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Royal Federation Reps at Annual General Meeting

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Both the President and Vice-President of the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices Associations attended the weekend's Annual General Meeting of the Auckland Association, accompanied by National Manager, Tony Pugh.

President, Denise Hutchins, advised the meeting of important recent developments:

+ 33.8 per cent of Justices nationwide were now accredited: there’s a target of 50 per cent by the next Federation Conference in March.

+ There’ve been representations to the Ministry of Justice… and ongoing discussions… to try to ensure competency of Justices – not just those who are members of Associations, but all who serve the community. “They are all officers of the law”, Denise said “and as such, the public must have confidence in their ability to act properly in their office, and this requires competency: they must be up-to-date and knowledgeable. We will continue to work on ways to convince Ministry of Justice officials that a system must be devised to ensure all Justices meet the community’s expectation”.

+ There will be a modest increase in funding of Service Desks.

+ The pilot scheme in West Auckland, where Justices officiate at “Registry Office” weddings, is now well-established, confirmed and, in an expansion to Justices’ usual duties, is being introduced in other centres, beginning in Hamilton.

+ There’re moves to standardise documents Justices often deal with that are designed to prevent money laundering. At present there are many versions and forms issued by banks, institutions etc. Standardisation will ease Justices’ work.

+ Templates and documents on the Royal Federation’s website are now in several languages, and more will be added, to assist clients whose first language is not English.

+ The Royal Federation website will soon have a makeover.

+ Denise thanked all Justices for their ongoing community service

Vice-President Rachel O’Grady told the gathering:

+ The Federation’s Constitution is being reviewed.

+ Its reform will fill gaps, update names, processes and procedures

+ Changes will modernise the language, making it more easily understood. 

Association’s Annual General Meeting

Ric Carlyon - Monday, September 18, 2017

Auckland Justices of the Peace gathered for their Association’s Annual General Meeting yesterday, chaired by President, Selwyn Haworth.

+ Selwyn introduced the Association’s new Registrar, Janet Thompson

+ Selwyn, in his Annual Report, said he achieved improvements to financial reporting, he obtained donations from Trusts,  updated the membership database and reviewed the Support Group and Service Desk network.
  
+Treasurer Geoff Pownall reported a small surplus in a set of accounts which auditors had given an unqualified certificate. 

+A remit from Whau Support Group was agreed-to by the meeting which means there will be follow-up by a special committee of Council to consider changes to the Rules governing the lodging, processing and presentation of remits at the Annual General Meeting.

+Other Notices of Motion were not agreed-to. These involved proposed changes to training, a re-prioritisation of Council resources and effort, the need for individual Justices to make an annual return of their activities, and reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.

+ The composition of the new Council was announced:
President
Garry Nicholls
Vice-President 
Sherryl Wilson 
Council Members
Selwyn Haworth (Past President), Hazel Bedogni, Roger Brookes, Ric Carlyon, Ow
en Goodwin, Tamati Howard, Neville Madden, Susan Walker and Wallis Walker

+ Retiring members of Council, Colin Davis, Dawn Jones and Les Smith, were thanked for their services and farewelled.

+Pat Samson was elected as Auckland Representative on the Board of the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices Associations
















Last Meeting of Present Council

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Today’s regular monthly meeting of the Association’s Council was the last for the year: there’ll be a new Council following Sunday’s Annual General Meeting.  

President Selwyn Haworth stands down along with other long-standing members Colin Davis and Les Smith. All three are Past-Presidents of the Association and all have been involved in the Judicial side of activities: most recently Les has chaired the Court Management Team and all were involved in setting, documenting and monitoring protocols and standards expected of those Justices who preside in Court.

All three also thanked those Members they have worked with over the years: “…they’ve been a great bunch of people…” Past-President Les Smith remarked.

Dawn Jones also retires from Council having served the maximum term allowed in the Association’s Rules. Dawn steps down having enhanced the organisation of Support Groups and overseen the expansion of Service Desks: the combined powerhouse of Ministerial Duties in communities across Greater Auckland. Dawn has also been the driving force of the need for Justices to be “Active and Trained”, a theme consolidated more recently with the system of accreditation.

+A newly-composed Council will emerge at the Annual General Meeting being held together with the Regional Conference at Alexandra Park Raceway, Epsom, this Sunday (17 September) at 9am and is scheduled to conclude before lunch

Hub Meeting Held Off-Shore

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Auckland Justices of Peace Association has members at 2 ‘off-shore’ locations… and one, Waiheke has held its first Hub Meeting. 
9 Justices attended… with one JP from the “mainland” taking advantage to catch up with the first Hub training, not being available for the local Hub session at Mangere. 
All those who completed questionnaires said they appreciated the opportunity to train together and valued the presentations. 
Half those present have accreditation, so Waiheke is already ahead of the percentage of the total JPs accredited across Auckland. 
The other "off-shore" Justices serve communities on Great Barrier Island.
   

Auckland’s Latest Justices

Ric Carlyon - Friday, September 08, 2017

Six new Justices of the Peace were sworn into office on Monday. 
Judge Philippa Cunningham officiated in the Auckland District Court and the new Justices were welcomed to the Association by President, Selwyn Haworth, Registrar Janet Thompson and members of Council.  
Those sworn are Karen Avery, Auckland City: Ada De Camasca, Flat Bush: Fazilat Rashid, Bucklands Beach: Tara Robinson, Epsom: Mark Darrow, Remuera and Aston Moss of Mount Eden



L-R Mark Darrow, Tara Robinson, Ada Decamasca, President Selwyn Haworth, Judge Philippa Cunningham, 
Fazilat Rashid, Karen Avery and Aston Moss

The ceremony was a first and a last... first for new Registrar Janet Thompson and the last for President Selwyn Haworth whose term in office ends later this month. 

Our New Registrar

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, September 07, 2017

Janet Thompson JP has taken over as Registrar of the Auckland Justice of the Peace Association.

She succeeds Peter Montgomery JP as of September 1st… Peter resigned to take up other work.   

Janet Thompson lives in Remuera having recently migrated from Palmerston North. “I know that many Aucklanders ask ‘why would you come and live here?’ but I can tell you from my experience that I have found Auckland very welcoming and I am enjoying a much more lively and positive vibe up here”.  
 

Janet Thompson attends her office three mornings each week

“My role as Registrar is part-time, and I also work for an Australian company who are looking to enter the student accommodation market in New Zealand (and I work from home for that company so maybe the fact that I don’t have to battle rush hour traffic helps me with my positive impression of Auckland!!)”.    
 
“I have been a JP since 2003, and am also a Nominated Witness and an Issuing Officer. I am a registered Marriage and Civil Union celebrant as well”.
 
“In my short time here I can see what an immense amount of time and effort all the Support Group coordinators do - I am in awe of the that you do.  I see my job as supporting you, and it will be a privilege to be able to do so.   Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there is anything that I can help or assist you with”.
 
“My normal working hours in the office are Monday, Wednesday and Friday (9.30am – 1.30pm), although from time to time I will work on a Thursday instead of a Friday so I can enjoy a long weekend with my mother in Palmerston North. 


AGM and Regional Conference - Reminder

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, August 31, 2017

Annual Reports, Nominations, Notices of Motion and Remits in connection with the Association’s Annual General Meeting are now available on this website in the Members’ section.

The AGM and Regional Conference is to be held at Alexandra Park Raceway, Epsom, Sunday 17 September at 9am and is scheduled to conclude before lunch. 

President Selwyn Haworth reminds all members they are welcome to attend… “this is an opportunity to learn and take part in our Association’s affairs, and there will be time to socialise”. 
 
The Agenda, President’s Report and Financial Accounts are among the documents viewable in the Members' Pages.

+ To gain access to the Members’ Page, your username is your surname followed your JP number expressed in 5 digits i.e. bloggs00123 and your password is your date of birth expressed as DDMMYYYY (i.e. 12081952).
  

Briefing for General Election

Ric Carlyon - Saturday, August 26, 2017

Justices of the Peace belonging to the Mangere Support Group were briefed at their recent meeting in preparation for the upcoming General Election.
The local Returning Officer and several representatives outlined their busy Electoral schedules, currently phase one of their tasks: the campaign to get as many eligible people enrolled as possible. Then, later in the electoral process they try to ensure that all electors have an opportunity to vote.
There’s a change this election: once advance voting begins on Monday 11 September, those still not enrolled can go to an advance polling place and not only enrol, but in the one visit, also place their vote. 


Mangere Support Group gets the gen on upcoming Election

It was noted at the meeting that Justices have official roles in the General Election as observers of “free and fair” elections throughout the electoral process: before polling day (accompanying those taking votes at hospitals, rest homes etc), on the day, (at polling places) and after polling day (at the final, official count).

Annual General Meeting Business

Ric Carlyon - Monday, August 21, 2017

The Council has received five matters following the call for remits for consideration at the Association’s Annual General Meeting on Sunday 17th September 2017. All are from the Whau Support Group.
In summary: 

A Notice of Motion calls on the Council to prioritise its work on those members who actively carry out their Justice of the Peace responsibilities, focusing on more effective, result-based training through Support Groups: Hub Meetings would be disestablished. The Notice also says members are entitled to an up-to-date website.

The first Remit calls for all Justices to return an annual summary of their activity logs so that the Association knows who the ‘high volume JPs” are … and can properly support them… and those who are not available for Ministerial Duties would have their membership of the Association terminated. 

The second Remit advocates covering some of the out-of-pocket expenses faced by those Justices who, each year, exceed a total of 50 Affidavits/Statutory Declarations/Witnessed Documents plus 200 certified copies. For these Justices, it proposes reimbursement of actual costs as a credit on Members’ annual subscription, initially, $20. The remit also canvasses for reimbursement of the cost of changing words on rubber stamps when required. “This remit,” the Whau Support Group says, “re-focuses the Council’s attention on properly looking after the small number of JPs doing most of the work”. 

The third Remit suggests a review of the need, and the way, Justices certify copies from electronic sources - such as those viewed on-line - because of inherent risks of not being able to access or recognise the original, or of virus being imported into computers used to view the “originals”.

The fourth remit seeks changes to the Association’s Rules to formalise the process of lodging and processing remits, and to streamline their presentation, ensuring that they are relevant, substantive and constitutional.

+ The full text of the documents and the accompanying submissions are available in the Members' section on this website under Governance, Annual General Meeting 2017.  

Western Weddings – Success Story

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Justices of the Peace continue with marriage ceremonies at the Hub West Henderson, and what started as an experiment has, increasingly, become a popular alternative to other kinds of ceremony.

Justices became involved when changes were proposed to the “Registry Office” style of weddings in West Auckland. The Department of Internal Affairs and the Royal Federation of Justices Associations agreed to a joint venture and the Hub West was chosen for the experiment. Local Justices were enlisted to perform the ceremonies.

That was 3 years ago and the “experiment” has continued each Friday ever since, with the number of marriages on the increase. Last month, July, for example 39 weddings were solemnised before Justices of the Peace at the Hub West. The forecast of 400 for the year will almost certainly be exceeded.

Auckland’s Representative on the Board of the Royal Federation, Pat Samson says “It's another use of Justice's talents and expertise and I am thrilled with the progress to date.”

Similar ceremonies conducted by Justices are about to be trialed at Hamilton District Court.

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