New Zealand Law
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The limit for the Disputes Tribunal is $15,000 or $20,000 by consent of the other party. If you win or je just doesnt turn up you have a number of options for payment enforcement. You should apply to have him examined as to his ability to pay in the District Court, and after this you can get orders deducting payment from his wages, or apply to seize property through the court bailiff. You could also convert the Tribunal judgment to a District Court judgment and then apply for bankruptcy. The big question is always whether he has the means to pay although bankrupting would stop him trading for 3 years and empyt his pockets. But if he has nothing it may be pointless.
From your description of events you appear to have a strong case although I havent seen his side of the story to make a definate opinion