Appeals from Tribunals and other authorities

Tribunal appeals

In its civil jurisdiction, the District Court hears appeals against tribunals and authorities. For example, if you are unhappy with a decision of the Disputes Tribunal or Tenancy Tribunal, you may appeal the decision to a District Court. Disputes Tribunal appeals may be made if you believe that the referee conducted the proceedings in a way that was unfair. Tenancy Tribunal decisions can be appealed if you believe the law was applied incorrectly.

Decisions of some small tribunals may also be appealed to the District Court, including:

  • The Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal (interim appeals only);
  • The Licensing of Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Tribunal;
  • The Motor Vehicles Disputes Tribunal (interim appeals only);
  • The Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority;
  • The Weathertight Homes Tribunal (claims under $200,000).

Most other tribunals can only be appealed to the High Court.

Accident Compensation Corporation Appeals

The District Court has jurisdiction to hear appeals against decisions made by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). These appeals relate to entitlements of treatment and rehabilitation of people who suffer injury as a result of an accident. Where a person is unhappy with a decision made by ACC, he or she can apply for an independent review of that decision. If a person is still unhappy with the outcome of that review, they can appeal the decision to the District Court.

Please note that if you are unhappy about a decision of ACC, you must first apply for an independent review before appealing to the District Court. If your injury occurred before 1982, you must instead appeal to the Accident Compensation Appeal Authority.


E ngā Picture of Denese Henare smiling.mana
E ngā reo, tena koutou katoa.

Ko Motatu te maunga
Ko Taumarere te awa tapu
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka
Ko Hineamaru te tupuna whaea
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou kātoa.

I am based in Auckland and travel on circuit throughout the country to carry out my primary role in the  Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) jurisdiction.

In New Zealand, access to core entitlements of treatment and rehabilitation of people who suffer injury as a result of an accident is enshrined in the ACC regime. It is of immense importance that the right of New Zealanders to entitlements is subject to judicial oversight.

Claimants can challenge ACC at review and on appeal to the District Court, High Court and the Court of Appeal. The majority of the litigation involves appeals in the District Court and therefore constitutes a core role for this court.

Two other judges (Judge Grant Powell and Judge Neil MacLean) and I who carry out this work are committed to playing a significant role as judges in meeting the goals of the scheme for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Judge Denese Henare

District Courts of New Zealand Annual Report 2015