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Five Community Magistrates appointed

Five new Community Magistrates have been appointed for the Christchurch, Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton regions, Associate Justice and Courts Minister Aupito William Sio announced today.

“The additional Community Magistrates would help to assist in reducing court waiting times and provide judicial judgments on the lower end of criminal offending,” Aupito William Sio said.

"The appointment of Community Magistrates increases the judicial resource available to the courts. As Magistrates tackle offending at the lower end of the spectrum, District Court Judges become free to provide their expertise on more serious and complicated cases.

Community Magistrates are judicial officers who deal with a wide-ranging body of work. They can impose sentences on persons who have been found guilty or plead guilty to certain minor imprisonable offences, and can conduct defended hearings for a range of non-imprisonable offences.

“The successful applicants have been through an extensive selection process and I’m confident they will provide an excellent service to the people of New Zealand,” Aupito William Sio said.

The Community Magistrate scheme was piloted in 1999 and approved for permanent implementation in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region in 2008. The scheme was extended to the Auckland region in 2009. Two appointments have now been made to Christchurch.

Those appointed are:

• Terence Bourke of Auckland (who will also sit in Hamilton)

• Shaun Cole, of Tauranga

• Lucy Daniels Whineray of Auckland

• Simon Heale of Christchurch

• Sally O’Brien of Christchurch

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