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23 March 2015

Australia v New Zealand: Introducing the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010

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Australia and New Zealand have always had a close relationship. It is not uncommon for parties to have lived and/or owned property in both jurisdictions. So what happens when things fall apart, parties separate and orders are made in either Australia or New Zealand?

Both Australia and New Zealand have introduced legislation aimed at facilitating recognition of civil orders made in Australia in New Zealand and vice versa.  In both countries the relevant legislation is known as the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010.  You can follow the link to view a copy of the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 (Australia) or Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 (New Zealand).

The legislation is useful in circumstances where property orders have been made in one jurisdiction a party needs to enforce them in another jurisdiction, for example where property orders are made in New Zealand and include orders relating to a property owned by the parties in Australia. This legislation now allows the foreign property orders to be registered and enforced in the other jurisdiction eliminating the need for parties to commence proceedings in that jurisdiction to have the original order enforced. It represents a significant saving of parties in terms of both time and cost.

The Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 also sets out the process for service of subpoena issued in an Australian Court on someone in New Zealand and vice versa. Under the Australian legislation it is necessary first to obtain the leave of the Court prior to service in New Zealand. The Court will look at, among other things, the significance of the evidence to be given and whether that evidence could be obtained by cheaper more convenient means.

If you have any questions about property matters please make an appointment with one of our solicitors.

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