Tao v Body Corporate 198693 [2019] NZDC 4080

Published 23 October 2019

Appeal Tenancy Tribunal — effect of bankruptcy — right to appear in Court — District Court Act 2016, s 107 — Insolvency Act 2006, s 76. The first appellant appeared in relation to an appeal of three Tenancy Tribunal decisions. However, the first appellant had been adjudicated bankrupt and no longer had a proprietary interest in the unit at issue in the appeal. The appellant argued that she was appearing on behalf of the second and third appellants, her parents. This was opposed by the respondent on the basis that as an adjudicated bankrupt, she was precluded from appearing and because she did not meet the requirements of s 107 of the District Court Act. The Judge found that the appellant was not precluded from appearing on her own behalf in the appeal, but she did not meet the standard under s 107. The Judge noted that it would set a precedent whereby any adult child could represent a parent in the role of counsel which was not contemplated by s 107. There were no special circumstances in this case. Even if there were, there had been sufficient time for her parents to brief legal counsel. Further, there was another appellant (not a parent) for who no grounds for special circumstances had been submitted. For those reasons, the appellants could not be represented by the appellant in question and the proceedings were adjourned. Judgment Date: 7 March 2019.

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