COURT

Disputes Tribunal applications now online

Monday 1 October 2012, 4:29PM
By Chester Borrows
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Courts Minister Chester Borrows announced today that people can now lodge claims and counterclaims with the Disputes Tribunal and pay their fee online.

“In a digital world, New Zealanders expect to access information and services via the internet, with all the convenience and speed that brings.  Moving Disputes Tribunal applications online will deliver that level of service for the over,” says Mr Borrows.

“It is another step away from a system where people have to go to courthouses for most services, and another step towards one that uses technology and infrastructure more effectively and has more efficient courtroom processes.”

The Disputes Tribunal provides a place for people to resolve disputes that is cheaper, faster, and less formal than the court system. It receives upwards of 15,000 new applications each year, covering disputes of up to $15,000, or up to $20,000 if both parties agree.

“The internet has revolutionised the way New Zealanders access services and information in recent years but up until now we’ve been requiring people to come to courts for most things.  This is old-fashioned and out-of-step with public expectations. Today’s changes are another step towards bringing courts firmly into the 21st Century.”

The move comes on the heels of another recent online initiative that allows people to dispute infringement notices via email using a form that can be downloaded.  In just the first month since coming into effect, 40% of applications were been received online, and 99.7% have been processed within 24 hours.

“This is a great example of both the public appetite for online services, and the improved services they offer, which I’m pleased we can now extend to the Disputes Tribunal,” says Mr Borrows.

The ability to post applications to the court will not change and counter services will still be available for people who prefer to lodge their applications in that way.