1 March 2021

In aiming to keep you as up-to-date as possible, we would like to provide you with this update of the current arrangements.

The Level 3 Protocol in August set out that as an essential service, the District Court intends to undertake as much of its usual business as possible in the criminal  jurisdiction.

While we expect things to look very similar to last time, please be prepared for any changes. 

The following arrangements for Auckland Courts are:

In acknowledging the impact of rescheduling matters at short notice, we highly advise parties to call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) on the day their matter has been rescheduled. In the meantime, the Registry will continue to be working hard to contact parties if a decision has been made to reschedule the matter.

Requests for Adjournments

Any requests for adjournments will be directed by the presiding Judge on a case-by-case basis.  Given the short notice of the change to Alert Level 3, any adjournments will likely be directed by a Judge in Court.  Nevertheless, the Registry will aim to place any requests for adjournment received via email before a Judge for direction as a matter of priority to ensure parties are notified of the request prior to the matter being called this week.  Please ensure that any requests for adjournments are sent to the relevant court’s generic email address:

Counters closed

Public counters will be generally closed and drop box facilities will be available at the front entrances for those filing applications in person at the Court.  Please note however that staff are available to answer any queries, particularly from lawyers, throughout the day.  

Restricted Access to the Public will apply

Entry to the court will be limited to members of the Judiciary, Ministry of Justice staff, defendants, parties, witnesses, complainants, victims and other stakeholders. Members of the public whose presence is not required at court will not be permitted to enter unless they are granted permission from the presiding Judge.  Just like last time, our security have delegated authority to make a call on support people but certainly if there are going to be a number of support people wanting to attend we would prefer you email and get approval.

Please note that while a separate process applies for support people in the Youth Court (see District Court Protocol applying to the Youth Court), parties/counsel are encouraged to contact the court if any support people for youth court matters include any children.

All Arrests from ACU will be dealt with by AVL.

All custody matters except for Saturday remands will be converted to AVL.

If counsel wish to appear remotely, please email auckland.dc@justice.govt.nz and copy in Khoa.Son@justice.govt.nz and Georgina.Dawson@justice.govt.nz

Additional hygiene measures

While the Level 3 Protocol states that counsel should aim to take instructions and brief witnesses outside the courthouses, so far as possible, unused courtrooms will be available at the court for counsel to take instructions to assist with physical distancing. 

PPE and wipes continue to be available on request at the security station at the courts’ front entrances and the courts will continue to be cleaned to the higher Alert Level 4 standards. 

Auckland Managers – Contact List

Please find attached an updated contact list if you wish to get in contact with any of the Auckland managers.

I hope this provides some helpful information for now.  I will provide a further update as things develop.

Clare Cheesman

Manager Justice Services, Criminal Auckland