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 (PDF, 211 KB). 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.
HELD: Sustainable Otakiri Incorporated and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa not have standing to become party to each other's appeal under s 301 of the RMA. The combined nature of the "Jurisdictional Overview" section of the majority's decision means the alleged error as to the relevance of end use effects of plastic bottles arises in relation to both the Regional and District consent appeals. The EC did not exclude consideration of the end use of exporting the bottled water, irrespective of its conclusion in the Jurisdictional Overview (which went too far). It went on to make factual findings not susceptible to challenge on a s 299 appeal. The EC majority did not err in law when concluding the effects on the environment of using plastic bottles were beyond the scope of consideration in relation to Creswell's application for consent to take water, but the effects of plastic disposal may not as a matter of law always be too remote to warrant consideration - it is a matter of fact and degree. The EC did not err in concluding that the Regional plans addressed issues relating to the taking of water from aquifers comprehensively . Recourse to Part 2 of the RMA was not required . In relation to the District consents appeal, the relevant activity is appropriately characterised as a discretionary "rural processing activity" rather than a non-complying "industrial activity". The majority also did not err in concluding that Creswell's proposal was appropriately processed as a variation to existing land use consent conditions under s 127 of the RMA.
RESULT : Appeals dismissed.
Held: the challenged Parole Board decisions misapplied the statutory test, failed to take into account relevant considerations and were unreasonable. Mr Vincent's risk did not justify his continued detention and his s 22 NZBORA rights had been breached. Declaratory relief granted and the most recent Parole Board decision was set aside and an order was made for Mr Vincent to be released.
HELD: sentence on manslaughter of 5 years, 2 months' imprisonment - sentence on blood alcohol offence of one year's imprisonment to be served concurrently - 4 years' disqualification from driving, to commence on release from imprisonment.
Decision on an application under r 5.49 of the High Court Rules to set aside an appearance under protest to jurisdiction. The parties are based in China. The plaintiff runs power stations. The defendant's company had contracts under which it sourced coal for power generation for the plaintiff. The plaintiff made an advance payment to the defendant's company. The defendant guaranteed repayment. The plaintiff also took security over the assets of another company in China. When the defendant's company did not repay, the plaintiff sued the defendant's company, t he defendant and the other company in the courts in China. The plaintiff was unsuccessful in enforcing the judgments in China. When it found that the defendant had assets in New Zealand, it brought this proceeding to enforce the Chinese judgment against the New Zealand assets. The defendant contests jurisdiction by alleging that China did not have "courts" as understood in New Zealand and under Chinese law the plaintiff had to exhaust its rights under its securities before it could enforce its judgment against him on his personal guarantee.
The appearance was set aside. It was held that the plaintiff had a good arguable case that the body that gave judgment against him was a court and there was nothing to suggest that there was anything improper in the way that the court had heard the case and given judgment against the defendant. As the Chinese court had enforced the judgment against the defendant in China without first requiring the plaintiff to enforce its mortgage security against the other company, the Chinese judgment was unconditional and could be enforced in New Zealand. The plaintiff can continue its claim in New Zealand.
Held: Legal test looks to relevance of the offending. To presume its relevance and weigh it against evidence of reform was erroneous.
Declaration made that certain limitation and exclusion clauses in IAG and Hawkins' favour in the Building Contract with Farrells are enforceable and are not an unconscionable bargain.