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Although the office of Justice of the Peace is steeped in history, the office today derives its status and functions from a very brief statute of the New Zealand legislature, the Justice of the Peace Act 1957.

Section 3 of that Act provides that the Governor-General may from time to time, by Warrant under his or her hand, appoint fit and proper persons to be Justices. The Act does not set out how this is done, that being a matter of ministerial convention that has developed over the years. Briefly, the convention is as follows:

Nominations for appointments are accepted only from the Member of Parliament for the electorate where the nominee resides or from a list Member of Parliament with the endorsement of the appropriate electorate Member.
There is a standard nomination form, commonly referred to by its shoulder reference, JPB. Members of Parliament hold supplies of these forms.
Nominees must have an adequate standard of education and a genuine desire to serve the community; they should be of good standing in the community (which is not to be identified with material prosperity), and should be respected as persons of good sense, character and integrity.
The purpose of an appointment is not to bestow an honour on a deserving citizen, but to serve the public. Notwithstanding a person’s character and ability, appointments are made only where there are not already sufficient Justices to meet the requirements of the public.

A nomination having been made by the Member of Parliament, the procedure is as follows:

A confidential check is made through New Zealand Police to establish if the nominee has any record of criminal convictions.
A questionnaire is completed by the appropriate local Justice of the Peace Association on the need for additional Justices in the nominee’s business or residential areas.
The nominee is required to be interviewed by a District Court Registrar who makes a report to the Minister of Justice.
The Minister usually considers the nominations at monthly to six weekly intervals. If the Minister then decides that the appointment is desirable, notification is sent to the Member of Parliament concerned that the appointment will be recommended to the Governor-General. Where the nomination is declined, the Member is likewise notified.
Appointments are made by a warrant signed by the Governor-General. Notice of appointment is published in the New Zealand Gazette.
Appointees are advised of their appointment by the Secretary for Justice and are issued with a warrant of appointment.
Appointees are not entitled to act as Justices until they have taken the oath of allegiance and the judicial oath as required by the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957.

Restricted Eligibility

For many years it has been the policy of successive Ministers of Justice to decline to recommend for appointment as Justices, the members of certain professions or callings, because of their special duties and responsibilities. These include Members of Parliament, barristers and solicitors, practising medical practitioners and persons working in various aspects of law enforcement. There has also been a general policy not to appoint members of the clergy and persons in religious orders.

Become a Justice of the Peace

If you are interested in becoming a JP and you live in Auckland, New Zealand, please fill out this form:

I think I need to make a complaint about a JP?
Complaints about the service or lack of service a JP provides can be forwarded to the Registrar at the local JP Assn. You must have their name.

We would like to think that members of the public are at all times completely satisfied with the performance of Justices of Peace in their JP duties. However we accept that in reality this will not always be the case and that from time to time the public may encounter various issues with varying complexities that they wish to see resolved. One of our most important responsibilities in this area is ensuring that such matters are treated equitably and in a consistent and timely manner.
If you have a concern about a JP please fill out this form:

* Required

No. The form must be complete. Normally the required JP action is the last action for that part of the form.

Check with the JP first. Provided the JPs can satisfy themselves the copy is an exact copy or is able to photocopy the document (or witness the photocopy of the document), then they should be able to certify the copy

Some JPs may be at work or on holiday. If you can’t find one near your home, try near your work or consider going to a Service Desk. No appointment necessary.
Link to the service is below: Service Desk

This is solely at the discretion of the JP. Please respect their decision. As a guide, it would be recommended you do not try to make an appointment for after 6:00 pm.

JPs can certify a copy of an original document, or some other document that has been copied, provided the JP has both the document that has been copied and the copy so it can be compared. JPs can then satisfy themselves the copy is exactly the same as the document that has been copied, without alteration, and complete the certification

The specific nature of the requirement, and if certified copies are being requested, how many pages.

A JP is not the same as a Notary Public. Some of what a Notary Public does can be similar to what a JP does. In New Zealand a Notary Public is usually found in a lawyer’s office. Notary Publics are likely to charge for their services. A Notary Public is usually used for foreign documents.

Yes please, the JP is likely waiting for you and putting off any other appointments or commitments, expecting you to arrive.

You are also welcome to swear on a different holy book other than the bible. There is an alternative to swearing where you can affirm which does not require a holy book but carries the same importance as swearing on a holy book. This is called an Affirmation.

Check with the JP whether or not they have a holy book so they can administer your affidavit.

Yes you can, but the JP either has to see the original on your computer / phone or you need to have them help you make a Statutory Declaration.

Download this form, fill it out and take it to a JP. Don’t sign or complete the bottom part, you need to do that in front of the JP.


Yes, check the Royal Federation website for the JPs available on these islands. There may also be Service Desks at these locations.
Links for Service Desk and Find a JP are below:
Service Desk
Find a JP

Check with the JP when you make an appointment. It may depend on the service required. Most of the time, ID is not a requirement. Some JPs could request to see ID. Where a signature is to be witnessed only, it is likely ID will be requested.

A JP, as a JP, cannot be your identifier. If the JP knows you for the required minimum period and they are a NZ Passport holder, they can then be your identifier but not as a JP. If you wear head covering in your photo, a JP can be used to take the required Statutory Declaration.

No. Other than to recommend that the form must be complete, the JP cannot help you to answer any questions.

No. The person who is to sign the Statutory Declaration (or Affidavit) must go to the JP themselves so the JP can verbally take the Statutory Declaration as well as witness the signature. Please do not pre-sign the declaration before visiting the JP.

Generally, yes this is quite acceptable, provided you also have the original document so the JP can compare it to the copy. However, if you need to get a copy of an identity document certified and the JP must also match the identity, then you need to present the documents yourself to the JP.

JP services can generally be carried out on a Sunday. It is the JPs discretion as to whether they make themselves available on a Sunday. Please respect the JPs decision

No, JPs needs to have a reason to apply their stamps e.g. certifying a copy of a document. JPs may be requested to sign and apply their stamp to a form confirming the owner of the form was the one who presented it. In this case the JP would want to see photo ID and may add wording that they confirmed ID by sighting; passport from (name of country), passport number and expiry date, of the presenter

Some applications require you to provide certified photo/s of yourself to go with the application. Provided you have existing valid photo ID e.g. passport, drivers license, then the JP can easily confirm you are who you say you are and certify your photos. If you have no current photo ID, it is suggested you inform the agency requesting the ID and request how to proceed.

A JP is not permitted to give legal advice

NZ JPs are authorised to take New Zealand Statutory Declarations. They do not have the authority to take an Australian Statutory Declaration UNLESS the form specifically includes a statement that a New Zealand Justice of the Peace may administer the declaration. DO NOT alter the form to comply with the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957. Refer Manual Section 7.9, page 44.

If a document is required to be notorised, this is usually carried out by a Notary Public. The client may choose to check with the recipient to see if a NZ JP is acceptable. The client is responsible for their own form and must be sure, if a NZ JP is going to be acceptable to carry out the notorisation.

A JP can only certify a photo of yourself provided they have personally known you for at least 12 months.

Yes. Bring both your photocopies and your originals.

What if I downloaded the original and printed it from the internet?

JPs are not permitted to charge for their services. Nor can they accept any gratuity of any kind even if it is offered without being solicited.  JPs if they have access to a photocopier, may charge a nominal fee of 20c per each single page if they photocopy any document for you.

If you REALLY feel like you want to give back you are welcome to make a donation to the Auckland Justice of the Peace Association, our bank account number is 02 0256 0333810 00