Arbitration in New Zealand—recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards
Produced in partnership with Tim Stephens of Stout Street Chambers
Arbitration in New Zealand—recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Tim Stephens of Stout Street Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Arbitration in New Zealand—recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards
  • Enforcement of awards
  • Enforcement by action
  • Enforcement by entry of the award as a judgment
  • Pro-enforcement approach to foreign awards by New Zealand courts

The recognition and enforcement of both New Zealand and foreign arbitral awards in New Zealand is governed by Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act), Sch 1, arts 35 and 36. These articles essentially incorporate the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (the New York Convention) into New Zealand law. In accordance with this regime, an arbitral award must be recognised as binding by a New Zealand court, irrespective of the country in which it was made. Accordingly, arbitral awards made overseas are recognised and can be enforced in New Zealand.

Recognition of a foreign award is an automatic consequence of the provisions of art 35 and does not require the award to be entered as a judgment of the New Zealand court. Accordingly, where a party seeks to defend new proceedings on the basis of a cause of action or issue estoppel arising from a prior arbitral award, the party may simply request recognition of the award in the new proceedings. A New Zealand court will recognise the award, as long as the award meets the requirements contained in arts 35(2) and 36 (which are the criteria to be met to obtain enforcement), without the need to apply for enforcement.

The procedure for the enforcement of both domestic and foreign arbitral awards in New Zealand are both the same. The New