The investigation meeting
Investigation meetings are not as formal as a Court hearing. They are usually held in the Employment Relations Authority offices in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch but members also travel to other cities or towns as necessary.
You can bring friends, whanau or supporters. You can present your own case or have a representative do it for you. The Authority member will run the meeting so that no one is disadvantaged if they do not have a representative.
What to expect
At the start of the meeting, the Authority member will make introductions and outline how the meeting will proceed and determine the order in which people will speak.
The Authority member will then ask questions of both parties, about the facts they provided in the Statement of Problem and Statement in Reply.
- View video: Taking matters to the Employment Relations Authority: Part 1: What to expect, on Victoria University of Wellington YouTube channel
Giving information and presenting evidence
You may be asked to give information or present evidence at the investigation meeting. The Authority member may ask you to provide this verbally or to prepare a written statement beforehand. You will usually be asked to swear that the information or evidence you provide is the truth.
You or your representative may ask the Authority to make more inquiries about the evidence or anything else relevant to the investigation. The Authority will consider these proposals and respond as it thinks best.
- View video: Taking matters to the Employment Relations Authority: Part 2: The applicant’s evidence on Victoria University of Wellington YouTube channel
- View video: Taking matters to the Employment Relations Authority: Part 3: The respondent’s evidence on Victoria University of Wellington
Every person who provides a witness statement is required to attend the investigation meeting. If a witness cannot attend the investigation meeting, the Authority member will decide how they will hear that evidence, such as by phone or video link.
To make the facts clear and check that the information given is correct, the Authority member will usually ask witnesses questions about their statements. The Authority member must allow the parties to ask additional questions if these are relevant and have not already been asked. Cross examination of a party or person is also permitted.
End of investigation meeting
At the end of the meeting, you or your representative may sum up by making points about the information gathered by the Authority.
When summing up, you may refer to any applicable legal principles. A citation of any case law should be given if you choose not to present a copy of the decision. In some cases, you may be invited to make submissions in writing after the meeting.
- View video: Taking matters to the Employment Relations Authority: Part 4: End of the investigation meeting on Victoria University of Wellington YouTube
Parties who fail to attend
The Authority member can proceed with an investigation meeting if, without good reason, a party fails to attend or be represented. If the applicant does not attend the investigation meeting, the matter may be dismissed and the applicant may have to pay costs.
If the respondent does not attend the investigation meeting, the Authority member may, without hearing further evidence from the respondent, issue a determination. The Authority member makes a determination based on all the information put before the investigation meeting, so it is important that all parties attend and present their evidence.
The applicant pays the cost of the meeting fees. Most investigation meetings take one day or less. The first day is free. For each half day after that, there is a fee of $153.33. The forms and fees page has further information on fees.