The Disputes Tribunal is quicker, cheaper and less formal than court. You can use the Tribunal to settle small claims up to $30,000.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, local courthouses are only open to essential services and will not be accepting physical Disputes Tribunal application documents for filing. However, during the lockdown period the ability to file a Disputes Tribunal application online will still remain.

Please note:

• Any Disputes Tribunal applications received may not receive registry attention until after the lockdown period has concluded.

• All existing hearings scheduled to be heard during the Covid-19 lockdown period will not be proceeding. Parties will receive new Notices of Hearing from the Ministry once the lockdown period has been lifted.


  • About the Tribunal »

    The Disputes Tribunal isn't like a formal court. You usually represent yourself in a hearing - a lawyer can’t represent you, and there are no judges.

  • What the Tribunal can help with »

    You can use the Disputes Tribunal to settle disputes involving small claims so you don't have to go to court.

  • How to make a claim »

    You'll need to fill out a form plus pay a fee and give us specific information to make a claim.

  • When a claim is made against you »

    What to do if you've gotten a notice of hearing that someone has made a claim against you in the Disputes Tribunal.

  • Going to a hearing »

    How to prepare for a hearing at the Disputes Tribunal and what happens at a hearing.

  • Forms & fees »

    Fees to apply to the Disputes Tribunal depend on the amount the claim is for.

  • Contact us »

    You can find a Disputes Tribunal at almost every District Court in New Zealand - they share the same contact details with the court.

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