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Government & legal system

Challenging a Disputes Tribunal decision


How can I challenge a decision of the Disputes Tribunal?

Either party can apply for a rehearing in the Tribunal or can lodge an appeal to the District Court if they believe they have grounds to do so. However, the circumstances in which this can be done are limited (see below). Forms can be obtained from the District Court.

The rehearing must be applied for, or the appeal filed, within 28 days of the original decision.

Disputes Tribunal Act 1988, ss 493, 503

Note: The original decision of the Tribunal cannot be enforced if a rehearing or an appeal is granted.

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The Disputes Tribunal

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and can help you apply to the Disputes Tribunal or defend a claim there.

Consumer NZ


This provides information on how the Disputes Tribunal works, your rights at the hearing and how to file a claim.

Disputes Tribunal


This website includes general information about how to apply, fees, the hearing process, and appeals.

You can apply online at:

Some Disputes Tribunal decisions are available to read at: www.disputesTribunal.govt.nz/disputes-decision-finder

Citizens Advice Bureau


Phone (0800 FOR CAB) 0800 367 222

Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for information about the Disputes Tribunal process.

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