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Government & legal system

Enforcing Disputes Tribunal Orders

Options for enforcing a Tribunal Order

Agreements and decisions made in the Disputes Tribunal are binding and can be enforced in the same way as an order of the District Court.

You can only get an order enforced after its deadline has passed – so, if your order says that the other side has 28 days to pay you, you’ll have to wait until it’s been more than 28 days before you enforce the order.

If the other party does not comply with the order, you can:

  • write a letter or email to the other party reminding them to comply with the order and including the next steps you’ll take to enforce the order (you could write this yourself, or instruct a lawyer or advocate to write it on your behalf)
  • take the matter to a debt collection agency (the agency will usually charge a fee or a percentage of the debt)
  • apply to the Disputes Tribunal for part of an agreed settlement to be enforced
  • apply to the District Court for the order to be enforced.

It’s free to apply to the Disputes Tribunal to get certain orders enforced. You just have to fill out a form and send it to the District Court.

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The Disputes Tribunal

Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres

Disputes Tribunal

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

Website: www.disputestribunal.govt.nz

Information on how to make a claim to the Disputes Tribunal: www.disputestribunal.govt.nz/how-to-make-a-claim
Make a claim online:  www.disputestribunal.govt.nz/how-to-make-a-claim/apply-online
Applying to the Disputes Tribunal by paper: www.disputestribunal.govt.nz/assets/DT-Claim-form2.pdf

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

Consumer NZ

Consumer NZ provides information on how the Disputes Tribunal works and may be a helpful resource for consumer-related claims.

Website: www.consumer.org.nz/articles/disputes-tribunals
Email: info@consumer.org.nz
Phone: 0800 266 786

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

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

Website: www.cab.org.nz
Phone: 0800 367 222
Find your local CAB office: www.cab.org.nz select “Find a CAB”

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