Page last updated: 06 October 2021


This page outlines our approach to conducting hearings and explains the process we follow if you are entitled to a hearing and request one.

Notice of a hearing

The FMA will provide you with an opportunity for a hearing in person in certain circumstances if you are impacted by a decision of the FMA. If you have the right to a hearing, we will let you know. It is not compulsory for you to attend a hearing, but it provides an opportunity for you to be heard and give information to assist the FMA in reaching its decision. The FMA also provides an opportunity for written submissions to be made if you would not like to attend a hearing in person but would like to provide further information.

Following a request for a hearing, the FMA will provide you with details of the hearing. This will include the hearing date, time and location, and other information to assist you with preparation for the hearing.

How you can prepare for a hearing

If you are considering whether to request a hearing, or have requested a hearing you should carefully consider:

  • The matter that the decision is being made about
  • Any material that we provide you
  • What information and written submissions you could provide to assist the decision maker
  • Whether you would prefer to make a written submission
  • Whether you want to be represented by a lawyer and/or have support person at the hearing.

The hearing will be run by an FMA decision maker who will also ask questions to obtain further information from you.

How we conduct hearings

Generally, hearings will generally be held at the FMA offices (Auckland or Wellington) and will usually be recorded.

The decision maker will begin the hearing setting out expectations and the reason for the hearing and noting that written submissions have been considered and can be taken as read. You will then have the opportunity to speak to the matter being considered and to highlight or elaborate on anything provided in written submissions. The decision maker will then ask questions to get more information and to understand the matter further.

In addition to the decision maker(s), FMA staff will attend the hearing to support. While the decision maker(s) makes the decision, staff are there to provide administrative support and respond to procedural matters.

You should approach the hearing as an information providing exercise, and not as a contest.

Who can attend a hearing?

FMA hearings are private, they are not open to the media or the public. The FMA decision maker(s) will be present, and other FMA staff will be there to assist, take notes and respond to procedural questions.

You may wish to be represented or assisted by a person(s) of your choosing. The representative may be a lawyer but does not have to be. You do not need a representative with you at the hearing. We will make sure that you have the opportunity to provide all information and fairly state your views. Should you require a translator, they may attend the hearing with you.

What are the costs?

You will need to cover your own costs, such as travel to and from the hearing, any legal representation and translation needs.

What happens after the hearing?

Following the hearing we will provide you with the outcome of our decision or next steps as soon as we can.