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Noel Curr v Motorcycling New Zealand Inc (19/07)


Appeal against decision of national sporting organisation – member of Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ), who was the president of one of the affiliated clubs, was suspended by MNZ for 3 years and fined for a course of conduct bringing the sport into disrepute – included making allegedly defamatory comments about senior MNZ members in e-mails – Matter raised publicly at AGM with no prior notice to appellant – Board met during AGM and suspended appellant who was told to leave AGM – at subsequent disciplinary proceeding, appellant suspended for 3 years – breach of natural justice in manner treated at AGM – no notice of disciplinary process, no proper opportunity to be heard and inappropriate mixed AGM and Board process – effect of flawed disciplinary process on subsequent disciplinary process heard by same body – double jeopardy principles did not apply – breaches of natural justice cured by Tribunal rehearing matter – Tribunal found appellant at fault but disagreed with penalty – appellant had already been suspended for 9 months and Tribunal considered that was an appropriate penalty given seriousness of conduct and public manner in which allegations raised – in interim decision of 5 March 2008, Tribunal determined suspension would end on that date – fine overturned – costs – modest award of $750 to appellant appropriate to reflect that appellant had been partly successful in appeal.

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