Ministry helps staff to speak te reo Māori in all District Courts

17 February 2016

The Ministry of Justice is introducing new resources to support the use of te reo Māori in court. All court sessions with Justices of the Peace and Community Magistrates have adopted the District Court approach, which is to open and close in te reo Māori.

This follows the development of new greetings and training for people who open and close court sessions. Ministry of Justice staff can use flip cards with easy to read English translations underneath te reo Māori phrasing. They can also access audio files to help with pronunciation.

"It is important that we get this right for the people using our courts, and we want our own people to feel confident making announcements in te reo Māori," says Karl Cummins, Deputy Secretary District Courts and Special Jurisdictions. "We are very proud to be supporting our people to honour one of the most precious taonga – te reo Māori."

Each court has a site champion, to organise training and support for court staff. "The te reo Māori announcements have been really well supported by our people. Some of our staff would like to use more te reo Māori, which is a great result," says Karl.

Community magistrates and justices of the peace presided over 90,000 court events in 2015, from first appearances, list courts and hearings. This includes traffic offences and the early parts of criminal proceedings.

The expanded te reo announcements for Justices of the Peace and Community magistrates follow the earlier introduction of te reo Māori announcements for Family Court, Youth Court, Māori Land Court, Waitangi Tribunal, Rangatahi Youth Court and Matariki Court.

For more information, contact Antony Paltridge on 027 6890667.

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