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Monthly Meeting of Council

November 14, 2018

Items from today’s monthly meeting of the Council, Auckland Justices of the Peace Association –

+ President, Sherryl Wilson, tabled a new guide designed to assist Members of Parliament when they are considering prospective Justices of the Peace. (The process for appointment to the office originates with recommendations from MPs).

The document emphasises that a Justice of the Peace is expected to serve the community fulfilling the voluntary duties of office.

It starts with the message that: “…nominating someone to be a Justice of the Peace should not be regarded as bestowing an honour. An individual nominated must be willing to serve all members of the public”.

It then sets out the ideal qualities looked for in a Justice – all of which, it’s suggested, the MP should consider.

“With these criteria in mind,” the document concludes, “expectations of nominees and the reality of the volunteer service role are likely to be consistent”.

+ A training seminar for Nominated Persons will be held on Saturday 24th November at Auckland District Court. A number of Justices take the role of Nominated Person, attending at a police station when police want to interview someone under 17 years old, but whose parents or guardian are not available. The Children, Young Persons and their Families Act states the young person must be accompanied by a responsible adult while they are being questioned or giving a statement.

+    Several “pop up” Service Desks in public buildings, not established by the Association, have been asked to take down signs advertising “Justices of the Peace Available”. The Association is keen to authorise all Service Desks knowing that competent Justices are on duty in  whom the public can have every confidence.

+ 11 new Justices of the Peace were sworn in before Judge Mathers at the Auckland District Court on 5th November – Cuizhen (Jenny) Chen Zhen (New Lynn), Kathy Clist (Te Atatu), Shane Coleman (Riverhead), David Cooper (Takapuna), Bruce Good (Mt Albert), Jyoti Parashar (Blockhouse Bay), Geoff Polglase (Hobsonville), Chris Turnbull (St Johns), Yvonne Williams (Browns Bay), Kit Ting (Mel) Wong (Highland Park).

+ There’ll be just the one Hub Training Series in 2019, held at venues across Greater Auckland between March and May, staged to avoid Easter and school holidays. The content will cover Customer Service as well as an update on dealing with documents for financial institutions. All Justices will be encouraged to attend.

+ Wallis Walker reported data from Service Desks for 12 months to the end of August. Not to under-rate or discount the services of Justices who do duty on smaller or more remote Desks, here are the “heavies”, and the figures are impressive: Auckland District Court 72,225 transactions, Onehunga CAB 45,036, Eden-Albert CAB 41,085, Auckland Central Library 37,872, Mt Roskill CAB 36,204, and Botany Library 22,184. Across all Service Desks, Justices carried out more than 527,000 transactions in the year ended August 31st.

RCC