New Zealand, Wilson Harle updates


Contributed by Wilson Harle
What constitutes 'hunt or kill'? Supreme Court's shark cage diving decision illustrates interpretation difficulties
  • New Zealand
  • 03 March 2020

Contrary to media reports, the Supreme Court's recent decision in Shark Experience Ltd v PauaMAC5 Inc has expressly left the question of whether shark cage diving is an offence in New Zealand open for a future case in which a breach of Section 63A of the Wildlife Act 1953 is alleged. The decisions of the Supreme Court and the lower courts illustrate the challenges of statutory interpretation and the resulting potential for differing judicial views.

Supreme Court confirms that replacement cover rights are not assignable
  • New Zealand
  • 22 October 2019

The Supreme Court recently dismissed an appeal, holding that the right to replacement under an insurance policy cannot be assigned where the insured party has not incurred the reinstatement costs. The case should be considered by homeowners and their brokers when choosing a replacement home insurance policy and by purchasers and their advisers if assignment of claims is in prospect.

Contractual penalties: Court of Appeal upholds High Court's decision in Honey Bees
  • New Zealand
  • 15 October 2019

The Court of Appeal recently upheld a High Court judgment, confirming New Zealand's adaption of the recast rule. In doing so, the Court of Appeal has set out the context for adopting the revised rule. However, as the appellant has been granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, the final word is awaited.

Diminution not required for voidable transactions
  • New Zealand
  • 10 September 2019

The Supreme Court recently confirmed that the requirements outlined in Section 292 of the Companies Act 1993 are all that is required in order to void an insolvent transaction. In particular, the court confirmed that there is no additional common law principle stating that the transaction must have diminished the net pool of assets available to creditors. This is a helpful decision which brings certainty to the test for voidable transactions and avoids adding unnecessary complexity into the corporate insolvency regime.

Court costs when using employed lawyers – return to status quo ante
  • New Zealand
  • 06 August 2019

The Supreme Court recently overturned the position set out in Joint Action Funding (that lawyer-litigants are not entitled to costs). While the certainty created by the court will be a relief to lawyer-litigants and organisations that are regularly represented in court by employed lawyers alike, the intervening decisions indicate that the days of the status quo may be numbered – in particular, the differential treatment of lawyer-litigants and lay-litigants.

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