3.2 Reported cases
Z v Dental Complaints Assessment Committee
 NZSC 55,
Eg Z v Dental Complaints Assessment Committee  NZSC 55,  1 NZLR 1 at .
Eg Body Corporate 202254 v Taylor  NZCA 317,  2 NZLR 17 at [76(c)].
Eg Taylor v New Zealand Poultry Board  1 NZLR 394 (CA) at 398.
3.2.1 Case name
Italicise the case name including the “v”. The “v” is short for versus but spoken as “and” in New Zealand and most Commonwealth countries.
(b) Parties’ names
Give the parties’ names exactly as they appear on the first page of the case in the law report, except:
(in stat man)
(in statutory management)
publicly listed company
Do not abbreviate other names, including “Attorney-General”, “Solicitor-General”, “Commissioner of Inland Revenue”, “Regional Council”, “District Council”, “City Council” or “Accident Compensation Corporation”.
If additional information about the parties is provided on the first page of the report, include this information.
Eg Re Gunson (A Bankrupt), ex parte Official Assignee  NZLR 187 (SC) at 194.
Eg Auckland City Council as Assignee of Body Corporate 16113 v Auckland City Council  1 NZLR 838 (HC) at .
(c) The Crown
When citing an unreported case and one of the parties is “The Queen”, abbreviate to “R”, which is short for Regina (or Rex in the case of “The King”). This rule applies to both criminal and civil cases.
Historically, the Queen was often listed as the first party irrespective of whether the Crown was the plaintiff/appellant or the defendant/respondent. This rule should no longer be followed. Simply give the name of the appellant/plaintiff first.
Eg Thompson v R (Private Prosecution)  NZAR 722 (HC) at .
When citing a reported case, give the case name as it appears in the report series for ease of reference, even if that format is different from the rules above.
Eg Thomas v The Queen  NZLR 34 (CA).
Eg R v Rongonui  2 NZLR 385 (CA) at .
Eg Rex v Crawford (1915) 17 GLR 505 (SC).
(d) Procedural phrases
Shorten procedural phrases such as “In re” and “In the matter of” to “Re”.
Eg Re Pettit  2 NZLR 513 (HC) at 515.
Do not abbreviate “ex parte”.
Eg Re Paterson, ex parte Kingston  1 NZLR 371 (HC).
(e) Common names
Cite cases with common names by giving the names of the parties in accordance with this rule. The common name may be italicised and enclosed in round brackets (in the main text) and in square brackets following the citation (in footnotes).
The common name follows the full citation, even if that name is included following the proper name in the law report (in which case it appears only after the citation). On second and subsequent references to the case refer to the common name.
Eg Simpson v Attorney-General  3 NZLR 667 (CA) [Baigent’s case].
(f) Abbreviated names
Cases with long case names, particularly if the case is referred to frequently, may be cited in the same manner as cases with common names by using an abbreviated name of your choosing which is used to refer to the case on second and subsequent references. If the chosen abbreviated name is obvious (for example, one of the parties’ names), it need not be noted in the citation when the case is first referred to. However, if the abbreviation of the name could cause confusion with other cases, note the abbreviated name after the citation by using a reference tag. The use of reference tags is discussed at rule 1.1.7(d).
Eg In He v Hard to Find But Worth the Effort Quality Second Hand Books (Wellington) Ltd (in liq) (Hard to Find – Distress)1 the Court of Appeal considered the effect of an unlawful distraint for non-payment of rent where the landlords later re-entered for non-payment of rent. In its earlier decision in the same litigation, He v Hard to Find But Worth the Effort Quality Second Hand Books (Wellington) Ltd (in liq) (Hard to Find – Strike-out),2 the Court was required … .
1 He v Hard to Find But Worth the Effort Quality Second Hand Books (Wellington) Ltd (in liq)  NZCA 509,  1 NZLR 626 [Hard to Find – Distress].
2 He v Hard to Find But Worth the Effort Quality Second Hand Books (Wellington) Ltd (in liq)  NZCA 565, (2007) 18 PRNZ 757 [Hard to Find – Strike-out].
(g) Undisclosed names
Where the names of one or more of the parties have been suppressed by court order, use the designation given by either the court or the report being used. In the rare case that there is a suppression order, but no designated way of referring to the name of the suppressed party, use the first letter of the party’s last name.
Eg T v H  3 NZLR 37 (CA).
Where one of the parties’ names is suppressed and a letter is used in place of that name, the Court of Appeal’s practice in criminal cases is to include the court file number in round brackets following the suppressed party’s name. This differentiates the case from other cases with the same name. Follow this practice when citing Court of Appeal decisions. The letter abbreviation is followed by a space, then the court file number in round brackets with no space between “CA” and the number.
Eg R v E (CA380/06)  NZCA 404,  3 NZLR 145.
to differentiate the case from, for example,
R v E (CA369/03) (2004) 20 CRNZ 847 (CA).
Some of the superior courts have developed a practice, particularly in family law cases, of giving the parties fictional names rather than using initials where there is a suppression order: Brown v Argyll  NZFLR 705 (HC) at – and White v Northumberland  NZFLR 1105 (CA) at . Where such an order has been made, use the fictional names.
Eg Basingstoke v Groot (2006) 26 FRNZ 707 (CA).
In other cases, rather than using fictional names, the court or the law report may include a description of the case following the parties’ names to help identify it from other similarly named cases. Include such descriptions in the case name as they appear in the law report or on the judgment.
Eg Re T (An Adoption)  1 NZLR 368 (HC).
The Family Court does not generally use fictional names. Instead, it identifies the parties by their full initials. When citing such a judgment, follow the Family Court’s practice. Give all initials, without spaces.
Eg KAB v PRJ FC Tauranga FAM-2008-070-1800, 17 February 2009.
The Family Court publishes a selection of cases on its website. When it does so, the parties may be given fictional names to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. Original versions of Family Court judgments with the parties’ correct names are available from the main online legal databases. When citing Family Court cases, cite from original versions of judgments with the parties’ correct names (and not from the versions on the Family Court website).
(h) Multiple cases with the same parties
Where there are multiple cases with the same parties heard by the same court, the court (or the law report) will sometimes add a number after the parties’ names to differentiate one case from another. Include this number in the citation. Any full stops should be removed in accordance with rule 1.1.2.
Eg Prebble v Awatere Huata (No 2)  NZSC 18,  2 NZLR 467.
If the number is given in the format “Judgment no”, remove the word “Judgment”.
Eg Equiticorp Industries Group Ltd (in stat man) v The Crown (No 47)  2 NZLR 481 (HC).
NOT Equiticorp Industries Group Ltd (in stat man) v The Crown (Judgment no 47)  2 NZLR 481 (HC).
(i) Consolidated cases
Consolidated cases involving more than one proceeding may be heard together, resulting in one judgment with two or more case names. Only cite the first or most common name. If it is necessary to refer to the second or less common name, this may be done in the text.
Eg South Pacific Manufacturing Co Ltd v New Zealand Security Consultants & Investigations Ltd  2 NZLR 282 (CA) at 301.
NOT South Pacific Manufacturing Co Ltd v New Zealand Security Consultants & Investigations Ltd; Mortensen v Laing  2 NZLR 282 (CA) at 301.
3.2.2 Neutral citation
(a) Insert if available
If the case being reported has an official neutral citation, include this after the case name. For information about when the various New Zealand courts and tribunals adopted neutral citations, see rules 3.3.3(b) and 3.3.3(c).
Eg R v Fonotia  NZCA 188,  3 NZLR 338 at .
When reporting earlier decisions without neutral citations, this information cannot be included. Some earlier decisions have been given what look like neutral citations by the New Zealand Legal Information Institute (NZLII), available at <www.nzlii.org>. These are not official and should not be used.
Eg Commerce Commission v Telecom Mobile Ltd  1 NZLR 190 (CA).
NOT Commerce Commission v Telecom Mobile Ltd  NZCA 218,  1 NZLR 190.
If a case has a neutral citation, it is usually included on the first page of the printed report.
Give the neutral citation in accordance with rule 3.3.
Separate the neutral citation and the reported citation with a comma.
Eg Chief Executive of Department of Labour v Yadegary  NZCA 295,  2 NZLR 495.
Where a footnote includes reference to multiple cases, separate each case with a semicolon.
Eg 10 Premium Real Estate Ltd v Stevens  NZSC 15,  2 NZLR 384 at ;
Chirnside v Fay  NZSC 68,  1 NZLR 433.
(a) Round or square brackets
Law reports may be organised by year or volume number.
If the law report is organised by year, the year in which the case is reported is enclosed in square brackets. This may not be the year in which the case was decided.
Eg Boat Park Ltd v Hutchinson  2 NZLR 74 (CA).
If the law report is organised by volume number, the year in which the case is decided is enclosed in round brackets. Where a case was heard in one year but the judgment was delivered in another, use the year the judgment was delivered. When citing from a law report organised by volume number, give the year the case was decided even if the law report recommends giving the year in which the judgment was reported.
Eg R v Connolly  NZCA 548, (2008) 24 NZTC 23,305.
NOT R v Connolly  NZCA 548, (2009) 24 NZTC 23,305.
When a case has a neutral citation and is published in a report series organised by volume number, include the year in both the neutral and report citation.
Eg Trustees Executors Ltd v QBE Insurance (International) Ltd  NZCA 53, (2011) 20 PRNZ 253.
(b) Change in law report structure
Some law reports have changed from being organised by volume number to being organised by year. In such instances, cite cases in accordance with the organisation of the report series at the time the case was reported.
The main New Zealand report series to change report structure are set out below.
(i) New Zealand Law Reports
Until 1916, the New Zealand Law Reports (NZLR) were organised by volume and not year.
Volumes 1 to 5 of the NZLR contain two separately numbered and separately paged parts. Court of Appeal cases appear first, followed by Supreme Court cases. Accordingly, cite cases in volumes 1 to 5 as follows:
Gray v Gray
Eg Gray v Gray (1887) 5 NZLR CA 111.
Do not give the court reference in brackets. It is an integral part of the citation as it distinguishes between cases that would otherwise have the same page number.
It is not necessary to include a court identifier at the end of the citation for cases in volumes 1 to 5.
Eg Williams v The Mayor and Corporation of the City of Wellington (1881) 3 NZLR CA 210.
Eg Zohrab v Fuller (1884) 3 NZLR SC 210.
In volumes 6 to 34, decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal are mixed within the volumes. Accordingly, cite volumes 6 to 34 in the ordinary way for law reports organised by volume number.
Eg Schnauer v The Congregational Union of New Zealand (1893) 12 NZLR 66 (SC).
1916– (Volumes 35–)
From 1916 onwards, the NZLR have been organised by year and not volume number. Despite this, some copies of the report have volume numbers printed on the spines of volumes after 1915. Nevertheless, cite all cases from 1916 (or volume 35) onwards by year.
Eg Round v Todd Motor Co  NZLR 495 (SC).
NOT Round v Todd Motor Co (1926) 45 NZLR 495 (SC).
Since 1973 more than one volume of the NZLR has been published each year (except for 1983) so a volume number must also be included.
Eg Waitemata Electric Power Board v King Builders Ltd  3 NZLR 357 (HC).
(ii) Gazette Law Reports
Prior to 1916, the Gazette Law Reports (GLR) were organised by volume number. Accordingly, cite volumes 1 to 17 in the ordinary way for law reports organised by volume number.
Eg Battersby v Wheatley (1914) 17 GLR 204 (CA).
From 1916 to 1953, the GLR were organised by year and are cited in the ordinary way for law reports organised by year.
Eg R Harding and Co Ltd (in liq) v Hamilton  GLR 225 (CA).
(iii) New Zealand Administrative Reports
Prior to 1990, the New Zealand Administrative Reports (NZAR) were organised by volume number. Accordingly, cite volumes 1 to 7 in the ordinary way for law reports organised by volume number.
Eg Accident Compensation Corporation v New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists (1988) 7 NZAR 421 (CA).
From 1991, the NZAR have been organised by year and are cited in the ordinary way for law reports organised by year.
Eg Apple Fields Ltd v New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board  NZAR 145 (PC).
3.2.4 Volume number
(a) Law reports organised by volume number
If the volumes of the law report are organised by volume number (as opposed to by year), cite the volume number after the year in which the case was decided.
Eg Scenic Developments Ltd v Kelmarna Properties Ltd (2004) 17 PRNZ 489 (CA).
(b) Law reports organised by year
If the volumes of the law report are organised by year (as opposed to by volume number) and there is more than one volume for a particular year, cite the volume number after the year. If there is only one volume for the year in question, do not give the volume number.
Eg Brogden v Attorney-General  NZAR 809 (CA).
NOT Brogden v Attorney-General  1 NZAR 809 (CA).
(c) Arabic numerals
Always give the volume number in arabic numerals even if the report series uses roman numerals.
Eg Re Horlick’s Malted Milk Co (1914) 34 NZLR 91 (SC).
NOT Re Horlick’s Malted Milk Co (1914) XXXIV NZLR 91 (SC).
3.2.5 Report series
Abbreviate the name of the law report. In the first instance, use the abbreviation provided by the report, removing all unnecessary punctuation. If the report does not provide an abbreviation, consult the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations, available at <www.legalabbrevs.cardiff.ac.uk>, for international reports. For New Zealand reports, use the Legal Citations for Aotearoa New Zealand database, available at <www.lcanz.auckland.ac.nz>.
(b) Series number
Some overseas reports have been published in a number of series. When citing such a report, indicate the series being cited in round brackets after the report abbreviation.
Eg Bazley v Curry (1999) 174 DLR (4th) 45 (SCC).
(c) Official series
Where a case appears in different reports, the official report series must be cited. Official report series are sanctioned by the courts of a particular country or by a body such as the New Zealand Council for Law Reporting.
In New Zealand, the official report series is the NZLR. Accordingly, where a Privy Council judgment on appeal from New Zealand is reported in both the NZLR and the AC (Appeal Cases), cite the NZLR report.
Eg Buchanan v Jennings  UKPC 36,  2 NZLR 577.
NOT Buchanan v Jennings  UKPC 36,  1 AC 115.
(d) Unofficial series
Where a case is not reported in an official report series, use an unofficial series.
Cite general report series in preference to subject-specific report series as they are generally more widely available. For example, citation to the All ER (All England Law Reports), the ALR (Australian Law Reports) and the DLR (Dominion Law Reports) is preferable where a case is not reported in an official report series.
Eg Ad Valorem Factors Ltd v Ricketts  EWCA Civ 1706,  1 All ER 894.
NOT Ad Valorem Factors Ltd v Ricketts  EWCA Civ 1706,  1 BCLC 1.
Cite to reports of full decisions in preference to citation to extracts or digests, such as Butterworths Current Law.
Eg Housing New Zealand Ltd v Waitakere City Council  NZRMA 202 (CA).
NOT Housing New Zealand Ltd v Waitakere City Council  BCL 152.
Eg Crown Dilum v Sutton  EWHC 52 (Ch),  1 BCLC 468.
NOT Crown Dilum v Sutton  EWHC 52 (Ch),  All ER (D) 222 (Jan).
Where a decision is reported in two unofficial subject-specific report series, either series may be cited. Where one series is more widely or easily available than the other, cite the more widely or easily available series.
(e) Early New Zealand report series
Before the New Zealand Law Reports began publishing cases, a number of earlier report series, including those listed below, reported New Zealand cases. Examples of citation to cases in those report series are given below.
Macassey's Reports (1861–1872)
Eg Bruce v Harris (1865) Mac 386 (SC).
Colonial Law Journal (1865–1875)
Eg Fooks v The Church Property Trustees (1865) 1 Col LJ 1 (SC).
New Zealand Court of Appeal Reports (1867–1877)
Eg Cameron v The Otago Daily Times and Writers Company (1867) 1 NZCAR 1.
New Zealand Jurist (1873–1879)
Eg Sinclair v The Queen (1872) 1 NZ Jur 29 (CA).
New Zealand Jurist Reports (New Series) (1875–1878)
Eg Brogden v Millar (1875) 1 NZ Jur (NS) 1 (CA).
3.2.6 Starting page
Give the first page of the case after the abbreviated form of the report series.
Do not use the word “page” or any abbreviation such as “p” or “pp” before the starting page.
Eg R v Cowie  3 NZLR 112 (HC).
Sometimes a report of a case includes a judgment immediately followed by an appeal under the same headnote. If citing the judgment that is reported first, give the page number of the first page of the report. If citing a subsequent appeal, give the page number of the page on which the appeal begins.
Eg WEL Energy Group Ltd v Electricity Corporation of New Zealand Ltd  2 NZLR 1 (HC).
Eg WEL Energy Group Ltd v Electricity Corporation of New Zealand Ltd  2 NZLR 13 (CA).
(b) Case number
If the case is identified by a unique case number, as cases reported in some CCH series are, use that reference instead of a starting page number. Such report series often call for a pilcrow sign (¶) to be used before the unique reference number.
Eg Blacker v National Australia Bank Ltd  FCA 254, (2001) 23 ATPR ¶41-817 at .
The Criminal Appeal Reports, the Criminal Appeal Reports (Sentencing), later volumes of the Fleet Street Reports and the Reports of Patent, Design and Trade Mark Cases also use case numbers. These reports give each case in each volume an identifying number.
Eg R v Wyner  2 Cr App R 3.
NOT R v Wyner  2 Cr App R 31.
R v Wyner is the third case reported in volume 2 of the 2001 Criminal Appeal Reports. The report does not start on page 3 but rather on page 31.
3.2.7 Court identifier
(a) Court identifier
When citing a case with a neutral citation, do not give a court identifier, as the court will be evident from the neutral citation.
Eg Muir v Commissioner of Inland Revenue  NZCA 334,  3 NZLR 495.
NOT Muir v Commissioner of Inland Revenue  NZCA 334,  3 NZLR 495 (CA).
However, when citing a case that does not have a neutral citation, identify the court that decided the case in brackets after the starting page. When using footnotes, the court identifier should appear in the footnote even if it is clear from the surrounding text in the body of the writing which court is being referred to. Give the court identifier before any pinpoint reference.
Eg Portland Holdings Ltd v Cameo Motors Ltd  NZLR 571 (CA) at 581.
Eg W v F (2009) 27 FRNZ 535 (FC).
Identify the court using an abbreviation. A list of court identifiers for New Zealand courts and tribunals is given in Appendix 1.
Before 1980 the High Court of New Zealand was called the Supreme Court of New Zealand. When citing a judgment of that Court use “SC” as the court identifier. The year of the judgment will indicate whether the decision is of that Court or of New Zealand’s court of final appeal established in 2004, also called the Supreme Court.
Eg Canterbury Frozen Meat Co Ltd v Waitaki Farmers' Freezing Co Ltd  NZLR 806 (SC) at 815.
Some report series only report decisions of a single court. When citing such series, do not include a court identifier. The main such report series are:
It is generally unnecessary to indicate the jurisdiction of the court deciding the case being cited, as this will be obvious from the report series. However, indicate the jurisdiction when citing a case from a multijurisdictional report series. For New Zealand cases, this may be done by placing “NZ” before the court identifier without a space.
Eg R v B  1 LRC 517 (NZCA).
Occasionally, a report series that predominantly reports cases from one jurisdiction will include a case from another. When citing such a case, include the jurisdiction.
Eg State v Pickering  NZAR 293 (Fiji HC).
Eg The “Tasman Discoverer”  2 Lloyd’s Rep 665 (NZHC).
When citing a case from the jurisdiction that such a report series predominantly reports, it is not necessary to include a jurisdiction identifier.
Eg Kastner v Jason  1 Lloyd’s Rep 397 (CA).
NOT Kastner v Jason  1 Lloyd’s Rep 397 (EWCA).
(a) Use of pinpoint
When the judgment being cited contains paragraph numbers, use the paragraph number for the pinpoint reference. Where the judgment does not contain paragraph numbers use the page number instead.
Where the pinpoint reference is to the first page of the report, repeat the first page number.
Eg Re Oliver (deceased)  NZLR 168 (SC) at 168.
Line numbers or letters may also be used when referring to reports which include them.
Eg Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v The Miller Steamship Co Pty  AC 617 (PC) at 639C–F.
The pinpoint reference follows the court identifier and is preceded by “at”.
When citing a paragraph number, enclose the number within square brackets. Square brackets indicate that the reference is to a paragraph number. Accordingly, do not include “para” or “paragraph” before the reference.
Eg Fairfax New Zealand Ltd v C  NZCA 39,  2 NZLR 368 at .
NOT Fairfax New Zealand Ltd v C  NZCA 39,  2 NZLR 368 at para 29.
Enclose paragraph numbers in square brackets even if the report or judgment being cited does not put paragraph numbers in brackets.
Eg Sempra Metals Ltd (formerly Metallgesellschaft Ltd) v Inland Revenue Commissioners  UKHL 34,  1 AC 561 at .
When citing a subparagraph, include both the paragraph number and the subparagraph letter within square brackets.
Eg Bartle v GE Custodians Ltd  NZCA 174,  3 NZLR 601 at [238(a)].
When citing a page number, do not use an abbreviation.
Eg Taylor v New Zealand Poultry Board  1 NZLR 394 (CA) at 398.
NOT Taylor v New Zealand Poultry Board  1 NZLR 394 (CA) at p 398.
When citing multiple paragraphs or pages, separate the numbers by commas with the final reference preceded by “and”.
Eg Burgess v Field  NZCA 547,  1 NZLR 733 at ,  and .
When citing a range of paragraphs or pages, separate the numbers by an en dash (–) without spaces. (The keyboard shortcut for an en dash on Windows computers is “Ctrl + - ” (where “-” is the minus symbol) and on Apple computers “Option + -” (where “-” is the hyphen symbol)). Do not elide the end of the paragraph or page range.
Eg Dairy Containers Ltd v NZI Bank Ltd  2 NZLR 30 (HC) at 92–98.
NOT Dairy Containers Ltd v NZI Bank Ltd  2 NZLR 30 (HC) at 92–8.
Eg R v Wanhalla  2 NZLR 573 (CA) at –.
3.2.9 Judge identifier
(a) Not required
The name of the judge who decided the case is not part of the case citation.
However, where reference to the judge or judges is deemed appropriate, it may be included after the court identifier and after the pinpoint reference, preceded by “per”.
Eg Mafart v Television New Zealand Ltd  NZSC 33,  3 NZLR 18 at  per Tipping J.
Eg Brown v Attorney-General  2 NZLR 405 (CA) at  per Anderson P, Hammond, Chambers and O’Regan JJ.
(b) Judges’ names
New Zealand superior court judges are referred to by their last name only, unless there are two current judges with the same name in which case include their first name. The Courts of New Zealand website, located at <www.courtsofnz.govt.nz>, can be used to ascertain whether a judge’s first name is used.
For more information see rule 1.1.6(d).
The following abbreviations of judicial office must appear after the judge’s name. However, those titles marked with an asterisk always appear in full before the judge’s name.
President of the Court of Appeal
(District Court) Judge
For more information on referring to judges see rule 1.1.6(d)(i).
If the reference is to a dissenting judgment, add “dissenting” after the judge’s name.
Eg Taunoa v Attorney-General  NZSC 70,  1 NZLR 429 at  per Elias CJ dissenting.
(e) Subsequent elevation
When identifying a judge, use his or her judicial office at the time of the decision. Do not use the phrase “as he was then” or “as she was then”.
3.2.10 Parallel citations
The neutral citation (where available) and the citation to the best report series must be provided. It is not generally necessary to include citations to further report series. However, this information may be included where appropriate.
Eg R v Jarden  NZSC 69,  3 NZLR 612 at .
Eg R v Jarden NZSC 69,  3 NZLR 612, (2008) 24 CRNZ 46 at .
3.2.11 Case history
The subsequent history of a case may, if necessary, be indicated after its citation by including the abbreviation “aff’d” for “affirmed” or the abbreviation “rev’d” for “reversed”. If the case name remains the same or the parties’ names are merely reversed, the name of the subsequent case is not required.
Eg Foodstuffs (Auckland) Ltd v Commerce Commission  1 NZLR 353 (CA); rev’d  UKPC 25,  1 NZLR 145.
Where the case name changes on appeal, include the name of the subsequent case.
Eg Auckland Electric Power Board v Electricity Corporation of New Zealand  1 NZLR 551 (CA); aff’d Mercury Energy Ltd v Electricity Corporation of New Zealand  2 NZLR 385 (PC).