UPDATE 13 September 2022: Courts remain an essential service and will remain open despite the presence of COVID-19 in the community.
Courts and Tribunals have protocols that provide a framework for ensuring that everyone who needs to participate in proceedings is able to do so.
Entering a court building
Access to a court or tribunal will be denied to anyone who:
Health and Safety
There may be limits on the number of people not directly involved in proceedings who can be physically present in courtrooms and court buildings.
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:
Detailed information about jury service, and how jury trials are operating, is outlined in the Jury Trial Guidelines that apply from 13 September 2022
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.
Excusals and deferrals for jury trials
If you are not willing to undergo COVID-19 screening, you may ask, before you come to court, to have your jury service deferred. You should complete the “Response to Jury summons” form provided to you, selecting “other personal circumstances” and include the reason in the space provided before returning it to the Ministry in the pre-paid envelope provided.
If you have experienced changes to family or financial circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or if you have health and safety concerns, you may request to have your jury service excused or deferred (postponed). Please contact your local court for more information.
Find contact details for a court or tribunal
Other types of cases
High and District Court matters will proceed in person unless you are advised otherwise. Call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) or contact the registry directly at Contact us if you have questions about a specific case.
Please note that all people attending Court for hearings longer than one day may be asked to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
Specialist Courts and Tribunals have implemented their own operating protocols: Courts of New Zealand - Courts and Tribunals protocols
Public court counters are open. Some courts in smaller centres will have counter services available only on scheduled hearing days.
Exceptions to usual operating hours may occur at times due to unforeseen circumstances. Please call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you are unsure.
Electronic filing of documents continues to be available. Court documents and applications can be filed, with online payments, using File & PayDrop boxes for hard copy documents are also available at all court entrances. Alternative methods of filing will be accepted as per judicial protocols.
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.
These tribunals, authorities and committees are a forum for resolving disputes over facts and/or law and assessing specific cases. They also work as regulatory bodies, issuing licences and certificates. Each body is established by legislation which also sets out its functions, powers and the extent of its authority or jurisdiction.
The Disputes Tribunal hears disputes that are for less than $30,000. It used to be the small claims court.
The Tenancy Tribunal can help settle disputes between tenants and landlords, and disputes about unit titles.
These authorities issue licences and certificates for secondhand dealers and pawnbrokers, security guards and private investigators. They also hear appeals against local alcohol licence decisions.
The Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal deals with disputes between consumers and motor vehicle traders (but not private sales).
You can appeal to the Authority to review a decision made by a district licensing committee and other matters related to alcohol licencing. The Authority doesn't issue alcohol licences and manager certificates, but it keeps a list of them.
You can ask the Human Rights Review Tribunal to review decisions by the Human Rights Commission, Privacy Commissioner and Health and Disability Commissioner.
The Real Estate Agents Tribunal deals with the licensing and disciplining of licensed real estate agents.
Licence and certifying consultant applications to perform abortions are done through the Abortion Supervisory Committee.
You can appeal ACC review decisions with the Accident Compensation Appeals District Court Registry. If the decision was under the repealed 1982 Act, it's reviewed by the Accident Compensation Appeal Authority.
The Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal (the Tribunal) provides Canterbury homeowners with a fair, speedy, flexible and cost-effective way to resolve their long-standing claims with insurers (including Southern Response) and the Earthquake Commission (EQC).
The Copyright Tribunal hears disputes about copyright licensing agreements and applications about illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted work.
The Customs Appeal Authority hears appeals against decisions made by the New Zealand Customs Service.
The Immigration & Protection Tribunal hears appeals on resident visas, deportation and refugee or protected person claims. The Immigration Advisers Complaints & Disciplinary Tribunal deals with complaints against licensed immigration advisers.
The Land Valuation Tribunal deals with objections to property valuations. The Birdlings Flat Land Title Commissioner makes land title decisions about Birdlings Flat in Canterbury.
The Legal Complaints Review Officer reviews decisions made by Standards Committees. On review, the Review Officer has all of the powers of a Standards Committee. The Lawyers & Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal hears and determines disciplinary charges against lawyers and conveyancers.
The Legal Aid Tribunal reviews decisions the Legal Services Commissioner makes about who gets legal aid. The Review Authority reviews decisions the Secretary for Justice makes about who can be a legal aid provider.
The Social Security Appeal Authority hears appeals about the decisions of the Ministry of Social Development, the Benefits Review Committee, and the Secretary for War Pensions.
Students can appeal Ministry of Social Development decisions on student allowances with the Student Allowance Appeal Authority. International students previously made complaints to the International Education Appeal Authority.
You can dispute your tax assessment or a decision by the Inland Revenue Commissioner to the Taxation Review Authority.
If you disagree with the decision of an occupation registration authority, you can apply to the Trans-Tasman Occupations Tribunal for a review.
Owners of leaky buildings who can't come to a resolution with the builder can apply to the Weathertight Homes Tribunal for help.
The Waitangi Tribunal makes recommendations on claims brought by Māori relating to Crown actions which breach the promises made in the Treaty of Waitangi.
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