Minister welcomes new JPs contract

  • Hon Aupito William Sio

Associate Minister of Justice and for Courts Aupito William Sio has welcomed the signing of a new contract between the Ministry of Justice and the Royal Federation of NZ Justices’ Associations, which represents Justices of the Peace (JPs).

The contract was signed by the Ministry for Justice and the President of the Royal Federation, Rachael O’Grady today.

“The three-year $1.347 million contract brings a funding increase of more than 10 per cent, and will enable the Federation to expand and enhance education and training services for JPs, including updating its website,” says Aupito William Sio.

“This contract is an acknowledgement that our Government values the significant public service role that JPs provide in a range of different areas.

“By witnessing and certifying documents and taking statutory declarations on a voluntary basis, they provide easy access to invaluable legal services free of charge at the community level, often from community clinics run at libraries, courthouses and other public places.

“Judicial JPs also preside over cases involving low-level criminal offending in the District Court and provide significant assistance by attending and presiding over Saturday morning arrest courts.

“I look forward to continue working with the Federation and meeting with many of the JPs who generously give up their time to provide essential voluntary services across New Zealand,” says Aupito William Sio.

Background information:

There are over 6,500 Justices of the Peace (JPs), who are warranted to take statutory declarations, affidavits and affirmations, witness signatures and certify documents. JPs also hold the roles of:

  • Visiting Justices (14), presiding over prison disciplinary hearings.
  • Issuing Officers (340), considering applications made under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012.
  • Judicial JPs (about 235), presiding over cases involving low-level offending and opposed bail applications in the District Court.
  • Registry Office marriage celebrants (select JPs have been authorised by the Registrar-General to conduct registry office marriage ceremonies).