This note is not part of the rules, but is intended to indicate their general effect.
These rules, which come into force on 24 August 2007, amend the High Court Rules. In general terms, the amendments—
•change the name given to the first sheet of all documents presented for filing and how documents must be numbered (rules 4 to 7 and 16):
•change the definitions of incapacitated person and minor, and substitute new rules for the conduct of proceedings involving these persons (rules 8 to 11):
•make consequential amendments to rules relating to persons who may swear an affidavit verifying a statement in answer to interrogatories, and how interim payments must be dealt with in particular cases (rules 12 and 13):
•change the first reference date in rule 434(5) for determining the setting down date for a proceeding (rule 14):
•provide for more than one designated Senior Deputy Registrar at the Auckland registry to exercise jurisdiction under rule 651(1), which relates to probate and administration applications and related matters (rule 17).
Rule 4 substitutes new rule 30, which relates to the first sheet of a document filed in Court, page numbering, and document fastening. Under existing rules 30, 31, and 33, the first sheet of a document is referred to as the first page and all pages of the document are numbered consecutively. Under the new rule, the first sheet, showing the document's description required by rule 31, and the heading and further information required by rule 33, will be referred to as the cover sheet. The cover sheet will not be numbered even if the heading continues on another sheet. All subsequent pages will be numbered consecutively, starting at 1.
Rules 5 to 7 and 16 consequentially amend rules 31, 33, 40, and 510.
Rules 8 to 10 substitute new rules 82 to 86E, 89, and 94 to 94B, which relate to the conduct of proceedings involving incapacitated persons and minors. These changes reflect a number of recent decisions on capacity to conduct proceedings, including Masterman-Lister v Brutton and Co  3 All ER 162 and Dalle-Molle (By His Next Friend Public Trustee) v Manos and Anor  SASC 102, and are consistent with procedural provisions that now apply in England and a number of Australian States. Equivalent changes are made to the District Courts Rules 1992 by the District Courts Amendment Rules 2007. Key features of the new rules include—
•an incapacitated person is defined by reference to a person's capability to understand issues on which his or her decision would be required as a litigant conducting proceedings or to give sufficient instructions for the purposes of proceedings:
•a minor is defined as a person under 18 years of age:
•separate rules apply to proceedings involving incapacitated persons and those involving minors:
•an incapacitated person must have a litigation guardian as his or her representative in a proceeding, unless the Court orders otherwise:
•a minor must also be represented by a litigation guardian in a proceeding, unless an enactment requires or permits the proceeding to be conducted without a litigation guardian. However, a minor may apply for an order allowing conduct of the proceeding in his or her own name:
•if an incapacitated person does not have a litigation guardian, one may be appointed by the Court, on its own initiative or on the application of any person. This rule, and subsequent rules concerning proceedings where a person is represented by a litigation guardian, apply equally to a minor who does not conduct proceedings in his or her own name:
•if a person becomes incapacitated during a proceeding, no party can take a further step in the proceeding without the Court's permission until the person has a litigation guardian:
•the Court may set aside a step taken in a proceeding if an incapacitated person did not have a litigation guardian when the step was taken and the Court considers that the person was unfairly prejudiced:
•the Court may make an order ending the appointment of a litigation guardian if it is satisfied that a person is no longer an incapacitated person. From that date, the person formerly represented must take all steps in the proceeding and is liable for all costs:
•a minor who turns 18 must file an affidavit confirming that he or she is no longer a minor. From that date, unless the Court orders otherwise, the appointment of the minor's litigation guardian ends, all steps must be carried on by that person, and he or she is liable for all costs.
Rule 11 substitutes new rule 271(d), which relates to the power of Registrars in the main centres to appoint a litigation guardian under rule 86C(2). The power conferred is limited to applications for the appointment of a litigation guardian for a minor for the purposes of the Administration Act 1969.
Rule 12 consequentially amends rule 286, which sets out who may swear an affidavit verifying a statement in answer to interrogatories. A statement by a minor who is not within rule 85(2) or an incapacitated person must be verified by an affidavit made by his or her litigation guardian.
Rule 13 consequentially amends rule 346E, which relates to the manner in which an interim payment ordered to be made to a plaintiff under rules 346C or 346D must be made. New subclause (2) provides that in the case of an interim payment to a minor who is not within rule 85(2) or an incapacitated person, acceptance of an interim payment must be approved by the Court and payment out cannot be made without the leave of the Court.
Rule 14 amends rule 434(5)(a), which relates to determining the setting down date for a proceeding when the Court has not given a direction fixing that date. The setting down date is now the date that is 60 days before the hearing (changed from the existing 40 days), or the date on which the hearing date for the proceeding is allocated, whichever is the later. The purpose of the rule change is to address problems that result from the loss of court fixtures due to the late filing of interlocutory applications. A consequential amendment is made to regulation 11(1)(b) of the High Court Fees Regulations 2001 by the High Court Fees Amendment Regulations 2007. Under the amendment, the fee is payable by the earlier of the working day before commencement of the proceeding or the thirtieth day (changed from the existing tenth day) after the setting down date of the proceeding.
Rule 15 amends rule 451(5), which relates to directions as to service or representation. This is consequential on new rules 82 to 86E, 89, and 94 to 94B, which treat minors and incapacitated persons separately. The effect of the amendment is to provide that the Court may make an order for the representation of a minor or incapacitated person without the appointment of a litigation guardian under new rule 86C.