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Small courts proposal will not proceed says Robson

17 May 2002
Media Statement

Small courts proposal will not proceed says Robson

The Department for Courts’ proposal to reconfigure existing court services in small communities will not proceed, Courts Minister Matt Robson said today.

The thirteen courts at Dargaville, Warkworth, Te Kuiti, Opotiki, Wairoa, Waipukurau, Taihape, Marton, Feilding, Rangiora, Balclutha, Queenstown and Gore will remain open, providing the current registry services, as they do now. The two courts at Ranfurly and Lumsden, which have not sat for a number of years, will close.

“The proposal gave rise to concerns among local communities that the government is withdrawing from local communities, as governments have done in the past, says Matt Robson.

“People felt the proposal signalled a lessening of the government’s commitment to justice at the local level. I do not want that perception to arise. Public confidence in the justice system is too fundamental an issue.

“I am pleased with the consultative process followed by the department, which quite properly ensured the community was involved in the decision-making process, consistent with the Government’s position that communities should be involved in decisions which affect them.

“I said at the beginning of this process that I had an open mind and that the consultation process was genuine. As a consequence of what I have learnt, the thirteen small courts will remain – the buildings will be upgraded over time – and Dargaville and Queenstown will get new courthouses.

“I want to thank all those who committed the time and effort to write, to phone, to email, and to speak with me personally. This is an outcome we can all be proud of, says Matt Robson.


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