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Employment Court transfers

30 November 2004

Employment Court transfers from Dept of Labour to Ministry of Justice tomorrow

To enhance the coordination and efficiency of our specialist courts, the administration of the Employment Court will be managed by the Ministry of Justice from 1 December 2004.

Courts Minister Rick Barker explains that The Employment Court will become part of Special Jurisdictions at the Ministry, which administer other courts and tribunals such as the Maori Land Court and Environment Court.

“The transfer of administrative functions will result in a greater connection between the judges of the Employment Court and other judiciary serviced by the Ministry,” says Mr Barker.

“The transfer will be simple and smooth, so it's business as usual for the court. Information technology issues, and the housing of the court and research unit have been worked through and pose no hitch to the transfer. "I am confident the transfer will increase efficiency of the Court and add to the government drive to develop a more effective justice system and strong public services," he said.

The Department of Labour retains responsibility for servicing the Employment Relations Authority, and for providing mediation services to help resolve employment problems. The Employment Court has courtrooms in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and is serviced by four judges, led by Chief Judge Goddard. The court deals with up to about 200 matters each year.

Mr Barker says seven administrative staff will transfer and the team is expected to expand to 12 as vacancies and some new positions are filled.

“One of the few changes is that in the New Year the Employment Court will move out of its Department of Labour Christchurch location into shared space with the Maori Land Court,” he added.

ENDS

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