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European diplomat won't have to pay $20,000 bill to landlord

Published: July 10, 2018
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Eva Tvarozkova, the European Union delegation to New Zealand deputy chief of mission, left early from a $1500 a week rented house in Karaka Bay, Wellington.

A foreign diplomat has got away with skipping out on paying $20,000 to her former landlord after using diplomatic immunity to dodge the cost.

Eva Tvarozkova, deputy chief of mission for the European Union (EU) Delegation to New Zealand, found herself before the Wellington Tenancy Tribunal for $14,314 in unpaid rent and incidentals, plus $6000 bond for her former house at Karaka Bays above Wellington harbour.

The Tenancy Tribunal originally ordered that the landlord, Matthew Ryan, was entitled to that money.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) did not know about the hearing until later when it advised the tribunal about the diplomatic immunity issue and asked for the rehearing.

MFAT confirmed it had tried to get the EU to waive Tvarozkova's immunity, but  lawyer Peter Cullen, acting for Tvarozkova and the European Delegation, confirmed it was not waived.

Tvarozkova  did not attend the Tenancy Tribunal hearing in June, when Cullen successfully argued that the tribunal had no jurisdiction over the diplomat, and the proceedings should be dismissed or stayed.

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