UPDATE 20 October 2021: The Auckland region and some areas of Waikato, including Hamilton City, are at COVID-19 Alert Level 3. The remainder of Aotearoa New Zealand is at COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
Courts remain an essential service throughout all COVID-19 alert levels but are operating differently.
The Chief Justice has announced that ALL Waikato courts will operate under Alert Level 3 protocols at least until the Alert Level is next reviewed.
Chief Justice media statement 19 October 2021 [PDF, 501 KB]
Chief Justice media statement 10 October 2021 [PDF, 501 KB]
Jury trials at Alert Level 3
In the Auckland region, no new jury trials will begin in the High Court or District Court until at least November 2021. Jury trials that were underway prior to Alert Level 4 will remain adjourned (put on hold).
No new jury trials will begin during Alert Level 3 in the Hamilton High Court or District Court. Ministry of Justice staff are contacting court participants to advise them.
Jurors who are summoned to attend the Hamilton High Court or District Court during the Alert Level 3 period do not need to attend. Further advice will be provided after the Alert Levels are next reviewed.
Jury trials at Alert Level 2
For the rest of New Zealand, jury trials re-commenced in the District Court from 8 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. Scheduled High Court jury trials re-commenced from 20 September 2021.
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.
In the Auckland and Waikato regions, 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, in line with the updated Alert Level 2 protocols (see link below).
Court counters are closed during Alert Level 3. In Auckland and Waikato courts operating under Alert Level 3 protocols, you can file court documents and applications and make payments online, using File & Pay(external link). Alternative methods of filing will be accepted as per judicial protocols.
For the rest of New Zealand, court counters are open as normal in all courts under Alert Level 2, with appropriate health and safety measures in place.
For more information for court users, see: Information for all court and tribunal users.
Please refer to Courts of NZ website for further updates and specific court protocols:
Courts of New Zealand - court protocols(external link)
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.
Health and Safety
We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court participants and staff.
Entry to court buildings is restricted during heightened Alert Levels. 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(external link) 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.
Follow the link above to court protocols for information applicable to your region.
Download a copy of the latest COVID-19 health and safety factsheets:
Health and safety factsheet for COVID-19 Delta Alert Level 3 [PDF, 104 KB]
Health and safety factsheet for COVID-19 Delta Alert Level 2 [PDF, 104 KB]
In this section you can find information about the Ministry's response to COVID-19:
Latest daily updates about the Ministry's response to COVID-19.
Latest policy changes as a result of COVID-19, including wills, oaths and property settlements.
Information for all court and tribunal users during COVID-19.
Information for families and whānau during COVID-19.
Information for lawyers and service providers during COVID-19.
District Court protocol on isolation and quarantine.
Information about justice services and programmes during COVID-19.
Information about how to participate in a remote court hearing during COVID-19.
Information on District Court hearing data under the different COVID-19 Alert Levels.
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