Decision in your favour

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The referee will give a written decision that shows how the dispute must be settled. This is called an ‘Order’ and is legally binding (it must be followed).

How to make sure the decision is followed

The Tribunal won't check that the decision is followed. It's up to the parties to arrange this themselves.

Make sure you have the other party’s contact details.

These include:

  • address (work and home)
  • phone numbers
  • email address
  • details of any vehicles they own.

It’s up to you to get these details. The Tribunal won’t trace the person for you. You’ll need these details if you have to ask the court to force the person to follow the Order.

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If the other party has been ordered to do something

The other party may have been ordered to pay money or return property to you. The decision will clearly set out details such as how much has to be paid or what property is to be returned, and by when. You can’t demand payment or property earlier.

You can remind them that they have to follow the decision and what may happen if they don’t.

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If a decision is not followed – ways to enforce orders

You can:

  • apply to the District Court to enforce the Order
  • hire a debt collection agency to collect any payment that you are owed. They may charge a set fee or a percentage of the payment
  • get a lawyer to act for you. A formal letter from a lawyer may be enough to get the decision followed.

You can’t enforce a Disputes Tribunal Order until the deadline in the decision has passed. 

The Tribunal may have ordered the other party to do some work (for example, repairs). If they haven’t done the work by the deadline, you can apply to the Disputes Tribunal to order that they pay you money instead.

Fill in and send us 1 of these forms:

Request to enforce part of agreed settlement [PDF, 1.2 MB] (if you reached agreement yourselves in the hearing)

Request to enforce work order [PDF, 770 KB] (if the referee had to make the decision for you)

Enforcing an Order through the District Court

If the other party was ordered to pay you money they owe what is called a ‘civil debt’. You can collect a civil debt through the District Court. You will need to pay fees to do this.

How to collect a civil debt (external link)

Contacts for civil debt

To find out more:

Email: civilenforcement@justice.govt.nz

Phone: 0800 233 222

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