Court arrangements from Thursday 18 February 2021

The Prime Minister announced that Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 and the rest of the country will move to Alert Level 1 from 11.59 pm Wednesday 17 February 2021.

This statement explains the approach the courts will take from Thursday 18 February.

Auckland Courts

Jury Trials to resume in Auckland

The Chief Justice announced that jury trials will resume in the Auckland High Court, Auckland District Court and Manukau District Court from Thursday 18 February, provided they can be accommodated safely in accordance with Alert Level 2 restrictions.

Jurors summonsed to attend court are requested to attend as per their summons document or any instruction from court staff.

Any jury trials that cannot safely be accommodated at Alert Level 2 will be adjourned or stood down. This decision is made at a local level and court staff will contact participants including jurors in these instances.

Civil matters in the Auckland High Court

Civil matters will resume in the Auckland High Court.

Protocols for all Auckland Courts

Information on the operation of all courts in Auckland at Alert Level 2 is available on the Courts of New Zealand website Court protocols.

Public Access restricted

For physical distancing reasons, entry to the Court is restricted during Alert Level 2. Entry to the Court will be limited to members of the Judiciary, Ministry of Justice staff members, defendants, parties, witnesses, complainants, victims, and other stakeholders.

Members of the public (including a whānau support person or persons for a defendant) whose presence is not required at court will not be permitted to enter unless granted permission from the presiding Judge.

Courts outside of Auckland

Outside of Auckland, courts will return to normal operation and will be open to the public.

Criminal jury trials will proceed as usual.

Everyone attending court will continue to be encouraged to wear face masks in public areas and in the courthouses.


The Chief Justice acknowledges the cooperation from the public and legal profession that has enabled the courts to continue to operate during the heightened alert levels.

Dame Helen Winkelmann
Chief Justice | Te Tumu Whakawā

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