Wellbeing Budget funds more Judges to help ease demand on District Courts

  • Hon Andrew Little

The Wellbeing Budget is providing more judges to help speed up the District Court process while aiming to improve the criminal justice experience for victims, says Minister for Courts Andrew Little.

“The Wellbeing Budget allocates $54 million over four years for the new judges. The funding will also cover the additional justice sector staff needed to ensure the judges can operate effectively.

“The additional judges will help manage the District Court's increasing workload, improving New Zealanders' ability to access justice and reducing the toll that delays can have on people’s mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

“This funding also supports victims of crime and their families by allowing them to have their day in court sooner.

“The Coalition Government has committed to reforming the Criminal Justice System to ensure there is less offending, less reoffending, and fewer victims of crime who are better supported.

“This funding is a significant step to improving the Criminal Justice System.

“The District Court deals with more than 200,000 events a year and the cap on judiciary numbers has prevented the court from dealing effectively with the growing workload. Legislation passed straight after the Budget has lifted the cap accordingly.

“The Chief District Court Judge has a statutory responsibility to allocate judicial resources in the District Court, Family and Youth Courts and will work with the Ministry of Justice who support the courts to decide where additional judges will be most needed,” says Andrew Little.