New Zealand Law Society - Court opening hours over Christmas/New Year

Court opening hours over Christmas/New Year

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The Ministry of Justice has provided information on the hours of courts and tribunals over the Christmas and New Year period.

Supreme Court

Close: 3pm, Friday, 22 December 2017
Open:  9am, Monday, 8 January 2018

Court of Appeal

Close: 3pm, Friday, 22 December 2017
Open: 9am, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 

High Court

Auckland, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin, Gisborne, Greymouth, Hamilton, Invercargill, Masterton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Tauranga, Timaru, Wellington, Whanganui, Whangarei.

Close: 5pm, Friday, 22 December 2017
Open: 9am, Thursday, 4 January 2018

Urgent High Court applications: Please ring the emergency contact for the relevant court or circuit. The court contact person will make arrangements for a duty registrar. Any urgent applications to be heard over the Christmas/New Year period will only be heard in the Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington High Court registries.

Auckland High Court: Emergency contact Nana Matenga, 027 204 2368.
Christchurch High Court: Emergency contact Sharon Graham, 027 553 4338.
Wellington High Court: Emergency contact Jane Penney, 027 509 3918.

District Court

Close: All District Court locations will close at 5pm, Friday, 22 December 2017, unless gazetted hours allow the registry to close earlier. Those locations which are gazetted to close earlier are Taihape and Taumarunui (3pm, Friday, 22 December 2017) and Ashburton, Dannevirke, Gore, Morrinsville and Westport (4pm, Friday, 22 December 2017).

Open, 9am, Wednesday, 3 January 2018: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Gisborne, Hamilton, Hastings, Hutt Valley, Invercargill, Kaikohe, Levin, Manukau, Masterton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, North Shore, Palmerston North, Porirua, Queenstown, Rotorua, Tauranga, Waitakere, Wellington, Whakatane, Whanganui, Whangarei.

Open, 9am, Thursday, 4 January 2018: Blenheim, Greymouth, Timaru.

Open, 9am, Monday, 8 January 2018: Dannevirke, Hawera, Huntly, Kaitaia, Morrinsville, Papakura, Pukekohe, Taumarunui, Taupo, Thames.

Open, 9am, Monday, 15 January 2018: Alexandra, Ashburton, Gore, Tokoroa, Taihape, Wairoa, Westport.

Hearing Courts open when rostered in the New Year: Chatham Islands, Dargaville, Kaikoura, Marton, Oamaru, Ruatoria, Te Awamutu, Te Kuiti, Waihi, Waipukurau.

Family Courts

Family Courts will provide a national service for urgent applications over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. Urgent applications will be dealt with via the National eDuty platform.

The Family Courts will be closed on 25 and 26 December 2017 and 1 and 2 January 2018. Court staff and duty judges have been allocated to deal with applications on 27, 28 and 29 December 2017, and 3, 4 and 5 January 2018. All urgent Family Court applications are required to be submitted to the registry by 2pm on these days in order for them to be processed. Any applications received after that time will be considered the following day.

Arrest Courts

The District Court Rules allow for arrest courts to be held over the Christmas and New Year holiday period as required. Arrangements will be made locally by individual courts to process arrests over the holiday period.

Any persons arrested over the holiday period will be brought to the court for the initial appearance.  This includes those arrested on new charges, on warrant, or for breach of bail.  If bail is sought and it is not within jurisdiction of the judicial officer presiding at the first appearance to deal with, then any remand in custody (unless there is consent otherwise) must be on the next non weekend/statutory holiday day, when the bail application can be dealt with via AVL from the prison (or police station) to the nearest or most convenient court where a judge is rostered to sit.

Urgent Harmful Digital Communications Act applications

Judges will be available to deal with any urgent applications filed under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 on 27, 28 and 29 December 2017.

Specialist Courts and Tribunals

Specialist Courts and Tribunal units will close at 5pm, Friday, 22 December 2017 and reopen at 9am, Wednesday, 3 January 2018. This includes Coronial Services (the National Initial Investigation Office will remain open 24 hours a day), Employment Court, Environment Court, Tribunals Units and the Waitangi Tribunal.

Māori Land Court

Close: 5pm, Friday, 22 December 2017.
Open: 10am, Wednesday, 3 January 2018.

Contact Information

The Ministry of Justice says all courts and tribunals have emergency contacts available over the holiday period. The emergency contacts for senior courts are provided above. Contact details for all courts can be found here. It appears likely that the appropriate emergency number for District or other courts can be obtained by ringing the phone number provided for a particular court and noting the message details.

Electronically Monitored Bail Applications

The Department of Corrections Electronically Monitored Bail Team has provided information on the time frames for filing and processing of EM Bail applications before and after the end of year holiday break.

Last date for applications to be heard in 2017

The last date for filing EM Bail applications to be heard this year will be Wednesday, 6 December 2017 for the adult jurisdiction and Wednesday 13 December 2017 for the youth jurisdiction.

This makes Wednesday, 20 December 2017 the final day for all EM Bail hearings to be heard. The department says the only exception to this will be application hearings which have been adjourned from a previous hearing date. Adjourned hearings can be heard up to Thursday, 21 December 2017.

First date for hearings adjourned into 2018

The first date for hearings of any existing EM Bail applications (filed before 1 December 2017) adjourned from 2017 into the New Year will be from Wednesday, 3 January 2018.

New applications filed in 2018

The first date for hearing new applications filed in 2018 can be scheduled to be heard from Wednesday, 10 January 2018 for the youth jurisdiction and Wednesday, 17 January 2018 for the adult jurisdiction. The department says these applications need to have been filed in court and received by the EM Bail Team by Wednesday, 3 January 2018.

Further information

Queries on these arrangements may be made to the Electronically Monitored Bail Team, on 0800EMBAIL or