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.
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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.
R v Tarrant, CRI-2019-009-2468
The High Court has published:
- general information about the sentencing process in New Zealand,
- procedural information about the sentencing hearing starting 24 August,
- information for media,
- minutes of the sentencing judge in this matter, Mander J,
- and more.
Ngati Te Ata's Treaty claims regarding Maioro were the subject of recommendations by the Waitangi Tribunal in 1985. Despite nearly 30 years of negotiation, the Crown and Ngati Te Ata are yet to reach a settlement. The plaintiffs commenced these proceedings in 2013. Key to the plaintiffs' claims are allegations that (1) the sale of Maioro to the Crown in 1864 is voidable for duress, undue influence and/or was an unconscionable bargain; (2) the confiscation was unlawful; (3) the Crown's acquisition of Maioro was in breach of a fiduciary duty owed by the Crown to Ngati Te Ata; (4) the public works takings were unlawful; and (5) the Treaty settlement negotiations gave rise to binding obligations on the Crown which it has failed to implement. The Crown (and NZ Steel) deny the claims, and raise affirmative defences of standing, limitation, laches and acquiescence.
HELD: The plaintiffs' claims are dismissed. The sale and/or the confiscation extinguished native customary title in Maioro. The public works takings were lawful exercises of the relevant statutory powers at the time. The Treaty settlement negotiations do not give rise to lthe binding obligations suggested. Ngati Te Ata has valid Treaty claims, but those claims are properly resolved through the Treaty settlement process.
Under the RMA, could the companies and the Regional Council process applications for a consent to a change of use of the water without also having to process the applications as for a new take of water?
Under the RMA, can an application be made for consent to a take of water or for the use of water, or must an application be made for a consent to the take and use of water?
Once the change of use had been approved, was it unlawful for the Council to issue a new amalgamated consent recording the approved changed use, and the extraction previously permitted with the earlier take and use consent?
Was the Council correct in treating the extraction authorised by the previous consents as part of the environment against which the effects of the proposed change of use had to be assessed?
Had the Council considered all matters as required in deciding whether neither public nor limited notification of the applications was required?
Held: MT is to be detained as a special care recipient because of factors, including her risk of violent re-offending, making that status necessary in the public interest. Permanent name suppression granted.
Application declined. The property is not a "park" within meaning of s 138. Further, if the property was a "park" the Council had in effect discharged its consultation obligations. If the property was a "park" and Council had failed to discharge its consultation obligations, relief would nevertheless have been declined; the interests of the innocent third party, the prospective commercial tenant, would have prevailed.
HELD: Sentence of life imprisonment, with MPI of 14 years' imprisonment. Although s 104 threshold was met, given the brutality of the attack and the vulnerability of the victim, it would have been manifestly unjust to impose an MPI of 17 years because of his autism spectrum disorder, previous good character, and relative youth.
HELD: Application dismissed. Damages unlikely to be an adequate remedy for either party. Balance of convenience factors, however, as well as the public interest and interests of third parties, weighed against making the interim orders sought. Damages potentially suffered by NZME for loss of chance to match the competing offer, in circumstances where there appeared to be little or no prospect of NZME being able to do so (given the need for NZME to obtain Commerce Commission clearance) are likely to be modest. Damages suffered by Nine, in the event that delay resulted in (or contributed to) the failure of negotiations with the competing bidder, could be significant. In addition, the public interest in maintaining robust competition in the media marketplace and the interests of third parties, including Stuff's employees, weighed against granting an injunction.