Courts

UPDATE 3 December 2021: As of 11:59pm on 2 December Aotearoa will have moved to the traffic light setting.

Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts are currently set at Red. 

The rest of the North Island is set at Orange.

The whole of the South Island is set at Orange.

Court operations under the COVID-19 Protection Framework
From Monday 6 December, new transitional protocols will be in place. All courts to continue operating under existing arrangements as below. 

Further guidance to be released today on the Courts of NZ website.

Jury trials in the Auckland and Waikato regions
Across the Auckland region and in Hamilton, no new jury trials will begin in the High Court or District Court until at least January 2022. Jury trials that were underway prior to Alert Level 4 will remain adjourned (put on hold).

Chief Justice media statement 17 November 2021 on jury trials in Auckland and Waikato

Jury trials for the rest of New Zealand
For the rest of New Zealand, jury trials re-commenced in the District Court and High Court in September 2021. However, judges will decide on a case-by-case basis whether each trial can proceed, taking into account the case's individual circumstances.

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.

Other cases
In the Auckland region, District Court matters considered 'priority proceedings' will be conducted remotely where possible in the Criminal, Family, Youth and Civil jurisdictions. High Court business will also be conducted remotely where possible. Call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) or contact the registry directly at Contact us if you have questions about a specific case and whether it is a ‘priority proceeding’.

For the rest of New Zealand, courts will progressively increase their workload as local conditions and capacity allow.

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

Health and Safety
We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court participants and staff.

Please do not come to the courthouse if you are feeling unwell. 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 those permitted in court buildings, please wear a mask, wash/sanitise your hands, and maintain social distancing.

Everyone entering the court is required to sign in. Court participants are strongly encouraged to download the NZ COVID Tracer app and use mobile devices to scan the COVID-19 QR code at the main entrance of a courthouse, or use the manual contact tracing register.

The COVID Healthline at 0800 358 5453 is also available for 24/7 advice and information about COVID-19. You can also refer to the information available at the COVID-19 website.

  • 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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