Costs awarded

Damages Awarded by the Human Rights Review Tribunal under Human Rights Act 1993, Privacy Act 1993 and Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994

DecisionNotesAward
Jans v Winter [2003] NZHRRT 21 Privacy Act access to information case – files lost by defendant before hearing – for that and other reasons relating to the way the litigation had been conducted by the defendant the Tribunal directed defendant to pay all of the plaintiff’s actual and reasonable expenses amounting to about $1,800 (although note award not specifically quantified). One day hearing. Costs award affirmed on appeal to High Court: Winter v Jans (Hamilton High Court, CIV 2003-419-854, 6 April 2004 per Paterson J) (say) $1,800 (27 June 2003)
Ram v KMart NZ [2003] NZHRRT 27 Unsuccessful Privacy Act Principle 11 case - two-day hearing $3,000 (6 August 2003)
CD v Hawkes Bay District Health Board [2003] NZHRRT 31 Privacy Act case – access to records, but requests predated the Act – plaintiff warned before hearing that no basis for claim - four-day hearing – actual costs incurred by defendant exceeded $25,000, including costs of expert evidence that was required. $10,000 (29 October 2003)
Cobb v W & H Newspapers Ltd [2003] NZHRRT 36 Two-day hearing – alleged age discrimination - costs awarded on reasonable contribution basis. $3,000 (30 October 2003)
Horne v Bryant [2003] NZHRRT 36 Plaintiff abandoned claim on eve of substantive hearing – defendant’s preparation complete – actual costs of $6,682.50 had been incurred (excluding costs on the costs argument) – Tribunal awarded reasonable contribution of $4,400 uplifted by $1,000 to reflect last minute abandonment of claim, plus a further $1,000 in respect of the argument on costs (which included issues relating to the particular position of the Director of Human Rights Proceedings). $6,400 (18 December 2003)
Ngapera v Reddick [2004] NZHRRT 5 Undefended sexual harassment claim – hearing proceeded as a formal proof, lasting less than a day. $2,000 (15 March 2004)
Shiu v Mohammed Nasev [2004] NZHRRT 17 One-day hearing of claim of sexual harassment under the Human Rights Act – costs awarded to plaintiff who obtained declaration but no damages. $2,000 (10 May 2004)
Plumtree v Attorney-General [2004] NZHRRT 25 Privacy Act claim relating to army records – plaintiff successful but represented self – award of costs to cover out of pocket expenses only. $1,269.64 (24 May 2004)
Williams v Department of Corrections [2004] NZHRRT 28 Two-day hearing; note the award was for all that was claimed, because the amount claimed was for disbursements and only $525 on account of legal costs for the whole of the two day hearing, and all attendances before that. $1,529.86 (30 June 2004)
Tahiata v Nicholson & Anor [2004] NZHRRT 29 Award after two day hearing about alleged racial and other discrimination, but note the award also includes costs in respect of various ‘on the papers’ determinations as well – actual costs of $51,331.91 had been incurred. $8,000 (8 July 2004)
Henderson v CIR [2004] NZHRRT 42 Effectively a three-day hearing, although the days were spread over several months – actual costs incurred by the successful defendant were in excess of $62,500 – note Tribunal declined to apply the District Court Scale. $12,500 (13 August 2004)
Marino v Department of Corrections [2004] NZHRRT 46 One-day hearing – award effectively assessed as reasonable contribution only. $1,990 (13 September 2004)
DP v A (No.2) [2004] NZHRRT 51 Three-day hearing under Health and Disability Commissioner Act – had been preceded by issues relating to name suppression as well – total costs incurred by plaintiff were $30,386. $12,500 (22 November 2004)
DP v DG (Fan) [2005] NZHRRT 18 Award made in respect of hearings under Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994 that lasted for a total of 8 days, although note two cases were heard at the same time and there was a mix of success and failure, including a decision by the plaintiff to abandon one particular claim at the hearing - – total costs incurred by plaintiff in respect of successful claim had been in excess of $52,000. $22,000 (28 June 2005)
Yeo v McDowell [2006] NZHRRT 11 One-day hearing of privacy claim - a pre-hearing offer of settlement by plaintiff ought to have been accepted by defendants – circumstances close to justifying full indemnity award - plaintiff legally aided with actual costs over $4,000. $2,500 (29 March 2006)
Smith v Air New Zealand [2006] NZHRRT 13 Four-day hearing of alleged discrimination under the Human Rights Act – note issues as to whether this was a ‘test case’; also issues in relation to part-success and cost warnings – total costs incurred by defendant in excess of $60,000 – costs of $15,000 awarded with an earlier award of $1500 for costs on an interlocutory application confirmed, giving a total of $16,500 in the litigation – note costs award upheld on appeal see Smith vAir New Zealand (Wellington High Court, CIV 2005-485-2198, 15 December 2008 per Clifford J). $16,500 (4 April 2006)
Louw v Auckland District Health Board [2006] NZHRRT 27 Matter set down for hearing, but plaintiff failed to appear at hearing and thereby effectively abandoned claim – actual costs had been incurred by defendant in excess of $12,000 - award of $4,500 for preparation etc was increased by $2,000 to reflect the way the case had been abandoned.   $6,500 (16 June 2006)
Stevenson v Hastings District Council [2006] NZHRRT 32 One-day hearing under Privacy Act – total costs incurred by successful defendant of $20,544.57 – reasonable contribution only $3,500 (21 August 2006)
Lehmann v CanWest Radioworks Ltd [2006] NZHRRT 47 Two and a half-day hearing including written submissions filed after the hearing as well - also note that one claim under one of the Privacy Principles was effectively abandoned by the plaintiff at the hearing – actual costs incurred by defendant in excess of $26,850 – significant interlocutory processes before hearing but plaintiff not to responsible for those – plaintiff did succeed on one point at issue. $7,500 (12 December 2006)
EFG v Commissioner of Police [2006] NZHRRT 48 The plaintiff had represented himself in the proceedings, with the only question being as to his out-of-pocket expenses for the hearing itself. In fact the Police had paid many of those expenses in order to have the hearing at a venue that was convenient to the Police. The hearing itself occupied five days but for these reasons the award was effectively limited to reimbursement of a few outstanding out of pocket expenses. $1,000 (21 December 2006)
Herron v Speirs Group Ltd [2006] NZHRRT 49 Costs of $3,000 awarded on a reasonable contribution basis to the date of a ‘without prejudice save as to costs’ offer, and then a further $32,503.82 on a full indemnity basis for the period thereafter. Two day hearing in the Tribunal. On appeal, the Tribunal’s approach to costs was substantially upheld, but the High Court adjusted the total sum downwards so that it was limited to 85% of costs after the ‘without prejudice save as to costs’ offer (note the figure in this table is the adjusted High Court figure). $30,628 (21 December 2006)
Director of Health & Disability Proceedings v Peters [2007] NZHRRT 1 This Health and Disability Commissioner Act case occupied four days of hearing. The defendant was legally aided, the successful plaintiff asked the Tribunal to assess what costs would have been awarded in the absence of legal aid. $15,000 (19 January 2007)
Director of Human Rights Proceedings v Police [2007] NZHRRT 9 Two-day hearing – case ‘unremarkable’ from a costs perspective. $3,750 (21 May 2007)
Director of Proceedings under the Health & Disability Commissioner Act v Kaur [2007] NZHRRT 20 Two and a half-day hearing. The defendant was legally aided, but the Tribunal was asked to assess costs that would have been awarded had there been no legal aid.       $7,500 (19 October 2007)
Haydock v Gilligan Sheppard [2008] NZHRRT 2 Privacy Act claim - despite an early offer of settlement that was not made on a ‘without prejudice’ basis, the successful defendant did not ask for indemnity costs – there was however a significant issue as to whether and to what extent the plaintiff should be regarded as having been legally aided in the proceedings (and thus protected by s.40 of the Legal Services Act 2000 as it stood before amendment in March 2007) – hearing took four days although there had been significant interlocutories and the hearing was spread over a long period. $20,000 (5 February 2008)
Director of Human Rights Proceedings v Police [2008] NZHRRT 5 Privacy issues – 2 day hearing – total costs incurred by defendant were $12,351.39 $3,250 (31 March 2008)
Director of Proceedings under Health & Disability Commissioner Act v Mogridge [2008] NZHRRT 9 The case involved the hearing of several different claims against the same defendant – five days – preceded by various pre-hearing issues that had required determination – total costs incurred by the plaintiff had come to $55,168.25. $22,500 (9 May 2008)
Reid v NZ Fire Service Commission and Anor [2008] NZHRRT 18 Privacy Act claim - two days of hearing, one at which the plaintiff was not present. Costs were sought by the successful first defendant only; total costs incurred of just over $11,000. $3,000 (14 August 2008)
Director of Proceedings under the Health & Disability Commissioner Act v O’Malley [2009] NZHRRT 2 This was a matter dealt with by way of formal proof - defendant did not appear at the scheduled hearing - there had, however, been a number of preliminary arguments which delayed the matter and compounded costs. $10,000 (2 February 2009)
Holmes v Police [2009] NZHRRT 20 Hearing took less than a day, but there had been a pre-hearing “without prejudice save as to costs” offer which ought to have been accepted. $5,500 (30 July 2009)
Kaiser v Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry & Ors [2009] NZHRRT 22 One day hearing (plaintiff attended by telephone) – costs actually incurred by defendants in this part of the case $13,421.23 – case required significant attendances both before and after hearing. $6,000 (5 August 2009)
Kaiser v Department of Labour [2009] NZHRRT 23 Same hearing as above – essentially same considerations, but actual costs incurred by Labour Department were only $9,200. $4,500 (4 September 2009)
World Vision v Tamu [2009] NZHRRT 25 Formal proof matter lasting less than a day – application under s.92B(4) of the Human Rights Act 1993 to enforce a settlement agreement – no appearance by defendant – Tribunal satisfied plaintiff should never have been put to expense of filing the claim – full solicitor/client costs of $7,469.30 awarded. $7,469.30 (5 October 2009)
Orlov v Ministry of Justice & Attorney-General [2009] NZHRRT 28 One day hearing of application to strike out on grounds claim did not disclose a tenable cause of action – application successful – Tribunal noted that the plaintiff had insisted on a vivavoce hearing when matter could have been dealt with on the papers – also plaintiff should have known better than to bring claim; although award tempered to an extent because human rights-related issues raised – actual costs of $17,824.45 – reasonable contribution fixed at $7,500. $7,500 (14 October 2009)
Coates v Koller & Williams [2009] NZHRRT 32 Proceedings which should never have been brought giving rise to significant costs including attendance at two day hearing – plaintiffs refused to discontinue notwithstanding clear warning about costs in relation to Williams – indemnity costs to Williams for all costs incurred thereafter – reasonable contribution costs to Koller, but amount set to reflect various criticisms of plaintiff’s conduct of the litigation $18,500 to Williams
$7,500 to Koller
(7 December 2009)
Director of Human Rights Proceedings v QD [2010] NZHRRT 10 Two day hearing – plaintiff successful – quantum of costs following that event was agreed between counsel. $7,500 (4 May 2010)
Z v Police Commissioner [2010] NZHRRT 17 Two day hearing – costs reduced because not all of plaintiff’s evidence accepted – total costs incurred by plaintiff only $6,271.00 in any event. $3,000 (9 September 2010)
Cameron v Police [2010] NZHRRT 18 Claim by successful defendant for costs after incurring actual costs of $60,848.66 – reasonable contribution – award tempered by fact that although plaintiff had failed to show relevant harm, a breach of privacy principle 8 had been established – against that costs increased because the claim was more difficult to respond to as a result of plaintiff’s delays in bringing it – hearing occupied 3 days. $20,000 (24 September 2010 – this award is under appeal)
NG v Commissioner of Police [2010] NZHRRT 21 Award to successful defendant after a one day hearing – total costs of just over $19,000 incurred, but defendant only sought an award of $3,750 on a reasonable contribution basis $3,750.00 (15 November 2010)
EN v KIC & The Partnership [2010] NZHRRT 25 Successful sexual harassment claim – three and a half day hearing – note that disbursements alone amounted to $7,500 due to remote location of hearing. $15,000 (26 November 2010)
Director of Health & Disability Proceedings v Nikau [2010] NZHRRT 26 Undefended claim for breaches of the Health & Disability Commissioner Act – formal proof – damages including exemplary damages awarded – total costs incurred in excess of $15,000 but plaintiff asked for award of $7,500 only $7,500 (14 December 2010)
Director of Human Rights Proceedings v Grupen [2011] NZHRRT 3 Claim for indemnity costs after a two day hearing, although there had also been a number of matters that were dealt with ‘on the papers’ (including final submissions after the hearing) – indemnity costs awarded after defendant refused Calderbank offer $12,000 (9 February 2011 – this award is under appeal)
Director of Human Rights Proceedings v Henderson [2011] NZHRRT 10 PA - successful defendant incurred actual costs of $54,000 to defend claim – two day hearing, although extended hours on the second day – claim for reasonable contribution cost down to date of Calderbank offer then indemnity costs thereafter – indemnity costs declined, but reasonable contribution assessed to take into account factors such as failure to settle. $18,000 (24 March 2011)
Heather v IDEA Services Ltd [2012] NZHRRT 11 HRA - self-represented plaintiff – discontinuance before hearing – costs of $4,000 sought by first defendants – discretion to award costs not to be exercised in a way which may discourage individuals from bringing claims. Costs refused (23 May 2012)
Director of Human Rights Proceedings v INS Restorations Ltd [2012] NZHRRT 18 PA – one day hearing – no appearance by defendant – circumstances of fraud. $3,750 (23 August 2012)
Sionepulu v Downer NZ Ltd [2012] NZHRRT 22 HRA - one day hearing – D1 claimed $6,750 (actual $20,000) and D2 claimed $3,750 – proceedings misconceived & baseless but plaintiff herself not responsible for conduct of case by husband. Costs refused (8 October 2012)
Director of Human Rights Proceedings v Hamilton [2012] NZHRRT 24 PA – two day hearing – no defence – needless waste of time of plaintiff and of Tribunal. $7,500 (1 November 2012)
Steele v Board of Trustees of Salisbury School [2012] NZHRRT 26 PA - two day hearing – finding that privacy interfered with – declaration withheld owing to plaintiff’s conduct.  Defendant’s costs $47,000 – though no remedy granted plaintiff had good grounds for bringing proceedings. Costs refused (23 November 2012)
Koyama v New Zealand Law Society [2013] NZHRRT 22 PA - three telephone conferences, a preliminary ruling on a recusal application and a final decision upholding NZLS submission that HRRT had no jurisdiction – plaintiff responsible for unnecessarily burdensome and intensive process – NZLS sought reasonable contribution of $18,000 (actual $26,000)   $8,000 (28 May 2013)
Haupini v SRCC Holdings Ltd [2013] NZHRRT 23 HRA - plaintiff represented by Director of Human Rights Proceedings – three day hearing – claim by successful defendant for indemnity costs of $40,495.00 – declined but reasonable contribution assessed – obiter comments on costs when plaintiff represented by Director   $15,000 (28 May 2013)
ABC v XYZ (Costs)[2013] NZHRRT 27 HDCA – plaintiff self-represented – three day hearing – claim dismissed after adverse credibility finding – successful defendant claimed $34,526.50 – plaintiff acknowledged bringing of proceedings a mistake. $8,000 (19 August 2013)
Meek v Ministry of Social Development [2013] NZHRRT 28 HRA – plaintiff self-represented – two day hearing – claim dismissed – not an appropriate case for costs – good faith not seriously challenged – fragile state of health – plaintiff in need of understanding and compassion. Costs refused (16 September 2013)
Rafiq v Commissioner of Inland Revenue (Costs) [2013] NZHRRT 30 PA – plaintiff self-represented – did not appear at the hearing – finding that he had clearly and egregiously breached the standards to be expected of a litigant and therefore to be denied a declaration – successful defendant incurred fees of $17,540.84 plus disbursements of $644.67 but indemnity costs not sought – defendant sought $8,560 and disbursements of $644.67. $9,204.67 (18 September 2013)
Rafiq v Commissioner of Police (Costs) [2013] NZHRRT 31 PA – plaintiff self-represented – did not appear at the hearing – finding that plaintiff had pursued tactics to ensure proceedings as difficult and protracted as he could make them – rejection of reasonable and responsible settlement offer – successful defendant incurred fees of $25,268.63 plus disbursements of $502.23 but indemnity costs not sought – defendant sought $13,130 and disbursements of $502.23. $13,632.23 (18 September 2013)
Rafiq v MBIE (Costs) [2013] NZHRRT 32 PA – plaintiff self-represented – did not appear at the hearing – MBIE represented by in-house litigation solicitor – $5,000 sought as a reasonable contribution – indemnity costs could have been justified but were not sought – a clear case in which increased costs were justified - $5,000 possibly too modest. $5,000 (18 September 2013)
Rafiq v Department of Internal Affairs (Costs) [2013] NZHRRT 33 PA – plaintiff self-represented – did not appear at the hearing – defendant represented by in-house litigation solicitor – $2,500 sought as a reasonable contribution – indemnity costs could have been justified but were not sought – a clear case in which increased costs were justified - $2,500 possibly too modest. $2,500 (18 September 2013)
Geary v ACC (Costs) [2013] NZHRRT [39] PA – plaintiff legally aided – four day hearing – post-hearing submissions requested by Tribunal – plaintiff successful on nearly every aspect of his case – ACC’s own legal costs in excess of $50,000 – plaintiff’s legal aid costs $18,000 with disbursements of $612.95. $18,612.95 (14 November 2013)
Nakarawa v AFFCO New Zealand Ltd (Costs) [2014] NZHRRT 15 HRA (appeal filed 26 March 2014) – plaintiff represented – one day hearing followed by further attendances – plaintiff comprehensively successful but proceedings not inherently complex – notional claim of $7,500. $4,500 (17 April 2014)
DML v Montgomery (Costs) [2014] NZHRRT 18 HRA (appeal filed 13 March 2014; appeal discontinued on 9 June 2014) – plaintiff represented by Director of Human Rights Proceedings – three day hearing – plaintiff awarded declaration together with damages of $25,000.  Restraining and training orders made against defendants – no particular circumstances of complexity and significance – Director sought average award of $3,750 per day. $11,250 (6 May 2014)
Andrews v Commissioner of Police (Costs) [2014] NZHRRT 31 PA – (appeal dismissed in Commissioner of Police v Andrews [2015] NZHC 745) two day hearing – plaintiff self-represented and serving custodial sentence – test case – plaintiff wholly unsuccessful – benefit of decision to the advantage of the Police – actual costs $21,000 – between $7,500 and $10,000 sought from plaintiff as a reasonable contribution. Costs refused (5 August 2014)
Director of Proceedings v Nelson (Costs) [2014] NZHRRT 33 HDCA – five day hearing – eight breaches of Code or Rights alleged (21 particulars) – only one breach established – declaration of breach but damages refused – defendant on civil legal aid – Director not awarded costs – defendant seeking $10,000 plus $3,152 expert witness fee – awarded $5,000 costs comprising $3,152 for expert and the balance underlining duplication and overcharging factors. $5,000 (11 August 2014)
NOP & TUV v Chief Executive, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (Costs) [2014] NZHRRT 36 PA – five day hearing – each party enjoying a measure of success and of failure – plaintiffs seeking $2,000 (actual $23,000) and defendant seeking between $7,500 and $10,000 – procedural history discounted as each side bore a measure of blame– novel point of some significance in the administration of the immigration legislation – analogy with public interest litigation pursued reasonably. Costs refused to both parties (12 August 2014)
Gravatt v Bulmer (Costs) [2014] NZHRRT 42 HDCA – plaintiff self-represented – Tribunal giving notice of jurisdiction issue – defendant taking jurisdiction point – papers hearing resulting in statement of claim being struck out – successful defendant incurred fees of $12,057.86 – sought $3,600 – case arising out of tragic events and plaintiff establishing strong compassionate grounds. $1,500 (10 September 2014)
Director of Human Rights Proceedings v Valli and Hughes[2014] NZHRRT 58 PA – half day hearing – defendants did not participate – counsel for Director required to travel from Wellington to Invercargill – sought $1,420.50 disbursements together with $1,875 for the hearing. $3,295.50 (15 December 2014)
Meulenbroek v Vision Antenna Systems Ltd (Costs) [2015] NZHRRT 3 HRA – plaintiff represented by Director of Human Rights Proceedings – four day hearing – plaintiff successful in every respect – two Calderbank offers by Director should have been accepted – evidence produced in support of defence fell well short of satisfying the civil standard of proof – Director seeking $13,125.00 hearing fee, $3,689.12 travel and accommodation costs for counsel in Invercargill and $812.00 travel costs for witness. $17,626.12 (19 February 2015)
Director of Human Rights Proceedings v Schubach [2015] NZHRRT 4 PA – plaintiff represented by Director of Human Rights Proceedings – one day hearing – plaintiff successful in every respect – defendant’s challenge to jurisdiction rejected – defendant did not otherwise participate in or attend hearing. $3,750 (19 February 2015)
Satnam Singhv Shane Singh and Scorpion Liquor (2006) Ltd[2015] NZHRRT 8 HRA – plaintiff represented by Director of Human Rights Proceedings – one day hearing – plaintiff successful in every respect – defendants did not participate in or attend hearing. [Decision set aside on 2 June 2015 and re-hearing ordered] $3,750 (9 March 2015)
Taylor v Orcon Ltd (Costs) [2015] NZHRRT 32 PA – plaintiff represented – one day hearing – plaintiff successful in every respect – claim of $7,519.12 inclusive of disbursements. $5,500 (23 July 2015)
Director of Human Rights Proceedings v Crampton (Costs) [2015] NZHRRT 39 PA – defendant on legal aid – hearing 2.5 days – plaintiff successful in every respect – claim of $3,937.50 for pre-legal aid period and a “but for legal aid” order for $8,257.90 sought for legal aid period. Costs refused and “but for legal aid” order refused (9 September 2015)
Holmes v Housing New Zealand Corporation (Costs) [2015] NZHRRT 42 PA (appeal dismissed 26 November 2015) – plaintiff self-represented – two day hearing – plaintiff awarded declaration of interference with privacy but only small amount of damages – claim for $150 disbursements. $100 (11 September 2015)
McClelland v Schindler Lifts NZ Ltd [2015] NZHRRT 45 HRA – plaintiff represented by lay agent – plaintiff successful in every respect – claim for disbursements of $283.94 $283.94 (9 October 2015)
Scarborough v Kelly Services (NZ) Ltd (Costs) [2016] NZHRRT 3 HRA – plaintiff self-represented – two day hearing – plaintiff unsuccessful – plaintiff suffering from mental disability – $10,500 claimed by first defendant Costs refused (24 February 2016)
McCreath v Attorney-General (Costs) [2016] NZHRRT 4 HRA – plaintiff self-represented – serving custodial sentence – claim withdrawn two days before hearing – plaintiff recidivist dishonesty offender with no possibility of paying order – $5,000 claimed by defendant Costs refused (24 February 2016)
Sansom v Department of Internal Affairs [2016] NZHRRT 17 PA – plaintiff self-represented – three day hearing – each party successful in part Costs refused (11 May 2016)
Lohr v Accident Compensation Corporation (Costs) [2016] NZHRRT 36 PA – plaintiff self-represented – two day hearing – defendant successfully discharged burden of proving the withheld information fell within the exceptions in ss 27(1)(c) and 29(1)(a) - $15,000 claimed by defendant Costs refused (17 November 2016)
Satnam Singh v Shane Singh and Scorpion Liquor (2006) Ltd [2016] NZHRRT 38 HRA – plaintiff represented by Director of Human Rights Proceedings – three day hearing – plaintiff successful in part – claim for $15,000 plus $1,789.41 disbursements – further claim for $3,750 for wasted costs $15,539.41 (23 December 2016)
Tan v New Zealand Police (Costs) [2017] NZHRRT 1 PA - plaintiff self-represented - two day hearing - defendant successfully discharged burden of proving exceptions tp Princliples 2, 3 and 11 - $4,000 claimed by Police $1,500 (24 January 2017)
Waxman v Pal (Costs) [2017] NZHRRT 3 PA - plaintiff and defendant self-represented - twoday hearing - $3,930.20 claimed by defendant for disbursements and lost earnings for witnesses $956.20 (25 January 2017)
Wall v Fairfax New Zealand Ltd (Costs) [2017] NZHRRT 28 HRA - plaintiff represented - four day hearing - plaintiff unsuccessful - claim by defendant of $45,000 as a contribution to actuial costs amounting to $155,839.89 (inclusive of disbursements of $27,437.44) Costs refused - case of public importance (31 July 2017)

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