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Making a claim

Printable version: Making a claim (PDF, 399KB)

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How to apply

You need to apply to the Tribunal closest to where you reside. There are three ways you can apply:


Filling in the claim form

You can view examples of completed claims forms on our resources page.

Make sure you give us as many contact details as you can, both for yourself and for the respondent. We need a full name and physical address for every party involved in the claim. If available, also include a PO Box number, daytime phone number and email address.

If there is another person or organisation involved who you want to claim against, add their details under the section for the Second Respondent.

Is the respondent an organisation?

If so, it’s important that you enter their details correctly. You need to know the legal name of the organisation.

  • Check whether the business is a Limited Liability Company (one that includes “Ltd” in the business name). A register of all limited liability companies can be found on the Companies Office website, along with their registered address. Remember that the legal name of the company may be different from their trading name. Their legal name should included on their invoice.
  • Some businesses are not limited liability companies, but are instead an individual with a trading name. In this case, give the name of the business’s owner.
  • If a party is an incorporated society or a charitable trust, you can find their details on the Register of Societies website.
  • If a party is a trust that is not a charitable trust (for example, a family trust) you need to include the names of the trustees.

Are you insured?

If you are insured, or might be insured, in relation to this loss or damage, then you should talk to your insurance company before you file your claim. Enter your insurance company’s name and address in the form. We will notify your insurance company of the hearing.

If you don’t want to make an insurance claim, you can need to ask your insurance company to sign a waiver form (PDF, 744 KB).

How much is the claim for?

Normally, the Disputes Tribunal can’t deal with claims above $15,000. Claims above this amount have to be taken to the District Court.

However, if both you and the respondent agree, then this limit can be raised to $20,000. You’ll both need to sign the agreement to extend financial limit form (PDF, 695 KB), and submit it along with your application.

What’s the dispute about?

Enter the general details of your dispute. You need to describe what happened, where, when, who was involved, and what the damage or loss was.

You can attach additional material. If you’re applying online, the size of your attachment needs to be under 5 MB.

In the section “Applicant’s contact with respondent”, describe what you’ve done to try to resolve the dispute and what response you’ve had from the other party. You need to show that you’ve tried to sort the dispute out yourself before involving the Tribunal.

Confidential contact details

If you require your address or other contact details to be kept confidential from the respondent, you may request this.

Please state your request for confidentiality, and the reasons for it, as the first paragraph in the Applicant's Contact With Respondent(s) section.

As part of the hearing process, the respondent may need to send you evidence or other documents relevant to the dispute. Please indicate if there any other way for the respondent to send documents to you (such as an email or postal address). Otherwise, documents will be sent via the court.

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Submitting the claim form

There are four ways you can submit your claim:

  • Apply online.
  • By post: Ministry of Justice CPU, DX SX 10042, Wellington.
  • By courier: Ministry of Justice CPU, Level 4, 8 Gilmer Terrace, Wellington 6011.
  • In person at a District Court (see our contact page for addresses).

How to pay

If you’re applying online, you’ll need to pay by credit card. We can’t accept payment methods such as Paypal or online banking transfer.

If you’ve filled in a paper form, you can pay by cheque (made out to “Ministry of Justice”); by EFTPOS or credit card at your local court; or by cash at your local court (please don’t send us cash in the post).

You can find a list of our fees on the fees page.

What happens next?

Once we’ve processed your form, we’ll send you a Notice of Hearing telling you the date, time and venue for your hearing. We’ll also send a copy of this notice to the respondent along with a copy of the claim form and any documentation you've filed in support. 

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