Most Read Contributor in New Zealand, September 2016
Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 (the Act), which
implements the Agreement between the Government of New Zealand and
the Government of Australia on Trans-Tasman Court Proceedings and
Regulatory Enforcement (the Agreement), passed its third
reading on 24 August 2010 (in the course of which a previous edition of
Connected Asia Pacific was
cited in Parliament). Australia passed its corresponding
legislation in March 2010. The new regime creates a legal framework
for trans-Tasman cooperation relating to civil proceedings and will
enable disputes to be resolved more efficiently and
The stated purpose of the Act is "to streamline the
process for resolving civil proceedings with a trans-Tasman element
in order to reduce costs and improve efficiency" as well
as to minimise existing impediments to enforcing certain Australian
judgments and regulatory sanctions, and to implement the Agreement
(s 3). The operative subparts of the Act are:
Part 2(1), which provides for direct service in Australia of
initiating court documents for certain civil proceedings before New
Zealand courts and tribunals in the same manner in which those
documents would be served in New Zealand
Part 2(3), which provides that a party may apply for interim
relief before a New Zealand court in support of civil proceedings
in Australian courts. The New Zealand court may grant interim
relief if it considers it appropriate to do so and would have
granted such relief in a similar proceeding commenced in the New
Part 2(4), which permits the use of technology to enable
parties and their lawyers to appear remotely in proceedings in the
other country (noting that remote evidence remains governed by Part
4(1) of the Evidence Act 2006, operating in conjunction with
corresponding Australian legislation)
Part 2(5), which expands the range of civil court judgments
from one country that can be enforced in the other and provides a
specific process for the registration of Australian judgments (see
ss 56 and 57)
Part 2(6), which provides for registration under subpart 5 of
trans-Tasman competition law judgments which do not impose a civil
pecuniary penalty, and
Parts 2(7) and (8), which provide additional requirements for
the registration under subpart 5 of Australian judgments which do
impose civil pecuniary penalties or regulatory regime criminal
The Act and the Agreement are elements of a wider trans-Tasman
integration agenda. As the New Zealand Supreme Court stated on 1
September 2010 in an important competition law decision, Commerce
Commission v Telecom, in which Chapman Tripp successfully
represented Telecom (at ):
The survey we have undertaken of
the principal authorities demonstrates a factor common to the
reasoning of both the Privy Council and the High Court of
Australia. It is important that the approach to the issue under
consideration be broadly the same on both sides of the Tasman.
Under agreements between the two countries, competition law in New
Zealand and Australia and associated enforcement provisions are
being increasingly framed in a common way to address
anticompetitive practices affecting trans-Tasman trade.
The information in this article is for informative purposes
only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact
Chapman Tripp for advice tailored to your situation.
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