The recent Court of Appeal decision in Attorney-General v Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand  NZCA 609 will be welcomed by public sector agencies, as it restores the longstanding principle that judicial review of their commercial contracting decisions is only available in limited circumstances.
The decision restricts disappointed request for proposal (RFP) participants from using complaints about the RFP process through which they sought to secure a contract as a basis for a broad scope of judicial review. The Court stated "the applicant for review must raise issues relevant to the public interest and not just be a disappointed commercial party, seeking to take advantage of public remedies in a commercial context." The Court also considered that the ability to complain to the Ombudsman or Auditor-General provided alternative avenues to address concerns regarding an RFP process. A Buddle Findlay legal update with further discussion of the case is available here.