This piece was written for a festschrift in honour of the career of eminent legal scholar Professor John Smillie, one of whose specialties was tort law. Its focus is the law of nuisance and draws on high-level case law in Canada, England and New Zealand. It examines several crucial questions such as the awkward divide between nuisances that cause actual harm and those that affect the senses, along with the significance of locality, the public interest, and planning permission, and whether some kind of ’emanation’ is necessary. Several recent judgments have involved the issue of blocking access to property, with the New Zealand Supreme Court drawing on the concept of breach of natural rights. Some modest clarification of the law may be derived from these cases.
Atkin, Bill, The Tort of Nuisance: ‘Trucking On’ (2016) in Shelley Griffiths, Mark Henaghan and M B Rodriguez Ferrere (eds), The Search for Certainty: Essays in Honour of John Smillie (Thomson Reuters, Wellington, 2016) pp 60-81.