Courts

Courts and Tribunal hours – 26 September 2022

Most courts and tribunals will be closed on Monday 26 September for Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day, a one-off public holiday.

All Senior Courts will be closed. This includes the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

The District Court will be running arrest courts only.

Tribunals have rescheduled any matters set down for that day.

All courts and tribunals will be open on Tuesday 27 September.

If you have any questions, call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787).

Our Contact Centre is closed for Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day. If your matter is urgent and cannot wait until we re-open, please call 09 526 7119. Otherwise, please call back after 8am on Tuesday 27 September 2022.

 

UPDATE 13 September 2022: Courts remain an essential service and will remain open despite the presence of COVID-19 in the community.

Courts and Tribunals have protocols that provide a framework for ensuring that everyone who needs to participate in proceedings is able to do so.

Entering a court building

Access to a court or tribunal will be denied to anyone who:

  • is showing signs of illness, and tests positive to COVID-19 or:
  • has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last seven days.

Health and Safety

There may be limits on the number of people not directly involved in proceedings who can be physically present in courtrooms and court buildings.

To protect the safety of all court participants and staff, the following health and safety measures can be expected if you are visiting a court or tribunal:

  • Every person in the public areas of a court building are encouraged to wear a surgical or KN95 (or equivalent). A KN95 mask must be worn by all participants in hearings, if directed by the presiding judicial officer.
  • Wash/sanitise your hands. Sanitiser is readily available throughout the buildings.

Jury trials

Detailed information about jury service, and how jury trials are operating, is outlined in the Jury Trial Guidelines that apply from 13 September 2022

If you have received a jury service summons, you can check if you need to attend jury service on our website at: Check if you need to attend jury service.

Excusals and deferrals for jury trials

If you are not willing to undergo COVID-19 screening, you may ask, before you come to court, to have your jury service deferred. You should complete the “Response to Jury summons” form provided to you, selecting “other personal circumstances” and include the reason in the space provided before returning it to the Ministry in the pre-paid envelope provided.

If you have experienced changes to family or financial circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or if you have health and safety concerns, you may request to have your jury service excused or deferred (postponed). Please contact your local court for more information. 

Find contact details for a court or tribunal

Other types of cases

High and District Court matters will proceed in person unless you are advised otherwise. Call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) or contact the registry directly at Contact us if you have questions about a specific case.

Please note that all people attending Court for hearings longer than one day may be asked to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).

Specialist Courts and Tribunals have implemented their own operating protocols: Courts of New Zealand - Courts and Tribunals protocols

Counter services

Public court counters are open. Some courts in smaller centres will have counter services available only on scheduled hearing days. 

Exceptions to usual operating hours may occur at times due to unforeseen circumstances. Please call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you are unsure.

Electronic filing of documents continues to be available. Court documents and applications can be filed, with online payments, using File & PayDrop boxes for hard copy documents are also available at all court entrances. Alternative methods of filing will be accepted as per judicial protocols.

Contact 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you cannot enter the courthouse or are not sure whether to attend. Find contact details for a court or tribunal.

For more information for court users, see Information for all court and tribunal users.


Jury trials

Detailed information about jury service, and how jury trials are operating, is outlined in the Jury Trial Guidelines that apply from 13 September 2022

 

  • Jury service »

    Find out what jury service involves, what to do if you can’t go, what you get paid and what employers need to know.

  • Going to court »

    How to get legal aid or free community legal help, what to expect at court and information about representing yourself, filing and serving, court fees and hearing schedules.

  • Civil »

    Civil cases can include disputes over business contracts or debts, or disputes between neighbours, or debt recovery. You can also get a Restraining Order or Non-Contact Order.

  • Criminal »

    The majority of criminal cases go through the District Court. If it's a very serious crime the case could go to the High Court.

  • Youth »

    The Youth Court deals with criminal offending by children and young people that is too serious to be dealt with by the police in the community.

  • Family »

    The Family Court deals with matters like the care of children, divorce and orders to look after people and their property.

  • Coroners »

    Coroners look at when, where, how and why unexpected, violent or suspicious deaths happened, and if anything can be done to prevent similar deaths.

  • Employment »

    The Employment Court hears and determines cases relating to employment disputes.

  • Environment »

    The Environment Court largely deals with appeals about the contents of regional and district plans and appeals arising out of applications for resource consents.

  • Māori Land »

    The Māori Land Court is a judicial forum where people who own or have an interest in Māori land can interact about the current and future use, ownership, occupation and/or management of Māori land.

  • High Court »

    The High Court can hear criminal and civil cases, as well as appeals from lower courts or tribunals.

  • Court of Appeal »

    The Court of Appeal deals with appeals from cases heard in the High Court and serious criminal charges heard in District Courts.

  • Supreme Court »

    The Supreme Court is New Zealand's highest court and our final appeal court. The court hears appeals when they relate to the interests of justice.

  • Decisions »

    Some decisions are published by the judiciary from courts and tribunals. Not all decisions are published.

  • Information for lawyers & service providers »

    Resources for lawyers and service providers, including legal aid, Criminal Procedure Act, interpreters, JPs and restorative justice.

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