The Ministry of Justice has released the results of surveys of court users and jurors it conducted this year.
It says court users' overall satisfaction was 82% - which was slightly up on 81% in the 2018 survey - and jurors' overall satisfaction was 90%, consistent with past years.
The Juror Satisfaction Survey has been carried out annually in all District Courts and High Courts since 2008. The survey objective is to understand jurors' satisfaction with the services and facilities provided by the Ministry of Justice at court.
The 2019 survey was carried out between 13 May and 21 June and invited 1,152 jurors who served to participate, with 1,044 (91%) completing it.
The 24-question survey results show variation in satisfaction levels with certain services and facilities. Satisfaction with the way jurors were treated by court staff was rated the highest of all, at 98%. However, in contrast, just 44% of jurors stated that there was an up-to-date phone message informing them whether their attendance was required in court that day.
The most commonly suggested improvements from jurors were improvements to the jury retiring room, better parking facilities and better information about parking options, improvements to the technology used at court, and a wider, better quality, and healthier selection of food and beverages.
The Court User Survey was carried out between 24 June and 19 July 2019. Its objective was to measure New Zealanders' experience of, and satisfaction with, frontline services and facilities provided by the Ministry of Justice at nine courts. The survey consisted of 2,055 face-to-face interviews with members of the general public aged 16+ who visited one of the nine courts.
The courts in the survey were located in Auckland, Manukau, Hamilton, Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Overall, 82% of court users were satisfied with services and facilities. There were higher satisfaction levels among those attending the South Island or Hastings courts, those who visit infrequently, who are older, and are there for jury service or administrative reasons not related to a case.
Lower satisfaction was evident for those visiting Auckland and Wellington District Courts, those who visit frequently, who are there for a criminal (youth or traffic) case, and are the accused.
The priorities for improvement which were identified included:
- availability of easily identifiable staff.
- waiting area/area outside court room.
- times that hearings start and finish.
- example of value for tax dollars spent.
- ease of obtaining information about services.
- information received before coming to court.
The survey found that feelings of safety remained high, with 90% of respondents feeling safe at court.