UPDATE 21 September: Courts and tribunals are operating differently at the moment. 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

Attending a court or tribunal

Auckland at Level 2

Please attend on your scheduled date unless a Judge or Registrar has advised otherwise.

Entry into courthouses is limited to defendants, parties, witnesses, complainants, victims, and other stakeholders. Members of the public (including whānau/support person for a defendant) whose presence is not required at court may only attend if granted permission from the presiding Judge.

Public counters are generally open.

Protocols for how courts and tribunals will operate during COVID-19 Alert Level 2 have been released on the Courts of NZ website(external link)

Rest of New Zealand at Level 1

Please attend on your scheduled date unless a Judge or Registrar has advised otherwise.

Members of the public can attend without prior permission from the presiding Judge.

Public counters are generally open.

Protocols for how courts and tribunals will operate during COVID-19 Alert Level 1 have been released on the Courts of NZ website(external link)

Health and safety measures

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

Factsheet: Health and Safety measures during COVID-19 Alert Level 2 [PDF, 88 KB]

Factsheet: Health and Safety measures during COVID-19 Alert Level 1 [PDF, 86 KB]

Juror safety

Arrangements are in place to keep jurors safe in court buildings throughout New Zealand.

Read the Chief Justice's media statement 18 September 2020 re jury trial arrangements [PDF, 412KB](external link)

Use of face masks in court buildings

Face masks should be worn while in public areas of Auckland court buildings until further notice. This applies to all court participants and staff to maintain health and safety standards. It is an additional precaution for everyone in the court building. Disposable masks are freely available from security at court entrances.

For the rest of New Zealand, face mask use is encouraged in court buildings.

Judicial protocols have been updated to reflect this on the Courts of New Zealand website(external link).

Read the Chief Justice's media statement 28 August 2020 regarding masks in court(external link)


The majority of criminal cases go through the District Court.

In the District Court, a Justice of the Peace or a Community Magistrate, or a District Court Judge could deal with your case.

All crimes (offences) are placed into categories. Serious charges such as murder and manslaughter are placed into Category 4 and will be heard in the High Court. Most criminal charges are heard in the District Court, either before a judge or by a jury trial, but if the charge is thought to be very serious it could be transferred to be heard in the High Court.

If you’re aged under 18 years and have been charged with a crime, you’ll go to the Youth Court.

Find out more about the Youth Court(external link)

  • Charged with a crime

    Find out what happens if you've been charged with a crime.

  • Get a limited licence

    If you’ve been disqualified from driving, or have received too many demerit points and lost your driver’s licence, you may be able to apply for a limited licence.

  • Therapeutic courts

    Therapeutic courts aim to reduce reoffending, alcohol, drug use, and addiction. They try to help a person’s health and well-being so they can move on with their lives.

  • Court costs

    If you've been convicted of a crime, there will probably be court costs.

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