COVID-19: Information for lawyers and service providers

Information and announcements for the legal profession from judiciary can be found on the Courts of New Zealand website(external link).

COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020

The Chief District Court Judge has issued a practice note setting out the process for appeals to a public health order issued under section 11 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.  The Practice Note containing the filing address and the Notice of Appeal Form are available here:

Practice Note - COVID-19 Public Health Response Act(external link)

Notice of Appeal Form [PDF, 164 KB] 

Health and safety in the courts

Courts and tribunals continue to conduct as much of its usual business as it is safely able to in COVID-19 Alert Level 2. 

Read the factsheet about the health and safety measures that will be in place in the courts during COVID-19 Alert Level 2 [PDF, 145 KB].

Information for service providers

What does COVID-19 Alert Level 2 mean for the delivery of justice funded services?

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD), the Ministry of Justice and other funding agencies have provided guidance on what service delivery will look like under Alert Level 2. This information is relevant for all Justice funded services.

Read the guidance provided for all justice funded services during COVID-19 Alert Level 2 on the MSD website(external link)

For services reliant on court operations as part of service delivery, further service specific information will be provided soon. Please contact your contract manager if you have any questions or concerns related to the provision of services at Alert Level 2.

FAQs for Youth Court professionals

Read the FAQs for Youth Court professionals on the Youth Court page

Applications to vary bail conditions

To make an application to vary a bail condition, download and complete the following form:

Notice of application to vary bail conditions [PDF, 2.4 MB]

Where possible, please consult with the prosecuting agency prior to filing the completed application.

Once the application is completed, please send it to your local district court:

Find us

When sending the email:

  • Ensure subject title says CRI No, participant’s name, application to vary bail.
  • In the body of the email:
    • provide at least two methods of contact (e.g. home phone, cellphone, email) should the Court have questions or ring to advise of the outcome
    • identify:

a) if you have not obtained views from the prosecuting authority, OR

b) you have obtained views from the prosecuting authority and they have agreed to vary bail conditions, OR

c) that the variation of bail application is opposed and provide reasons for the opposition.

For further information and assistance, please contact 0800 COURTS.

Legal aid services

More information on legal aid services response to COVID-19 can be found on What's new for legal aid lawyers. Legal Aid Services will continue to post updates on What’s new for legal aid lawyers as more information becomes available.

FAQs about the operation of Legal Aid Services during COVID-19 Alert Level 2

Is Legal Aid Services open and if so, what are they processing?

Yes. Legal Aid Services is an essential service and will still be operating. The Wellington and Auckland Offices are currently open from 8am-5pm Monday-Friday.

Legal Aid Services is processing all legal aid work and applications. The processing of applications and work related to supporting the delivery of priority services and proceedings, which includes proceedings affecting the liberty of the individual or their personal safety and wellbeing, or proceedings that are time-critical will continue to be prioritised, however applications for matters that are not a priority or urgent are also being processed.


How can I contact legal aid services during COVID-19 Alert Level 2?

During COVID-19 Alert Level 2 our Legal Aid enquiry phone line (0800 253 425) will be temporarily unattended. Please email all non-urgent enquires and invoices to the appropriate legal aid office. Email addresses for legal aid offices can be found on the Contact Legal Aid page.

If you need to call Legal Aid Services by phone, please call our Legal Aid debt line on 0800 600 090 and press 1 when prompted.

Are Legal Aid Services still paying invoices?

We will continue to pay invoices in a timely manner. We are not currently experiencing delays in invoice payments.

What courts are still open during COVID-19 Alert Level 2?

Courts will conduct as much of its usual business as it is safely able to in COVID-19 Alert Level 2. Please check the Court and Tribunals Closures page or call 0800 COURTS if you have any questions regarding which courts are open.

Special sittings

Special sittings and admission ceremonies may be affected. If you planned to attend any of these, please call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) to confirm what arrangements are being made.

Information on all court sittings or any special arrangements that may be necessary will be updated on our website or the Courts of New Zealand website:

Courts of New Zealand(external link)

Property settlement guidance

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 may impact the ability for people to complete residential house sales, so new property settlement guidance has been announced.

Commercial property guidance

COVID-19 Alert Level 4 has impacted commercial leases and mortgages so new guidance around these has been announced.

Bar admission ceremonies

Ceremonies that were set during May 2020 have been rescheduled.

  • The Auckland admission ceremony scheduled for 15 May 2020 has been rescheduled to 12 June 2020. Documents are to be filed by 12 May 2020.
  • The Christchurch admission ceremony scheduled for 22 May 2020 has been rescheduled to 3 July 2020.

No other admission ceremony date is affected at this stage.

If you have specific questions around the filing timetable or the admission ceremony, or need to be admitted as a matter of urgency, please contact the local High Court Registrar: