Google “Thumbs its Nose” at New Zealand’s Courts: Kiwis Should Look to Canada for a Precedent – Hugh Stephens

6 06 2018

Google is at it again. According to press reports in the New Zealand Herald, Google refused to comply with a New Zealand court order to suppress details and remove content related to a local murder trial because, according to a representative of Google NZ, “Google LLC, was a separate legal entity incorporated in the US, meaning New Zealand’s courts and laws held no power over it.” Tell that to the Supreme Court of Canada. Read the rest of this entry »





New Zealand defamation law: half-year update – Ali Romanos

9 06 2017

As New Zealand enters (what we’ll call) the Chilly Winter Term, it is timely to observe some important judgments released recently. Developments have mainly favoured defendants.  Read the rest of this entry »





New Zealand Defamation Law: 2016 in review – Ali Romanos

4 01 2017

2016-reviewNew Zealand courts heard several trials and important interlocutory battles in 2016.  Political defamation cases were a feature.  The most prominent case was that brought by Taxpayers’ Union director Jordan Williams against former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig.  Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, New Zealand: Wishart v Murray, Social media libel, Justice Courtney’s Christmas gift for practitioners – Ali Romanos

19 01 2016

FB-twitter pic (2)In Wishart v Murray and ors ([2015] NZHC 3363) – the latest instalment of New Zealand’s leading case on social-media liability, now entering its fourth calendar year of interlocutory skirmishing – Courtney J confronted vexed issues in social-media-borne proceedings. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, New Zealand: CPA Australia Limited v The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, Trial by accountant – Ali Romanos

4 09 2015

angry-cpaThe Wellington High Court trial between New Zealand’s two professional accounting bodies has ended in victory – albeit somewhat pyrrhic – for the defendant.  In a 61 page judgment in CPA Australia v NZICA [2015] NZHC 1854 Dobson J held that, whilst NZICA representatives had made some indefensible disparaging remarks, CPAA’s inability to establish pecuniary loss meant its claims could not be made out. Read the rest of this entry »





Is New Zealand the Libel World’s most plaintiff friendly jurisdiction? – Ali Romanos

25 08 2015

FlagNew Zealand defamation law strikingly favours plaintiffs.  Sure, the Thai monarchy could be said to enjoy a certain degree of power, in view of the 25-year prison sentence imposed earlier this year on a businessman for some Facebook musings.  But compared at least to their more temperate Common Law brothers and sisters, plaintiffs in New Zealand enjoy considerable advantages.  Read the rest of this entry »





New Zealand Passes Harmful Digital Communications Act – Tim Sissons

27 07 2015

KeyboardThe New Zealand Harmful Digital Communications Act received Royal Assent on 2 July 2015. The offence of causing harm by posting digital communication, the safe harbour provisions, and the amendments to other legislation (including the Privacy Act) came into force immediately. Read the rest of this entry »





Privacy Issues in New Zealand: Sex with the Office Lights on – Nicole Moreham

13 02 2015

office-romp-1200Everyone in New Zealand was talking about the law of privacy last week.  This was not because of an important new Supreme Court decision or an interesting legislative proposal.  It was because the previous Friday night, two colleagues in a Christchurch insurance firm had late-evening sex in their office, with the lights on, in full view of a pub full of people across the road. Read the rest of this entry »





New Zealand: The Blogger and the Journalist, “Whale Oil” in the Courts – Steven Price

2 11 2014

newlogoThe Whale certainly created a splash in the last New Zealand election. More accurately, it was investigative journalist Nicky Hager and his book Dirty Politics that created the splash. The Whale – controversial right-wing blogger Cameron Slater and his Whale Oil blog, whose emails were leaked to Mr Hager – copped most of the spray. (I should disclose that I act for Nicky Hager). Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, New Zealand: Murray v Wishart, Web hosts’ defamation liability restricted – Steven Price

22 09 2014

FacebookIn the significant New Zealand Court of Appeal decision in Murray v Wishart ([2014] NZCA 461) the judges unanimously ruled that a third party publisher (the owner of a Facebook page that contained comments by others) was not liable for other people’s comments simply because he “ought to have known” that they contain defamatory material (even if he didn’t actually know of the content of the comments). Read the rest of this entry »