UPDATE 22 December 2021: New Zealand’s COVID-19 Protection Framework ('traffic light system') is now in place. Courts have implemented transitional protocols that guide court operations under the Red and Orange settings of the Framework. These came into effect on 6 December 2021 and remain in force until 31 January 2022.
Courts remain an essential service throughout all COVID-19 restrictions, but may operate differently.
The Chief Justice’s statement about Courts operations under the COVID-19 Protection Framework(external link)
Current protocols for the Courts and Tribunals under the COVID-19 Protection Framework(external link)
Until 11.59pm on Thursday 30 December 2021, Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts are set at Red. The rest of the North Island, and the South Island, are set at Orange.
From 11.59pm on Thursday 30 December 2021,Taitokerau/Northland (Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara Districts) will remain at Red. The rest of the North Island, and the South Island, are set at Orange.
No new jury trials will begin in the District Court until 31 January 2022.
No new jury trials will begin in the High Court until 8 February 2022.
If you have received a jury service summons, you can check if you need to attend jury service on our website at: Check if you need to attend jury service.
Excusals and deferrals
If you have experienced changes to family or financial circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or if you have health and safety concerns, you can request to have your jury service excused or deferred (postponed). Please contact your local court for more information.
In Red areas, District Court matters considered 'priority proceedings' will be conducted remotely where possible in the Criminal, Family, Youth and Civil jurisdictions. Some additional matters that are not ‘priority proceedings’ may also be conducted if it is safe to do so; participants for these matters will be contacted by the relevant court registry to confirm. High Court business will also be conducted remotely where possible. Call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) or contact the registry directly at Contact us if you have questions about a specific case and whether it is a ‘priority proceeding’.
In Orange areas, the High Court and District Court will conduct all proceedings to the extent practicable, subject to workforce capacity levels and the requirement to observe requisite physical distancing and heightened hygiene practices.
Many Specialist Courts and Tribunals have implemented their own operating protocols: Courts of New Zealand - Courts and Tribunals protocols
Public court counters are closed in all District Court and Tribunal sites in Red areas.
In the sole High Court registries (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch), public counters are open at all Traffic Light colours (including Red). In combined High Court/District Court registries, public counter services are subject to local arrangements.
Court documents and applications can be filed, with online payments, using File & Pay(external link). Drop boxes are also available at entrances. Alternative methods of filing will be accepted as per judicial protocols.
In Orange areas, court counters are generally open (excluding Justice of the Peace counters, which are closed), with appropriate health and safety measures in place.
Do not come to the courthouse if you are feeling unwell. Contact 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you cannot enter the courthouse or are not sure whether to attend. Find contact details for a court or tribunal.
For more information for court users, see: Information for all court and tribunal users.
Please refer to the Courts of NZ website for further updates and specific court protocols: Courts of New Zealand - Courts and Tribunals protocols(external link)
In both Red and Orange areas, we are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court participants and staff. If you are visiting a court or tribunal, please wear a face mask, wash/sanitise your hands, and maintain physical distancing.
Everyone entering the court is required to sign in. Court participants are strongly encouraged to download the NZ COVID Tracer app(external link) and use mobile devices to scan the COVID-19 QR code at the main entrance of a courthouse, or use the manual contact tracing register.
The COVID Healthline at 0800 358 5453 is also available for 24/7 advice and information about COVID-19.
Click on one of the courts below to see if you need to come to jury service today or tomorrow.