Important reminders for appearing by Microsoft Teams or by phone for your court matter
- not record take photos or videos of the hearing, smoke, use e-cigarettes or vape pens, or eat during the hearing. You may drink water
- ensure that anyone attending the hearing with you has permission from the court
- use microphones correctly. Microphones should always be on mute, unless you're giving evidence or if the presiding judge addresses you
- stay connected to the link during a short adjournment but turn your camera off and mute your microphone.
Your appearance at court may be held remotely using an audio-visual link (AVL), Microsoft Teams (Teams) or other telephone and video-conferencing method as agreed by the court or tribunal. This is called a remote court hearing or conference.
On this page:
You may need to attend or participate in a remote court hearing or conference. This means you’ll need to attend remotely via teleconference (phone), Virtual Meeting Rooms (VMR) or Microsoft Teams (Teams).
The judge or court or judicial officer may decide if a hearing (or ‘appearance’) will happen over the phone or by video. This might be due to an emergency event where we can’t use the courthouse, or because it is a matter that doesn’t require parties to attend in person.
You’ll be told by the court if your hearing is happening over phone or video. This will be confirmed in writing by email and will include the date and time of the hearing.
The other court participants, including the judicial officer, counsel, witnesses, victims, central registry officers (CRO) will also attend remotely.
VMR is a remote hearing solution delivered with video conference equipment. VMR hearings require users to have access to Jabber Quick Guest software and the Mozilla Firefox web browser.
A VMR meeting will involve at least two and usually three meeting room connections – one for the judge, one for the defendant and one for all other parties.
Teams is a communication and collaboration platform that allows participants to communicate via video, audio and chat. All attendees, including the judicial officer and CRO, can appear from any location.
If you’re using:
Documents will be shared differently in remote courts.
External parties may be asked to file all court documents electronically via the court’s general email address or through File and Pay.
Some documents can be shared with other parties using the Share Screen function in VMR and Teams.
You can submit documents electronically through File and Pay or by email to the relevant Court using the links below:
The same rules apply to a remote hearing as they would if you were appearing in person before a judge.
When a court allows participation for a remote hearing this is a direction from the Court. This means all participants are required to follow court rules. These are called ‘Court Protocol for Participation in Remote Hearings.’
Compliance with court rules and directions are essential to preserving the integrity of the Court process and to protect the privacy of those involved in the proceeding. Failure to comply with court rules will be treated as a breach of a court order.
More information about the court rules - Court Protocol for Participation in Remote Hearings is available on the Courts of New Zealand website at the following link:
You must follow the below rules at all times during the hearing:
If you are a victim, you can listen in to phone hearings. If necessary, and you have the required technology, you can also appear in or watch a video hearing. That means you don’t have to be seen by other people during the hearing if you don’t want to be.
A Court Victim Advisor will contact you to talk about options for participating in a phone or video hearing. They will also provide instructions for joining the hearing, let you know what to expect, and create a plan for following up after the hearing.
You’ll receive instructions about how to join the hearing remotely and contact details for the court. You’ll need to tell the court:
To be prepared for the remote court hearing, you need:
Phone and video hearings work the same as hearings in a court. The judge or court taker/hearing manager will tell you what will happen at the start of the hearing.
Tell the judge if you need more information or a break during the hearing.
Remember that you will be visible at all times if you are on video. Even when you aren’t talking, you must use appropriate behaviour.
The court will record phone and video hearings the same way as hearings are recorded in a courtroom.
Media applications can be made for access to the audio recording. This is done in the same way as the process for in-court media coverage.
All media enquiries should be directed to the Media Team.
Phone: (04) 918 8836 or (021) 636 416
Remote courts are provided over the internet. To have the best experience:
Let the court know if you don’t have access to:
If you are unable to organise connecting to VMR or Teams, or experience technical issues, contact 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787).