New Zealand has no statutory or regulatory framework that specifically deals with class or representative actions, which is why NZ claimants have relied on High Court rules as the mechanism to bring a representative action.

The Courts considered, before Ross v Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited, the rule permitted only an opt-in action for the group. The recent decision by the Court of Appeal in Ross, however, not only confirms opt-out actions are available but suggests that opt-out actions should be the default for representative actions.

The issue is likely to be further clarified with the Ross case appeal, which is set down for hearing in the High Court on 23 and 24 March.

In this update, Michael Cavanaugh explores how the New Zealand representative actions landscape is changing.

Click below to read our full update.