other local boards, that the AELB was predetermined against maintaining the status quo, and that the AELB failed to discharge its consultation obligations.

HELD: Application dismissed. There were no errors of law present in any of the impugned decisions. The Council complied with s 17 of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 in allocating decision-making responsibility to the AELB. It was not incumbent on the AELB to consult with other local boards given the approach it took to consultation with stakeholders generally. The AELB did not close its mind to the possibility of maintaining the status quo until its decision in principle on 22 April 2015, at which point it could legitimately make a decision. While it had a predisposition for change, it was legitimate. The evidence did not support a finding that it had closed its mind. Finally, the AELB discharged its decision-making responsibility arising under ss 76-82 of the Local Government Act 2002 properly and in accordance with law.

Genge v Visiting Justice, Christchurch Men’s Prison
18 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1457

Mr Genge has, on a number of occasions, by judicial review proceedings in the High Court, challenged decisions made against him when he has been charged with offences as a prisoner. He has been unsuccessful. The proceedings have had little merit. A High Court Judge has used powers now available under the Senior Courts Act to prohibit him for three years from continuing with a current proceeding or filing similar claims without leave of the Court.

Genge v Chief Executive, Department of Corrections
15 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1447

Mr Genge was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum sentence of 15 years. Twenty three years later he is still not released. In his application for judicial review Mr Genge says the Chief Executive of Corrections has failed in his duty to give Mr Genge the rehabilitative programmes needed to make him eligible for parole. Application dismissed. The evidence showed a pattern of attempts over the years to provide Mr Genge with rehabilitative support and treatment but Mr Genge resisted engagement on terms other than his own. A further ground of review relating to the Parole Act was a collateral challenge to concluded proceedings and therefore an abuse of process.

R v Lyon
15 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1434

Sentence of 28 months' imprisonment imposed for reckless driving causing death.

R v Xu, Chen and Jiang
15 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1433

Verdicts and Reasons following Judge-alone trial against three defendants involved in a large-scale mortgage fraud, involving loans totalling $54 million. Ms Xu found guilty of 22 of 34 charges of obtaining by deception. Mr Chen (a solicitor) found guilty of nine out of 11 charges of obtaining by deception, and also of corruptly paying secret commissions to bank "insiders" (Jiang and Cheng). Mr Jiang found guilty of 25 charges of obtaining by deception, and also of corruptly receiving secret commissions. More detailed summary at [3J to [38J of the decision.

LHL Leasing Solutions Ltd v Pinto Ltd
12 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1387

The plaintiff seeks to recover over $600,000 from the defendant in liquidated damages for the defendant's alleged failure to deliver up leased equipment on the lease's expiry. Held, on the terms of the lease there is no triggering 'expiry' obliging the defendant to return the equipment. Even if there was, held the defendant has not 'failed' to deliver up equipment, so no liquidated damages are payable. The plaintiffs claim is dismissed.

R v Adams
12 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1386

Mr Adams pleaded guilty to abduction for the purposes of sexual connection and burglary. A start point of 8 years was adopted, with an uplift of 12 months for prior convictions and 6 months for the burglary. A 10% discount for upbringing and rehabilitation was awarded, as was a 25% guilty plea discount. Preventative detention was considered but not imposed; Mr Adams has not yet had access to a treatment plan.

R v Bush
08 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1354

Sentence of six years and nine months' imprisonment for manslaughter. The defendant had walked in on his father launching an attack against the victim in his bedroom. The defendant assisted his father by holding the victim to enable the fatal assault to continue. During the attack, the defendant became upset at the extent of the violence being inflicted by his father, and decided to leave and walk home. Starting point of seven years and six months uplifted by six months to account for previous convictions, but then a 15 per cent discount for the defendant's mid-trial guilty plea.

A v Minister of Internal Affairs
07 June 2018
[2018] NZHC 1328

Applicable approach in challenges to decisions to cancel or suspend a passport where Crown claims to withhold classified security information (CSI) from affected person. Rigorous approach to apply to claims for need to maintain secrecy of CSI. Security agencies obliged to provide all relevant information to the Court, but not routinely obliged to seek consent to disclose CSI from sources. Disclosure not expected where sourced from the affected person or publicly available, but such sources increase onus to justify prejudice claims. Court supervised summary of CSI provided to the affected person to provide gist of the case. Crown may withdraw items of CSI to exclude content from the summary.

Body Corporate 199380 v Cook and Anor
30 May 2018
[2018] NZHC 1244

The decision upholds the body corporate’s contention that the Tenancy Tribunal and the District Court were wrong in holding that when recovering the costs of repairs made to unit property under s 138(1) of the Unit Titles Act 2010, s 138(4) applies only in circumstances that s 126 (concerning benefit to other unit owners) does not apply. However, the decision rejects the body corporate’s contention that the choice as to which section applies is solely at the discretion of the body corporate. The decision holds that a body corporate must take into account the purpose of the Act and principles derived from the Act and decisions under the Unit Titles Act 1972 when deciding which section to apply. While the District Court erred on that point of law, its overall approach and the result were broadly consistent with the approach set out in the High Court decision. Accordingly, the body corporate’s appeal was dismissed.

Motairehe Whanga Te Uri O Rangihokaia Ko Ngātiwai Ki Aotea Incorporated v MacDonald & Anor
29 May 2018
[2018] NZHC 1231

Plaintiff represents Māori on Motu Aotea (Great Barrier). Mandate of Ngāti Rehua-Ngatiwai ki Aotea Trust Board to negotiate Treaty settlement recognised by the Crown, settlement reached and legislation pending. Plaintiff challenged whakapapa in the Board's mandate. It sought declarations that it is: entitled to interpret the whakapapa, entitled to negotiate with Crown on Aotea claims, and entitled to receive settlement moneys. Board applied to strike out claim. Claim struck out on the primary ground that the issues are ones which cannot be determined by a court - they are for the executive and, ultimately, Parliament. Also, issues of whakapapa are not appropriately determined by a court.

R v Bush
28 May 2018
[2018] NZHC 1217

Sentence of life imprisonmentwith minimum non-parole period of 17 years- for murder and aggravated robbery. The defendant had entered the victim's bedroom intending to tie him up in order to steal his vehicle. In overcoming the victim's resistance the defendant embarked on a brutal and sustained attack with a weapon in which the victim suffered blunt force injuries to his head and strangulation, each of which contributed to his death. Section 104 of the Sentencing Act 2002 was engaged, but the defendant would have received a 17-year minimum non-parole period in any event- no need to consider whether such a sentence would be manifestly unjust.

Medical Officer of Health v G & B Hasler Ltd
25 May 2018
[2018] NZHC 1208

Appeal from decision of Alcohol and Regulatory Licensing Authority dismissed. The plan of the footprint of supermarket and grocery store premises required by the Act need only show the perimeter of the alcohol area not the proposed arrangement of displays within the area. Licensees are not constrained from rearranging displays of alcohol within the designated alcohol area, providing exposure of shoppers to displays is limited so far as is reasonably practicable. Conditions may be imposed to restrict configuration and arrangement of display units within the alcohol area, including aisle-end display units, providing the condition is imposed on a case by case basis and is reasonable.

R v Karauria
24 May 2018
[2018] NZHC 1184

Sentence of life imprisonment with minimum non-parole period of 12 years for murder and aggravated robbery. Planned killing carried out in brutal manner but minimum non-parole period reduced for guilty plea, co-operation, youth and immaturity.

Moon v Public Trust and Anor
23 May 2018
[2018] NZHC 1169

Application for "proper maintenance and support" pursuant to s 4 Family Protection Act 1955.  Preliminary issue was whether plaintiff entitled to make application as de facto partner of deceased.  No dispute that plaintiff and deceased had been in a long relationship but had never lived together, had no shared assets or finances and limited public relationship.  On other hand sheer length of relationship (27 years) was significant and indicative of a shared life together and limited public relationship was largely the result of significant health issues for the deceased.  In the end plaintiff's characterisation of the relationship supported by independent witnesses, and also by deceased's brothers.  End conclusion was plaintiff the de facto partner of the deceased.  Court accepted that deceased leaving only her ashes to the plaintiff was a breach of moral duty, and after rejecting a claim by the plaintiff that as the surviving spouse entitled to whole of the deceased estate, awarded $300,000 to rectify the breach of moral duty to address plaintiff's economic needs and need for recognition.

R v Davis
22 May 2018
[2018] NZHC 1162

Sentence of life imprisonment with 20-year minimum period imposed for third-strike murder. Victim was the defendant's partner; died as a result of at least four blows to the head and torso consistent with the use of fists rather than a weapon. Held that s 104 of the Sentencing Act was not engaged, and a 14-year minimum period would be appropriate were it not for the three-strikes regime. A sentence of life imprisonment without parole was manifestly unjust in light of the Court of Appeal's test in R v Harrison [2016] NZCA 381. Important factors included Mr Davis' age (26 years old, meaning he could be expected to live another 50 years); his mental health difficulties; his guilty plea and the fact rehabilitation could not be entirely excluded. However, a minimum period of 20 years was not manifestly unjust and this was therefore the presumptive sentence under the three-strikes regime.

R v Sehgal
22 May 2018
[2018] NZHC 1145

Sentencing- offender had pleaded guilty to three charges of dealing in a person under the age of 18 years for the purposes of sexual exploitation and one charge of receiving earnings from commercial sexual services provided by a person under the age of 18 years- the offender had assisted the 15 year old victim's mother to set up a prostitution business under which the victim provided sexual services to more than 1000 clients for reward over a period of approximately 18 months beginning on her 15'" birthday- the defendant's role was to provide a bank account for use in the business and, on occasions, to drive the victim to meet clients where she would provide sexual services for reward -the bulk of the earnings from the business went into the offender's bank account and the offender paid expenses, including advertising. From starting point of five years nine months imprisonment to reflect culpability on all charges- discount of three months to reflect prior good character- discount of ten months (or 15%) to reflect late guilty pleas- end sentence four years eight months imprisonment imposed on the three charges of dealing in a person under the age of 18 years for the purposes of sexual exploitation- minimum term of two years four months imprisonment imposed on those charges- concurrent sentence of two years six months imprisonment imposed on the remaining charge.

R v Toru
22 May 2018
[2018] NZHC 1144

Reasons for verdict in judge alone trial of 15 charges of violent and sexual offending within a domestic relationship. Defendant pleaded guilty at commencement of trial to one charge of assault with intent to injure. Complainant provided detailed recorded interview days after the incidents, and thereafter recanted. Permission given (per Hannigan v R [2013] 2 NZLR 612]) for Crown counsel to explore inconsistencies between version in recorded interview and exculpatory statements in evidence, and complainant declared hostile at the outset of re-examination. Guilty verdicts on all counts, in reliance on version in the recorded interview. Defendant also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, with a co-defendant, for encouraging the complainant to recant. Guilty verdict on that charge.

Fuji Xerox NZ Ltd v Whittaker
14 May 2018
[2018] NZHC 1043

A law firm asks to access documents in relation to a proceeding not yet determined. The Court analyses the meaning of "a register or an  index" in r 4 of the Senior Courts (Access to Court Documents) Rules 2017. The reference does not appear elsewhere in the Act, Senior Courts Act 2016, or other legislation. Giving it a contextual meaning, Court held it cannot mean any register or index that happens to be kept in a registry (for instance, an index of registry staff contract details). Instead, "a register or an index" is interpreted to include any list of 'documents' or 'court files', as those terms are defined in r 4.

Formerly, the registry maintained a register, into which was entered the civil proceedings filed in each court's registry - each court file containing an index of the documents collected in it. Now there is an electronic database, from which may be generated user-defined lists of its contents. Among those is a document styled 'Register of documents filed', which is produced for each civil proceeding. The Court interprets the request for access to the "proceedings index" to be to the register of documents filed in the present proceeding, being "a register or an index" to which there is a public right of access.