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Auckland Transcription Service Centre opens

Hon Rick Barker
Minister for Courts

29 November 2007

Auckland Transcription Service Centre opens

Courts Minister, Rick Barker today opened the Auckland Transcription Service Centre in Albany. The facility, dedicated to the transcription of evidence given in Court, is the second Service Centre established as part of the National Transcription Service and is part of a wider drive by the Labour-led government to improve efficiency and access to justice for all New Zealanders.

"The National Transcription Service and the new Auckland Transcription Service Centre will help improve the efficiency of the court system by moving from a local to a national way of delivering transcription services," Mr Barker said.

"This involves the greater use of digital technology in courtrooms (known as For the Record), the introduction of national standards for transcription, and sharing the work among a national pool of Court Reporters based at the two Service Centres and 15 courts across the country. This helps overcome delays caused by staff being sick or absent and means that cases can progressed by transferring the reporting duties off-site.

"All hearings in courtrooms equipped with For the Record are recorded and transcribed by Court Reporters located outside the courtroom. This enables witnesses to speak at a normal uninterrupted speed and means trials can proceed more quickly.

"Initially, the Auckland Transcription Service Centre will provide transcription services to Auckland District Court and North Shore District Court. However, in February it will gradually extend its services to the Auckland High Court and by the end of 2008 could be providing “off site” support to courts in up to 15 locations throughout New Zealand.

"The Albany Service Centre is a good example of how some court services can be delivered away from the courthouse. Modern technology means that not everyone has to be in the courtroom. The judiciary report that cases are being resolved more quickly and efficiently as a result of the changes we are making and the introduction of digital technology to courtrooms. This means better and timelier access to justice for all New Zealanders.

"Work has begun on a strategy for courts to improve quality and timeliness, to meet the increasing demands a growing population places on court services in Auckland. The Auckland Transcription Service Centre will help inform that strategy, pointing the way forward for the delivery of other court services and supporting further innovation," Mr Barker said.

ENDS

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