Apply for urgency

What is an application for an urgent inquiry?

An application for urgency is a particular kind of application that can be made to the Waitangi Tribunal. ‘Urgency’ in this instance is a way to prioritise the hearing of certain claims ahead of other claims. The Tribunal will grant an urgent hearing only in exceptional cases.

What information is needed?

If you would like to apply for an urgent inquiry the applicants will need to provide the Tribunal with the following information:

  • The specific reasons why an urgent inquiry hearing is sought;
  • Whether the applicants application relates to a whole claim or a group of claims, or to part of a claim or a group of claims;
  • Whether the applicants are ready to be heard or whether any research first needs to be carried out or completed
  • Information about any research which needs to be carried out first
  • Any people or groups the applicants believe should be notified by the Tribunal because they are affected by the application; and
  • Any other information that is relevant to the application.

You will need to show:

  • That the applicants are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant and irreversible prejudice as a result of current or pending Crown actions;
  • That there is no alternative remedy that, in the circumstances, it would be reasonable to exercise; and
  • That the applicants are ready to proceed urgently to a hearing.

This information must be produced in writing, and be signed by all named claimants to a claim. It will also need to be as specific as possible. Once this information is received it will be assessed. If further information is needed, you will be notified.

Sending in your application

You should send your application to the Registrar and a copy to the Crown.

Registrar

Postal address:
The Registrar
Waitangi Tribunal
SX 11237
Wellington

Email: WT.Registrar@justice.govt.nz

Crown Law Office

Postal address:
Treaty Issues and International Law Team
Crown Law Office
PO Box 2858
Wellington 6140

Facsimile: 04 470 4407
Email: treaty.issues@crownlaw.govt.nz

What happens after you apply

Once the Tribunal is satisfied that the information you have provided addresses the requirements noted above, the Crown will be generally be given an opportunity to respond to your application. Following the Crown’s response, you will be given a chance to make a final reply to the Crown.

Your application may be decided based on your written information or there may be an opportunity to make submissions in person, or over the phone. Once everyone has had their say, the Tribunal will issue their decision on your application.

Prior to making its decision, the Tribunal may consider whether the parties are open to alternative resolution, such as informal hui or a formal mediation.

The criteria the Tribunal applies

In considering whether to grant urgency to an application for a remedies hearing, the Tribunal has regard to a number of factors. Of particular importance is whether:

  • the claimants can demonstrate that they are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant and irreversible prejudice if a remedies hearing is not urgently convened;
  • there is no alternative remedy that, in the circumstances, it would be reasonable for the claimants to exercise; and
  • the claimants can demonstrate that they are ready to proceed urgently to hearing.

Find out more in the Tribunal’s Guide to Practice and Procedure [PDF, 558 KB]

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