UPDATE 13 September 2021: The Auckland region is at COVID-19 Alert Level 4. The remainder of Aotearoa New Zealand is at Delta Alert Level 2.

Courts remain an essential service throughout all COVID-19 alert levels but are operating differently.

Jury trials at Alert Level 4
In the Auckland region, no new jury trials will begin in the High Court or District Court. Jury trials that were under way prior to Alert Level 4 will remain adjourned (put on hold).

Jury trials at Delta Alert Level 2
For the rest of New Zealand, jury trials will re-commence 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 will re-commence 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.

Other cases
In the Auckland region, other 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 Delta Alert Level 2 protocols (see link below).

Counter services
Court counters are closed during Alert Level 4. In the Auckland region, 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 Delta Alert Level 2, with appropriate health and safety measures in place.

Please refer to the latest media statement from the Chief Justice for more information about jury service, court operations and court protocols during COVID-19 Alert Levels 2 and 4:

Chief Justice Media statement-  6 September 2021 [PDF, 508 KB]

Please also 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

Entry to court buildings is restricted during heightened alert levels. For those permitted in court buildings, please wear a mask or face covering, 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.

We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court participants and staff. Follow the link above to court protocols for information applicable to your region. 

There is more information in our health and safety factsheets available from the top of our COVID-19 hub page.

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

Health and safety measures

We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court participants and staff. Follow the link below to Court protocols for information applicable to your region. 

Entry to Court buildings is restricted during heightened alert levels.  For those permitted in court buildings, please wear a mask or face covering, wash/sanitise your hands, and maintain social distancing.  

Everyone entering the court is required to sign in.  You can download the NZ COVID Tracer app(external link) and scan the COVID-19 QR code using your mobile device or use the manual contact tracing registers available.

You can download the latest health and safety factsheets from the top of our COVID-19 hub page:

COVID-19 information hub

Court protocols

Protocols for how courts will operate during COVID-19 Alert Levels are on the Courts of New Zealand website(external link).

People who are currently held in managed isolation or quarantine and wish to access the District Court in person need to apply for permission from a judge.

Read more about the District Court protocol for Isolation and Quarantine(external link)

Tribunal protocols

You can find the protocols for how tribunals will operate during COVID-19 alert levels on the specific tribunal pages.

Go to Tribunals

Legal advice

Lawyers and Community Law Centres can provide legal advice during COVID-19 restrictions while observing public health measures. Visit Legal Aid Lawyers and New Zealand Law Society to find a list of lawyers.

Community Law Centres(external link) 

Legal Aid Lawyers(external link)

New Zealand Law Society(external link)

Remote proceedings

The decision about whether parties must appear in person or not is made by the presiding judge.

Read more information about appearing by video conference and teleconference. 

For more information on requesting

  • a new hearing date for court matters, call 0800 COURTS 
  • a new hearing date for fines or civil enforcement matters, call 0800 4 FINES (0800 434 637)

Further questions? Call 0800 COURTS

For more advice and information on COVID-19:

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