Class Actions in New Zealand: An Empirical Study

New Zealand Business Law Quarterly Volume 24, Issue Number 2, Pages 132 - 165, 2018

Posted: 31 Jan 2019

Date Written: June 1, 2018

Abstract

This article contains the first empirical study on opt-in class actions, which are referred to as representative actions, filed under r 4.24 of the High Court Rules 2016 in the New Zealand High Court and the New Zealand Employment Court. The findings of this study reveal that opt-in class actions are now part of the New Zealand legal landscape in substance, if not in name. In particular, the data reflects the rise of consumer class actions in New Zealand, which, in part, have been assisted by litigation funders entering into the market. However, despite an increase in opt-in class actions, New Zealand’s civil procedure mechanism for managing class action litigation is inefficient, uneconomic and creates significant uncertainty for all class action stakeholders. This article examines the empirical data, the trends in the data, and the reasons for those trends. It concludes by discussing why reform is required against the backdrop of this study and New Zealand’s procedural process values as contained in the High Court Rules.

Keywords: Class Actions, Litigation Funding, Civil Procedure

Suggested Citation

Chamberlain, Nicole Allyson, Class Actions in New Zealand: An Empirical Study (June 1, 2018). New Zealand Business Law Quarterly Volume 24, Issue Number 2, Pages 132 - 165, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3321519

Nicole Allyson Chamberlain (Contact Author)

University of Auckland Law School ( email )

Private Bag 92019
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://https://unidirectory.auckland.ac.nz/profile/n-chamberlain

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