COVID-19 - Movement to Alert Level 1

The Right Honourable Dame Helen Winkelmann Chief Justice of New Zealand /Te Tumu Whakawā o Aotearoa advises that new protocols will be posted by Wednesday afternoon. Physical distancing will not be enforced in courts. However current hygiene measures will be maintained, as will contact tracing.

Over the next couple of days, the Ministry of Justice will be finalising implementation of QR Code contact tracing. Until that is in place, paper-based contact tracing will be continued. For the first two days of Alert Level 1 (Tuesday and Wednesday) there may be delay at the entry to courthouses as manual tracing records are completed. We therefore encourage the profession to encourage clients to keep numbers of supporters attending at court to a minimum on Tuesday and Wednesday to avoid congestion at the entry and queuing.

Each court’s protocol for Alert Level 1 will address arrangements for filing.

Nationwide, jury trials will begin in the District Court and the High Court in the first week of August (with late July in the District Court in Dunedin).

The Chief Justice has thanked the profession for its continued engagement with the judiciary as they have worked through the various operational challenges created by COVID-19. The judiciary’s ability to continue to administer justice throughout this period is due to the work of and cooperation between the judiciary, the profession and the Ministry of Justice


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