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Papakura Court to reopen for Jury Trials

Papakura Court to reopen for Jury Trials

The reopening of Papakura District Court will improve the quality and timeliness of our court services in Auckland.

Papakura District Court will reopen for jury trials from early 2008, Courts Minister Rick Barker announced today. The move will help ease the current jury trial workload of the Manukau District Court by creating a new Papakura jury district. This will allow jurors to be drawn from areas not currently within a District Court jury district, including people from the South Pukekohe, Tuakau and Bombay areas.

"The Papakura District Court has ready facilities to hold jury trials, such as a jury deliberation room and jury dock," Mr Barker said.

"Jury work has experienced significant growth and jury facilities, especially in Auckland, are under sustained pressure. The reopening of Papakura District Court will improve the quality and timeliness of our court services in Auckland.

"The Labour-led government recognises that Auckland is a special case because of its sheer size and increasing demand for court services. Over half of all District Court jury trials nationwide are at either Manukau or Auckland Courts. Auckland already comprises at least 30% of court work and population projections indicate that the pressure on the court system in the region will continue to grow.

"This has called for some serious thinking about how we can reconfigure facilities and services to position courts to meet current and future demand in the greater Auckland region and the Ministry of Justice is in the early planning stages of a long-term project to improve service delivery in Auckland

"The ideas being explored include a service centre to handle bulk customer enquiries, and high volume correspondence and applications, a dedicated facility for civil and family matters, consolidation of indictable jurisdiction caseloads into purpose-built facilities, extending use of electronic filing and video-conferencing and the possible development of a community justice centre.

"We are increasing the capacity of our busiest court by creating multi purpose courtrooms in Auckland District Court, as well as exploring various options for improving courtroom capacity at the Manukau District Court.

"The service delivery project identifies options for reconfiguring and streamlining some of its service delivery processes as well as identifying what additional court facilities could be provided, and highlights this Labour-led government's commitment to improving access to justice for all New Zealanders," Mr Barker said.

ENDS

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