Chapter 2
Judicial review


2.1Nobody questions the fundamental importance of the judicial review powers of the High Court. In New Zealand, the inherent jurisdiction of that court is still intact. However, nearly all applications for judicial review are made under the Judicature Amendment Act 1972 (1972 Amendment Act). That is essentially a “process” statute, and does not interfere as such with the grounds on which judicial review may be sought in the High Court.

2.2Hence, the 1972 Amendment Act is one of two sources of jurisdiction for the Court to review exercises of public power that might affect rights, interests or expectations. It enables the High Court to review the exercise of a “statutory power”. However, the Court has a concurrent and wider jurisdiction under the common law to review exercises of “public power”.

2.3In Wilson v White, the Court of Appeal reaffirmed that judicial review in New Zealand extends to all actions by public or private sector bodies that have public consequences and involve public law principles.17  In other words, in practice the High Court is less concerned with the source of power than with the nature and consequences of the power.
17Wilson v White [2005] 1 NZLR 189 (CA) at [21].