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Government & legal system

Making a claim

Applying online

You can apply online at the Disputes Tribunal website, here (or go to disputestribunal.govt.nz, navigate to “Forms & fees” and then select “Apply online”).

The online form will take you through the following steps. This is the same information that you’d include in a paper form, but it’s in a slightly different order. If you need more details about how to answer the questions, see the next section: “Filling out the Disputes Tribunal application form” for more detail.

  • Select “Yes – I am the applicant” to get started.
  • You’ll have to fill in your contact details:
    • To progress the online form, you’ll need to include a physical address, a phone number, and an email address (see: Step 1).
    • You can ask for your contact details to be kept confidential (see: Step 10).
  • You’ll then fill in the respondent’s details:
    • You’ll need at least their name and a physical address, but you should include as much information about the respondent as possible (see: Step 3).
  • You’ll then fill in details about your dispute, including:
    • If the claim is a new claim or a counterclaim (see: “How do I make a counterclaim?”)
    • Details of the dispute (see: Step 5). You can upload up to 4 extra files to support your claim. If you have more, you can post or deliver these to your local District Court. Make sure you include the CIV number of your claim so they can be matched up.
  • You then need to explain what you’ve already done to try resolve the issue (see: Step 6). You can choose to upload a document to support this (e.g., you could include your emails with the respondent).
  • You’ll be asked if this claim is covered by your insurer (see: Step 2).
  • To finalise your application, you’ll need to confirm that all the information you’ve provided is correct, and pay the filing fee via credit or debit card.

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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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