NZ woman sues partner for not taking her to airport

An Emirates plane touches down at Auckland International Airport
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A New Zealand tribunal has dismissed a woman's claim against her then-partner after he failed to take her to the airport, leading her to miss her flight ahead of a concert with friends.

She accused her boyfriend at the time of allegedly breaching a "verbal contract" in which he agreed to take her to the airport, stay in her house and look after her dogs.

According to a legal document which only gives the applicant and respondent's initials, the woman (CL) said she asked her boyfriend (HG) to collect her from her home and take her to the airport between 10:00 and 10:15am.

But he failed to do so, she told New Zealand's Disputes Tribunal, which deals with small claims up to NZ$30,000 (£14,526).

As a result, CL said she missed her flight and had to foot the bill for additional costs, including travelling the next day and putting her dogs in a kennel.

In her claim, she went on to outline the minutiae of the inconvenience she faced, including costs for a shuttle service to the airport.

The couple had been in a relationship for six and a half years until the dispute.

Before the case was dismissed, the tribunal looked at whether the woman's boyfriend had entered a contract to take her to the airport and look after her dogs.

The tribunal also looked into whether the pair had entered a contract in which the boyfriend had said he would incur the costs for a separate ferry trip to visit the woman's sons.

CL said she paid for hers and her partner's ferry fares, and wished to be reimbursed for the cost of his ticket.

Conditional to both of those being true, the court looked at whether the boyfriend breached the alleged contract.

It concluded that for an agreement to be enforceable, "there needs to be an intention to create a legally binding relationship", which was not the case for CL and HG.

"Partners, friends and colleagues make social arrangements, but it is unlikely they can be legally enforced unless the parties perform some act that demonstrates an intention that they will be bound by their promises," tribunal referee Krysia Cowie wrote in the decision document.

"When friends fail to keep their promises, the other person may suffer a financial consequence but it may be that they cannot be compensated for that loss."

The referee found "the nature of the promises were exchanged as a normal give and take in an intimate relationship" and fell short of being a contract.

"As I have found that the parties made their agreement in the context of their friendship, CL has not shown she is entitled to the order that she seeks and her claim is dismissed."

The tribunal's decision was taken in March, but only published on Thursday.