Disputes

COVID-19 protocol of the DisputesTribunal at 31 August 2020

  1. If COVID-19 restrictions are at Alert Level 3 or Level 4 anywhere in New Zealand, in-person hearings will be adjourned. Where possible, teleconferences will be convened to progress hearings. If this is not possible, matters will be rescheduled to a future date.
  2. If COVID-19 restrictions are at Alert Level 2 anywhere in New Zealand, in-person hearings will continue or resume, complying with the arrangements set out by the Chief Justice on 12 August 2020 and 28 August 2020. Hearings may also proceed by teleconference.

  3. Parties affected by any change in the Tribunal’s usual operating procedures will be advised and provided with information to ensure that they understand how their matter will be handled by the Tribunal.
  4. This protocol applies until revoked or modified by the Tribunal.

Anne Darroch
Principal Disputes Referee


The Disputes Tribunal is quicker, cheaper and less formal than court. You can use the Tribunal to settle small claims up to $30,000.

As a result of the recent move to Alert Level 1 all Disputes Tribunal Hearings are now being held in person as they were prior to the various Alert Levels being introduced.

Please note: Where appropriate teleconferences may still be an option for a party to attend a Disputes Tribunal hearing.

  • About the Tribunal »

    The Disputes Tribunal isn't like a formal court. You usually represent yourself in a hearing - a lawyer can’t represent you, and there are no judges.

  • What the Tribunal can help with »

    You can use the Disputes Tribunal to settle disputes involving small claims so you don't have to go to court.

  • How to make a claim »

    You'll need to fill out a form plus pay a fee and give us specific information to make a claim.

  • When a claim is made against you »

    What to do if you've gotten a notice of hearing that someone has made a claim against you in the Disputes Tribunal.

  • Going to a hearing »

    How to prepare for a hearing at the Disputes Tribunal and what happens at a hearing.

  • Forms & fees »

    Fees to apply to the Disputes Tribunal depend on the amount the claim is for.

  • Contact us »

    You can find a Disputes Tribunal at almost every District Court in New Zealand - they share the same contact details with the court.

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