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.
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HELD: sentenced to two years six months' imprisonment - disqualified from driving for five years - credit allowed in sentence for guilty pleas, youth and cognitive deficits, remorse and good character.
The High Court holds that the challenge fails. The Authority did not err in its interpretation of its statutory objective or role. There is no evidence the Authority's decision was biased or pre-determined. The Authority's use of cost-benefit analysis was not unlawful. Its decision on the residual challenge is not unlawful. Overall the challenges largely reflect the challengers' disagreement with the Decision and seek to draw the Court into the economic merits of the decision. But is the Authority's role, not the Court's to assess the merits of the competing policy arguments.
Wellington Airport's judicial review to be heard in July 2022, claims Waka Kotahi failed to consult properly on the proposal and proceeded on the basis of material errors. It has sought an injunction to suspend the construction in the interim as once construction starts, traffic to and from the airport will be delayed and plans for a permanent solution will be foregone.
1) Wellington Airport failed to establish a position to be preserved; and
2) factors, including safety issues and a weak case, favour dismissal of the application.
The High Court finds that it will be for the regional councils to decide whether the targets for water quality are to be set below, at or above the bottom lines. In doing so, the regional council must give effect to the other parts of the NPS-FM 2020 including Te Mana o te Wai and the requirement to involve tangata whenua in decision-making. Because of these other provisions, the vegetable exemption does not contravene the Resource Management Act 1991, nor the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. All relevant factors were taken into account and the consultation on the exemption was adequate. The applications for judicial review are dismissed.
HELD: starting point of seven years adopted with reference to the element of provocation. Uplift of eight months for prior offending. Discounts of 10 per cent for s 27 report factors, 10 per cent to reflect rehabilitative prospects and remorse, and 25 per cent for an early offer to plead guilty. End sentence of four years and six months imprisonment. The Court declined to make an order under s 86C(4) of the Sentencing Act 2002 on the grounds that requiring the defendant to serve his sentence without parole would be disproportionably severe as to breach of s 9 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. This conclusion was reached in light of the possible proximate repeal of the three strikes regime, nature of offending, the matters raised in the s 27 report and rehabilitative prospects.
After an 11 week hearing in 2021, the High Court would be prepared to make a declaration that Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei currently have ahi kā and mana whenua, in relation to the area where Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei claim it, with all the obligations of tikanga that go with that, according to the tikanga and historical tribal narrative and tradition of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.
The Court would also be prepared to make a declaration that the tikanga and historical tribal narratives and traditions of Marutūāhu Rōpū (other than Ngāti Pāoa), Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, and Te Ākitai Waiohua do not currently recognise that Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have ahi kā and mana whenua, as those concepts are conceived of by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, in relation that area. The Court invites the parties to make submissions about whether it should make those two declarations.
The Court is inclined not to make declarations about the Crown’s obligations. But it invites submissions about whether it should make declarations along the lines that:
The duties of active protection of tikanga, and of acting reasonably and in good faith, with mutual cooperation and trust in relation to tikanga, will bear on Crown decisions affecting tikanga interests in a Treaty settlement context.
Accordingly, depending on the context, the Crown will need to take reasonable steps to understand, recognise and respect the tikanga of iwi and hapū, and the Crown will need to actively protect the ability of iwi and hapū to exercise their tikanga.
Depending on the context, the Treaty of Waitangi may also require iwi and hapū to engage in tikanga-consistent processes with other iwi and hapū about the status of relevant properties at tikanga.
- MR  NZHC 832 (PDF, 208 KB)