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: plaintiff is entitled to access and use the land to the extent prescribed purpose under the relevant legislation and instruments, including the repair of the pipeline and necessarily incidental acts. No arrangement or agreement, nor any previous court decision, require a collaborative process with the defendants as a condition to the plaintiff's rights and powers to access and use the land for the prescribed purposes. No legislative or other requirements affect the plaintiff's right of access and use of land relating to repairing or carrying out other authorised works on the pipeline.
Declaration and permanent injunction giving effect to the findings granted.
Sentenced on historical principles; if sentenced according to contemporary principles, sentence would be greater. Sexual violation lead charge, four year starting point. Six year additional charges uplift. Discounts of 25% for guilty plea, 5% for health/disability and 5% for restorative justice. 12 month concurrent sentence on objectionable material charge. End sentence six years six months. Placement on Child Sex Offender Register.
Held: causes of action (COA) 1 to 4; breached specific fiduciary duties selling an aircraft as agent to third party by unauthorised profiting and accruing benefits by retaining funds; equitable tracing claim for Corsair aircraft dismissed, but equitable charge by subrogation ordered (of $720,000). COA 5-7, 9-10, 13-18:5th-7th, 9th-10th: various breaches of contract, agency, employee duties made out; claim for secret commission dismissed. Damages in excess of $2.6m together with interest were awarded.
The words of the Act encompass the power to require a person not to associate with others unless vaccinated, and to be vaccinated in order to engage in an activity. Interpreting the empowering provision in light of its purpose and context does not detract from that. The right to refuse to undergo medical treatment under s 11 of the Bill of Rights is engaged here. No order can be made under the empowering provision that limits the right unless it is reasonable, prescribed by law and can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under s 5 of the Bill of Rights. In this case, the applicants do not argue the Order is an unjustified limit. The Bill of Rights does not require the usual purposive interpretation of empowering provision to be narrowed to mean that the Order is outside its scope. Indeed, the text of the Act explicitly indicates that Parliament envisaged that orders may be made which limit rights under the Bill of Rights, as long as the limits are justified under s 5. The common law principle of legality, which requires legislative limitations on fundamental rights to be clearly expressed, does not require a different interpretation.
The application is declined. The four midwives are anonymised in the judgment and their court file is not to be searched without permission of a Judge, for three years, to preserve their effective exercise of the right of access to justice, in light of concerns for them and their family members deriving from current social division.
- MR 2021 NZHC 3012 (PDF, 143 KB)
Court upheld two grounds: Ministry incorrectly applied rule 11(2)(d) of Health Information Privacy Code 2020, in particular it applied the wrong test as to whether disclosure of the information was necessary; and WOCA had a legitimate expectation that the Ministry's decision would be made in accordance with the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, informed by tikanga, but it was not.
Ministry's decision set aside and Ministry directed to remake decision .
End sentence of one year and 11 months imprisonment imposed. Starting point of three years, with uplift of 6 months for aggravated assault charge. Uplift for previous offending would be disproportionate. Full guilty plea discount, 15 percent for social and cultural deprivation, and 5 percent discount for engagement in the restorative justice process and willingness to address offending.
MBIE had made an error of law in saying that exceptional circumstances were required under clause 12 and in considering the application on the basis that the "other needs" were restricted to medical needs. As a result, MBIE had also failed to take into account a number of relevant considerations .
Decision set aside. The respondents were directed to reconsider the application taking into account a number of relevant factors and balancing them against the risk of spread of COVID-19 having regard to the applicants' proposed precautions and current community circumstances.
Held: a sentence of life imprisonment is not manifestly unjust. The s 104 factor of vulnerability is engaged, however, nothing the findings of the mental health and cultural reports, a minimum period of imprisonment (MPI) of 17 years would be manifestly unjust.
Taking into account those reports and victims impact statements from the victim's family and friend and all other relevant circumstances, including the defendant's letter of apology and late guilty plea, an MPI of 10 years is set.
Found that no requirement for applicants to hold area in a “proprietary” manner to meet first limb; holding must be determined according to tikanga rather than European concepts of ownership. In relation to second limb, exclusive use and occupation to exclusion of all others unnecessary as test in reality only requires authority giving rise to ability or intention to exclude others; what constitutes exclusive use and occupation must be assessed with reference to particular tikanga.
Held: Unequivocal evidence supporting grant of customary marine title to five of the applicants (Ngā Pōtiki, Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Hē, Ngāi Tukairangi and Ngāti Tapū). Order not opposed by Crown or any other interested party and clear applicants held and continue to hold area in accordance with tikanga since historical occupation some 300 years ago and requisite level of use and occupation maintained without substantial interruption (s 58(1)(b)) displayed by strong whakapapa links, active customary practices and exercises of role as kaitiaki to protect and preserve the area.
Evidence insufficient to support inclusion of the other two applicants (Ngāti Ruahine and Ngāi Te Ahi) in that title. Virtually no information presented to demonstrate how Ngāti Ruahine met s 58 criteria. While Ngāi Te Ahi exercises customary rights over Te Tāhuna o Rangataua, insufficient evidence to show rights exercised in own right rather than through close links with Ngāti Hē. Applications dismissed. Court noted Ngāi Te Ahi’s exercise of mahinga kai rights may give rise to grant of protected customary rights (s 51) and leave reserved should Ngāi Te Ahi wish to apply for s 51 order.
Court also found customary rights in foreshore of Te Tāhuna o Rangataua not extinguished by Tauranga Foreshore Vesting and Endowment Act 1915 due to Act’s failure to identify foreshore said to be vested in Tauranga Harbour Board because legislation insufficiently explicit to have extinguished Māori customary rights. In any event, even if Act had extinguished rights, those rights revived by Foreshore and Seabed Endowment Revesting Act 1991.
Directions issued as to procedure for finalising draft order.
HC held: Mr Woolley's claim fails for four reasons: Mr Woolley remained in breach of the enforcement order, Fonterra did not exercise its discretion unreasonably, its notice of suspension was properly issued and effective, and Mr Woolley's own conduct is a necessary pre condition of his claimed loss.
The Order was delegated legislation validly made pursuant to section 9 of the Public Health Response Act 2020. The Associate Minister of Health was authorised to sign the Order by section 7 of the Constitution Act 1986. The process for creating the Order met all the prerequisites contained in the empowering act and the Order itself. The Order did not contain an unlawful right to override primary legislation. To the extent that the Order infringed the rights protected by ss 11 and 19 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, the infringement was no more than was justified in a free and democratic society. In judicial review proceedings it was not appropriate for the Court to second-guess the policy decisions made by the Minister. Those decisions were logical and rational on the basis of the available evidence.