An individual who would like to become a Justice of the Peace would need to be nominated for the role by a Member of Parliament. The MP nominates them to the Minister of Justice, who will then organise an appointment for the citizen with the Governor-General. The MP must carefully consider the needs of the community before they nominate someone for the role of JP.
The nominated individual needs to obtain a license to operate as a Justice of the Peace. The process of swearing-in as a Justice of the Peace can take up to a year. During this time the nominated individual will have training online and he or she will be tested on their knowledge. Once the Governor-General approves their application for the role the citizen is sworn in as JP.
Who can be a JP?
Anyone can be a Justice of the Peace, with the exception of the following:
Any spouse of a JP
Members of Parliament
Any employee of a debt collector company
Anybody with a criminal record.
An ideal nominee for a JP is someone who is a prominent member of their community and offers their services in a volunteer capacity regularly. The ideal nominee will also be a citizen of New Zealand and fluent in English. The nominated individual must also be proficient on a computer and it’s essential that they have never been declared bankrupt.
If you are a public servant, local authority figure or part of the Prisoners Rehabilitation Society, you may be appointed, but you may not sit in Court.
To be a Justice of the Peace is not considered an honorary position. Its purpose is purely to provide a service to the community and is meant to serve and help others.