Travel Industry Court Case Against Minister Dismissed

  • John Luxton
Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control

Judicial review proceedings brought against the Attorney General and the Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control by the Travel Industry Coalition (TIC) over consultation relating to cost recovery for border services was dismissed by the High Court in Wellington this morning.

The TIC sought to prevent Cabinet from considering a proposal to implement full cost recovery for passenger clearance services at the border until further and better consultation was carried out. The Crown is seeking to recover the cost of passenger, aircraft and vessel clearance activities carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Customs and the Immigration Service.

In an oral judgment, Justice Gallen held that although courts have no role in considering policy matters, they can ensure that the procedures adopted conform with the standards set by law or statute. However, he said that in the case before him, the process was not yet complete and courts would not become involved in hypothetical questions.

He held that he must take the Crown 's assurances that statutory consultation would occur at face value, but said that if this was not carried out properly the Court may give further consideration to the matter, including the validity of any regulations nor preceded by adequate consultation.

Justice Gallen said that until then, there was no decision to review and it was inappropriate for the Court to make the declarations sought. He concluded that the application was premature and the Crown was entitled to costs.