In New Zealand, if you want to operate lawfully with your transportation services, you need to acquire and maintain a Transportation Service Licence (“TSL”) by virtue of the Land Transportation Act, 1998. TSL’s are issued to people who are “Fit and Proper” and can also be revoked after issuance by NZTA if the TSL Holder ceases to be Fit and Proper. Such scenarios of revocation can often lead to the end of many businesses.
Why does NZTA revoke a TSL?
Generally, the test for the revocation of a TSL is that the NZTA considers whether the TSL Holder is fit and proper or not. In addition to that, NZTA has been granted a right to consider any matter which it deems necessary for the purpose of revocation of a TSL. The routine matters do include:
- Any criminal history including the ones in which the charges are not yet convicted;
- Any complains made against the TSL Holder with regards to his transportation service;
- Any criminal offense being committed during the course of the transport service;
- Any prior records of the TSL Holder where he has not paid challans;
- Any severe behavioural problems by a TSL Holder. For example: extremely rash driving, road raging, etc.
As a matter of procedure, NZTA is obligated to provide a TSL Holder with a warning notice prior to revocation of his licence. Thereafter, the TSL Holder is identified mechanically and system wise and then provide a TSL Holder with responsibilities to get back to scratch. During such times, a TSL Holder do have a chance to defend himself before NZTA making them not revoke his licence.
What if TSL is revoked?
In case if NZTA is not convinced by the submissions of a TSL Holder, NZTA revokes the licence through a decision. In such a scenario, a TSL Holder have two remedies available. These are:
- File an Appeal in the District Court against the NZTA’s Decision of revocation of licence. The Appeal is heard by the Court and a proper procedure is followed. The only downside of this remedy is that the District Court does not have the power to grant interim relief to the Appellant. This means that the Court can only turn down the decision of NZTA with the final decision of the Appeal rather than granting temporary relief to the Appellant till the final outcome of the Appeal.
- File a Judicial Review in the High Court challenging such revocation on the grounds that NZTA has acted beyond the powers it has been granted by law. Such remedy is preferred usually because the High Court has the power to grant temporary relief to the Appellant.
Urgent need for an attorney
Revocation of TSL for a person can be a set-back for several businesses which are exclusively dependant on these TSLs because of the nature of their service. It is therefore ideal to consult an attorney before any such revocation takes place or in the cases where the TSL has been revoked, for the purpose of appeal, it is highly recommended to appoint an attorney so the appeal may be filed in time. Fortune Manning has a team who deals exclusively with the Transport related issues.