UPDATE 5 April 2022: New Zealand’s COVID-19 Protection Framework ('traffic light system') is now in place. Courts have implemented protocols that guide court operations under all stages of the Framework.

Courts remain an essential service throughout all COVID-19 restrictions, but may operate differently. The current COVID-19 Omicron outbreak means some courts and tribunals are experiencing staff shortages. This may impact on court operations through reduced services, and customer counter hours may differ from those published. For more detailed information about a specific court, please call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787).

Chief Justice media statement revised court protocols from Tuesday 5 April 2022

The Chief Justice’s statement about Courts operations under the COVID-19 Protection Framework

All of Aotearoa New Zealand is subject to the Red Traffic Light setting.

Health and Safety

Although the previous entry requirements have been removed, for health and safety reasons there may be limits on the number of people not directly involved in proceedings who can be physically present in courtrooms and court buildings.

Please note that access to a court or tribunal will be denied to anyone:

  • showing signs of illness, or has a body temperature of 38 degrees or higher
  • who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is required to isolate, or who is a household contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.

To protect the safety of all court participants and staff, the following health and safety measures can be expected if you are visiting a court or tribunal:

  • All attendees must wear a surgical mask or a KN95 (or equivalent) at all times within the building. Masks will be avaliable at the entry for those who do not have their own mask.
  • Wash/sanitise your hands. Sanitiser is readily available throughout the buildings.
  • Maintain physical distancing.

COVID-19 QR codes and manual contact tracing registers remain available for those who wish to use them.

Counter services
Public court counters are generally open for their usual operating hours in all courts and tribunal sites in Red areas, subject to the entry requirements outlined above. Some courts in smaller centres will have counter services available only on scheduled hearing days. Other exceptions to usual operating hours may occur at times.

Electronic filing of documents continues to be encouraged. Court documents and applications can be filed, with online payments, using File & Pay. Drop boxes for hard copy documents are also available at all court entrances. Alternative methods of filing will be accepted as per judicial protocols.

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

Please refer to the Courts of NZ website for further updates and specific court protocols: Courts of New Zealand - Courts and Tribunals protocols.

Get information about family issues, and other times when you need help.

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