Ms Kerryn Webster

Kerryn Webster

Updates

Litigation

Context is everything – court adopts purposive approach to runway end safety area criteria
New Zealand | 27 March 2018

The Supreme Court recently considered a judicial review application about the length of runway end safety areas under a proposed runway extension. Users of the airport might be reassured by the Supreme Court's finding that, under the existing statutory regime, more than a cost-benefit analysis is required; among other matters, a mandatory consideration includes the need to improve aviation safety.

The interrelationship between cross-border insolvency and admiralty claims
New Zealand | 22 July 2014

For the first time, the New Zealand courts have directly considered the interrelationship between cross-border insolvency and admiralty claims. The case arose from a foreign administration order that was recognised by the New Zealand High Court as a qualifying foreign proceeding and therefore operated as an automatic stay of proceedings in New Zealand. However, the court allowed the claimants to continue their admiralty claims.

The new Limitation Act: limitation in admiralty proceedings
New Zealand | 30 November 2010

The High Court recently confirmed that the statutory two-year limitation period for claims arising out of vessel collisions applies whenever the proceeding is one in which the High Court has admiralty jurisdiction. The new Limitation Act 2010 does not contain an exclusion for claims enforceable in rem and the six-year time limit will apply to such claims unless a more specific limitation applies.

Shipping & Transport

The interrelationship between cross-border insolvency and admiralty claims
New Zealand | 23 July 2014

For the first time, the New Zealand courts have directly considered the interrelationship between cross-border insolvency and admiralty claims. The case arose from a foreign administration order that was recognised by the New Zealand High Court as a qualifying foreign proceeding and therefore operated as an automatic stay of proceedings in New Zealand. However, the court allowed the claimants to continue their admiralty claims.

High Court issues guidance for MV Rena limitation fund claimants
New Zealand | 12 March 2014

Following the High Court judgment establishing a limitation fund for claims arising from the grounding of the MV Rena, the court has issued further directions to claimants that have filed claims against the fund. The earlier order allowed the owners of the Rena to limit their liability to NZ$11,030,110 for any claims for loss or damage arising from the grounding. All claims came within the limitation cap, but not all had been fully quantified.

Ship arrests in practice
New Zealand | 15 January 2014

Initial ship arrest in New Zealand can be fast and relatively inexpensive. The time and cost involved in maintaining the arrest and claim against the ship, and possibly obtaining judicial sale, will depend on a range of factors. Provided that all of the necessary information is available, the proceeding can be prepared and the application for arrest made within a short time of the instruction being received.

High Court confirms boat builder's right to arrest
New Zealand | 09 October 2013

The High Court recently examined whether a boat builder's right to bring an in rem claim in the admiralty jurisdiction and to arrest a vessel was extinguished by a subsequent payment arrangement with the vessel owner. The builder's claim was brought on the basis that it was a claim in respect of the construction, repair or equipment of a ship under the Admiralty Act.

High Court clarifies jurisdiction over New Zealand ships on high seas
New Zealand | 22 May 2013

The High Court recently clarified the extent of New Zealand's jurisdiction over New Zealand ships on the high seas. The case involved a skipper charged with committing an offence under the Maritime Transport Act by operating his ship in a manner that caused unnecessary risk. The court had to consider whether the act applies extraterritorially, either through its express wording or by implication.

High Court jurisdiction to order limitation fund under the Maritime Transport Act
New Zealand | 08 May 2013

A recent High Court decision has held that the court has jurisdiction to authorise the establishment of a limitation fund as security for a shipowner's liability for damage caused by a ship. This decision is contrary to earlier authority on the point. The case stems from the grounding of the MV Rena off the coast of Tauranga on New Zealand's North Island.

Owner of MV Rena convicted and fined
New Zealand | 19 December 2012

In 2011 the MV Rena struck the Astrolabe Reef off New Zealand's North Island. The owner of the Rena was recently fined NZ$300,000 for environmental offences arising from the disaster - the largest fine ever imposed for this offence. However, it is worth considering why the fine was not closer to the maximum available and no reparation or enforcement orders were made.

Charges laid in relation to MV Rena grounding
New Zealand | 08 August 2012

In October 2011 the MV Rena struck the Astrolabe Reef, resulting in over 1,000 tonnes of waste collecting on the coastline of New Zealand's North Island. The master and second officer have been sentenced to seven months' imprisonment; the shipowner, if convicted, faces a fine of up to NZ$600,000 for discharging harmful substances into water from a ship, plus up to NZ$10,000 for every day that the offence continues.

Assessing the impact of the Rena disaster
New Zealand | 19 October 2011

Clean-up and salvage operations are continuing following the leakage of over 350 tonnes of oil from the MV Rena, the container vessel which struck a reef off the coast of Tauranga. The captain and a second crewman have been charged under the Maritime Transport Act, and the worst maritime environmental disaster in New Zealand's history has raised significant safety questions and issues of civil liability.

The new Limitation Act: limitation in admiralty proceedings
New Zealand | 24 November 2010

The High Court recently confirmed that the statutory two-year limitation period for claims arising out of vessel collisions applies whenever the proceeding is one in which the High Court has admiralty jurisdiction. The new Limitation Act 2010 does not contain an exclusion for claims enforceable in rem and the six-year time limit will apply to such claims unless a more specific limitation applies.