Tamaki Limited v Strange [2018] NZDC 3834

Published 17 April 2019

Appeal of Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal — unfair and prejudiced proceeding — Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003. The appellant appealed a decision of the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal that held the appellant must pay the cost of rectifying corrosion to the chassis of the respondent's car, totalling $10,305.73. The appellant relied on the grounds that that “the proceedings were conducted in a manner that was unfair to the appellant and prejudicially affected the result of the proceeding.” The appellant applied for leave to bring further evidence at the hearing of the appeal, specifically: (i) The evidence of a specialist automotive panelbeater with over 20 years’ specialist panelbeating experience; (ii) Proof of payment by the respondent of the alleged costs of repair; (iii) Correspondence relating to any insurance claim by the respondent and any response from the insurer. The Judge considered case law and the District Court Rules and held that the Court had no jurisdiction to reach a finding of fact different from that of the Disputes Tribunal. For that reason, the application to adduce further evidence was dismissed. The Judge did consider even if his decision was wrong, he would not have exercised his discretion to admit further evidence. The proposed evidence was not fresh and could have been called by the appellant at the Tribunal. Further, it was not cogent and would require the Adjudicator to prefer his advice over the expert assessor sitting with the Adjudicator. The application was dismissed and costs were awarded on a 2B basis. Judgment Date: 7 March 2018.