Written by Shane

Created: 27 March 2019

What happens if a debtor leaves New Zealand and relocates to Australia owing a creditor money, in some instances a considerable sum.

Is all lost for the creditor?

The Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 in some circumstances may offer the solution.

A New Zealand registered judgment can be registered in Australia under the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010. The New Zealand judgment after registration, can be enforced against the creditor almost in a similar manner to the way the judgment can be enforced in New Zealand.

What are the steps involved in registering a New Zealand judgment in Australia where the amount owing to the creditor is at District Court level of $350,000.00 or less:

1. File ordinary proceedings or summary judgment proceedings in the District


2. Serve the proceedings upon the Defendant (if the debtor is still in New Zealand);

3. Later obtain judgment by default or judgment after hearing against the Defendant;

4. Obtain a certificate of judgment against the Defendant;

5. If the Defendant has since relocated to Australia, contact a solicitor in Australia with

    a request that the New Zealand judgment be registered against the Defendant under

    the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010;

Send to the solicitor in Australia a copy of the judgment obtained and certificate of

judgment, along with other relevant information such as the Defendants physical

address in Australia, contact phone numbers, email address and date of birth.

The solicitor in Australia will file an application using Form 5 – Application to register a judgment under the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 (subsection 17(1)) in a Local Court. Once the judgment has been registered, the creditor can proceed to enforce the judgment by filing applications similar to those that are used in New Zealand.