Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Diesel Liability Is A Straight Forward Issue

The Consumer Institute is wrong to discourage compensation claims for bad diesel losses, by suggesting it would be complicated and expensive, says ACT’s Justice and Commerce spokesman, Stephen Franks.

“Our common law system means a few cases can settle the principles for nearly everyone. All it needs is for judges to accept that those who bring the test cases must be compensated for the true costs and risks of bringing the case.

“For consumer claims the Consumer Guarantees Act would seem to make liability reasonably simple. The only difficult question would be making sure that claimants actually lost what they claimed. Sadly even businesses determined to be fair to their customers will face opportunist claims grossly exaggerating losses, just as insurers do. Disputes Tribunal applications are cheap and should work well for this purpose, but the draw back is they do not establish useful precedents.

“But, again, the courts could get on top of that quite quickly if they gave realistic costs awards for damages against claimants who falsely exaggerate their losses.

“For business claimants there might be argument from oil companies about the scope of their duty to avoid providing effective fuel, and the duty of users to limit losses once they have heard of the problem, but these sorts of claims are not at all novel.

“However, the key problem highlighted by the pessimism of the Consumers Institute, and apparent fatalism of Minister Hodgson, is that the New Zealand courts have been allowing wrongdoers to get away with low risk of court action. This is because even a successful test case for a relatively small claim can leave the winner seriously out of pocket.

“In my capacity as both Justice & Commerce spokesman I am constantly reminded that all the fancy new laws this Government is considering are just insult to injury given the practical inability to enforce contracts, debts and even court judgements.

“Once ACT has the power to do law reform we will concentrate on making the law mean what it says - instead of constantly inventing fanciful new rules.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Decision Day: Peters Chooses Labour

Winston Peters says he will form a Government in coalition with Labour and the Greens giving confidence and supply.

Peters said he had been offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other ministerial posts would go to his colleagues

He said economic and monetary policy changes were needed to face a coming economic downturn.>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election