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).
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:
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:
COVID-19 QR codes and manual contact tracing registers remain available for those who wish to use them.
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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Get help to separate or divorce when your marriage, civil union or de facto relationship ends.
Information on making arrangements for the care of your children and how the Family Court can help you sort out arrangements.
The Family Court is involved with Care or Protection Orders. You can also find services outside of court to help keep your children safe.
The Family Court is involved in the adoption of children from within New Zealand.
The Family Court can decide paternity (who a child's father is). The Family Court can also help with child support, such as appealing or enforcing payments.
Find out how the Family Court and other services can help you resolve problems.
Information on how to get help and/or legal protection from the Family Court if you're in, or have been in, a family or close personal relationship with a person being violent.
Get help to make agreements about relationship property and assets at any time during your relationship, or when the relationship ends or the other partner dies.
Find out the reasons you can challenge a will and how to do it in Family Court.
How to change the sex on your birth certificate.
How you can help people who may not be fully able to make decisions for themselves, including information on enduring power of attorney, welfare guardians, property managers and Personal Orders.
The court can order treatment for mental health issues, alcohol and substance abuse or other addiction issues.
Resources for lawyers and service providers, including without notice applications, mediation and parenting courses.
The Family Court can make an order to restrict a person from starting or continuing to bring civil cases which are unwarranted or meritless.
If you’re aged 16 or 17 and want to marry, or be in a civil union or de facto relationship with someone, you’ll need the consent of a Family Court judge.
Find out how to contact or find a Family Court.
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