Making the determination

The Authority’s decision on a matter is called a "determination". Determinations are legally binding.

At the end of the investigation meeting, the Authority Member may make an oral determination or give an oral indication of what the determination is likely to be.

The final written determination will be issued by email or post to both parties or their representatives.

Find a determination

Determinations are public documents unless a non-publication order has been granted.

Public determinations and summaries of employment law cases from 2005 on are published on our employment law database.

Search for copies of determinations (external link)

Awarding remedies and costs

In the determination, the Authority Member has the power to award a range of remedies, including:

  • interim reinstatement
  • reinstatement
  • reimbursement of lost wages
  • compensation
  • compliance
  • penalties
  • interest
  • if the filing fee should be reimbursed and who must contribute to the cost of representation.

Awarding remedies and costs

Enforcing the determination

If one party fails to comply with the determination, or you believe there is a strong likelihood they won't comply, the other party can ask their Authority Officer for:

  • a Certificate of Determination – they can then file an application in the District Court for enforcement, or
  • a Compliance Order.


  • If you haven't been paid money you were awarded

    Check the determination to see if it has a timeframe for payment. If no time period is given then a reasonable timeframe (usually 28 days) applies.

    You have two options to enforce payment:

    1. Contact your local Authority office and request a Certificate of Determination. You can file this certificate in the District Court in support of enforcement proceedings.
    2. Lodge a new application seeking compliance with the Authority’s determination. You will need to lodge a completed statement of problem and pay the filing fee.

If you are not happy with the outcome

Challenge the determination in the Employment Court

Any party to a determination can challenge the determination in the Employment Court.

You must apply to the Employment Court within 28 days of the date of the Authority's determination.

You can challenge:

  • specific parts of the determination, or
  • the whole determination – this is called a de novo challenge.

Filing a challenge to a determination does not operate as a stay of proceedings on the determination of the Authority unless the Employment Court or Authority issues a stay.

Employment Court of New Zealand(external link)

Beyond the Employment Court

In certain defined circumstances, the Employment Court's judgment can be appealed through the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Court of Appeal(external link)

Supreme Court(external link)

Reopening of an investigation

In limited circumstances you may be able to apply to have an Authority investigation reopened.

A new form must be lodged and a fee paid.

Form 6 – Application for an investigation to be reopened [DOCX, 24 KB]

Our fees

The party applying for reopening must be able to establish there is a real or substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice. If the reasons given for a reopening application are really grounds for a challenge to the Employment Court (for a hearing there), it is unlikely reopening would be granted by the Authority.

Examples of when reopening may be granted by the Authority are where there may be a real difference to the outcome because:

  • a relevant statute or legal principle was overlooked or misapplied in the determination
  • significant new evidence has become available that could not reasonably have been provided to the earlier investigation meeting
  • there is some other special interest of justice that requires the matter to be looked at again.