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


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news