Cunliffe v Munroe [2019] NZDC 261

Published 11 July 2019

Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015, ss 3, 12 & 19 — harassment — order without notice — Official Information Act 1982 — Harmful Digital Communications Rules 2016 — NetSafe — Commerce Commission v Giltrap City Limited (1997) 11 PRNZ 573 — Commissioner of Inland Revenue v Chesterfields Preschools Limited [2013] 2 NZLR 679 — New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. The plaintiff made an application to the Court without notice under s 19 of the Harmful Digital Communications Act (HDCA) against a representative of a school board of trustees who, the plaintiff alleged, had placed unwanted pressure, tantamount to blackmail, in email correspondence. The Judge outlined the threshold for proceedings under s 12 of the HDCA and determined the plaintiff's claim to be clearly untenable. The Judge held there was no breach of the communication principles and, even if there had been a breach, there was unlikely to be evidence of it causing serious emotional distress. The application was therefore dismissed. Judgment Date: 11 January 2019.