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.(external link)

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 [PDF, 534 KB]

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(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.

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.(external link)

Court protocols

Protocols for how specific 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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