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Northwest Justices Meet Their MP

Ric Carlyon - Monday, July 16, 2018

Justices of the Peace serving Auckland’s Northwest and their partners met with their Local Member of Parliament, Chris Penk at a successful social evening held at the Riverhead Bowling Club at the weekend. Local businesses, recognising the voluntary nature and valued services provided by Justices of the Peace, contributed generously towards the evening.
MP Chris Penk warmly acknowledged the important contribution made by of the local Justices of the Peace. He spoke of his formal role interviewing prospective Justices, assessing their  suitability and assessing how many are needed in areas of the Northwest, before making recommendations to the Ministry of Justice. There was also a lively discussion about local issues, particularly infrastructure and transportation.

Chris Penk, MP, and Shelley Robb, local Support Group Coordinator

Northwest Justices provide numerous options for their communities to attend Service Desks. There’s the Kumeu library on Saturday mornings 10am to 12 noon, the Desk in the concourse at the Northwest Mall (Thursday evening 6pm-8pm and Saturday morning 10am to 12noon), at Massey Library CAB (weekdays 1pm -3pm) and a Justice of the Peace is also available in Helensville CAB on Tuesday 10am -12noon, Wednesday 12.30pm - 3pm and at the nearby Plunket rooms on Saturday 10am -12noon.

Meeting Brevities

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Council of the Auckland Justices of the Peace met today, its regular monthly meeting. Here are topics of interest:

+ The Association’s “new look” website is almost ready to debut, stage one in the makeover project. Visitors will find it easier to navigate and as the site runs up to speed, stage two will kick in, adding more, and up-to-date, information. 

+ Service Desks. Northcote CAB is closed for renovations for a month: the Desk is temporarily relocated in nearby Northart premises. Later this month Remuera’s Service Desk will move from the CAB to the Public Library, thus retaining Justice of the Peace services in Remuera Village. The Association’s Eastern-most Desk has opened in the Medical Centre at Beachlands and in September a Desk will be opened at the Royal Oak Mall.

+ Council members analysed influences on membership numbers. They observed that minor fluctuations with resignations and deaths roughly equal new appointments - which have increased lately. One reason for resignations was that members were cashing-up and leaving Auckland, but this trend seems to be reducing. 

+ Council will consider making submissions to the Royal Federation of Justices Association’s upcoming review of the Ministerial Manual. The Federation has invited all Justices to contribute ideas on how the Manual might be improved or updated.

+ 16 Justices, who have had many chances to pay their subscriptions, will be advised they are no longer members, un-financial for more than 2 years, as per the Association’s Rules. Some 1,400 members renewed their subscription for 2017/18.

+The first Hub training in series 2 for this year has already been held – Waiheke Support Group took the lead. When it came to revision of the process to complete affidavits for Dissolution of Marriage, the Justice was confronted with a particularly caustic couple playing the role: a situation sometimes encountered in real life! Starting this Saturday, hubs are coming to a location near you -  remember that you do not have to attend the Hub nearest you… mix and match to suit your diary noting there are sessions in the morning and in early and late afternoon.  

Red Beach      Saturday 14 July        10am - 12 noon
Birkdale Sunday 22 July 10am - 12 noon
Mt Roskill Saturday 4 August 2pm - 4pm
Manukau City Saturday 4 August 4pm - 6pm
Kohimarama Saturday 11 August 9am - 11am
Panmure Saturday 25 August 2pm - 4pm
Te Atatu Saturday 1 September 10am - 12noon
Herne Bay Saturday 8 September 1pm - 3pm

+ Further arrangements were made at today's meeting for the Justices’ Annual Conference, incorporating the Association’s Annual General Meeting, on Sunday September 30th at Alexandra Park Raceway from 9am. 

+And another date for the diary – Thursday 18th October, the Association’s Annual Dinner 6.30 pm, at the Quality Hotel in Parnell. Further details late.

Congratulations Canterbury!

Ric Carlyon - Monday, July 02, 2018

Auckland Justices of the Peace Association has sent a letter of congratulations to its Canterbury counterpart which celebrated its centenary at the weekend.
Canterbury formed an association of “Commissioners of the Peace" (as was) at what was described as a semi-private preliminary meeting on 30th June 1918. Rules were adopted at a formal meeting 3 weeks later and the objects of the Association spelled out… “to encourage a spirit of fraternity amongst members and to promote greater efficiency by means of addresses, lectures, essays and papers by members of the legal profession, and others, and so uphold the dignity of the position”.
There was some little argument about who might join, and how membership was decided. Christchurch Mayor, Henry Holland, was elected President. He favoured candidates for membership to be balloted because “the object is to establish a first-class organisation, comprising the very best men and I know of a Justice of the Peace who should not be admitted”. The rule providing for a ballot was adopted.
The weekend’s events marking the Association’s 100 years comprised a special service at Knox Presbyterian Church and a celebratory Dinner. Canterbury is the first Justice of the Peace Association in New Zealand to attain 100 years.
(Notes from 1918 - Papers Past, National Library of NZ).

Association's Council Meets

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Briefs from today’s meeting of the Council of Auckland Justices of the Peace Association:

+ Treasurer Geoff Pownall reported that 91 per cent of the membership has renewed subscriptions. Last year at the same time it was 88 per cent. And after a personal approach to those members who were two years in arrears, there are just 18 outstanding, about half at this time last year. Subscriptions form the main-stay of the Association’s regular income.

+ Vice-President Sherryl Wilson has put together “Benefits of Membership” for those who have to be persuaded to continue with the Association or those who wonder what they get for their $55 annual subscription. Among the benefits is the opportunity for formal training so members are up to date and remain competent to serve the community, along with accreditation, attendance at social functions and to receive the quarterly “JQ” magazine. 

+ The Council agreed that all Justices on Service Desks should be members of the Association with the expectation that they have regularly taken part in Support Groups and Hub training sessions, thus competent to meet demands made of them. It was noted that at least one Support Group insists all Justices who are rostered to Service Desks are not only members of the Association, but are accredited… again in the name of ability and competency to undertake their duties assisting the community.

+ It was noted that 20 new Justices of the Peace were sworn-in in the past month, and there’s a further 30 who have been interviewed and provisionally appointed and await processing .

+ The Association’s Facebook page, launched this month, has 85 members some of whom have already entered into lively on-line debate and exchanging tips and experiences. 

+ Meanwhile, the Association’s web-site is being revamped and's due to be unveiled in two weeks. 

+  Council agreed to pay to re-ink members’ rubber stamps: assistance for those regularly serving on Service Desks. Reports indicate that distribution of the ink couldn’t be simpler. Members fetch their stamps to Support Group meetings, line up, and each receives a few drops in replenishment. 

+ It was reported that attendance at the first Hub series for the year was well-attended with a good mix from within each geographic Hub as well as those attending in other areas, showing Justices were choosing the session that suited their diary or circumstances. “There is no doubt” a report said based on comments from attendees, “that the more interactive approach has been embraced by almost all”, with many more favourable comments than criticism. The first in the second Hub series for 2018 will be held on Waiheke Island on 24th June.

+ Further progress was reported on arrangements for the combined Annual General Meeting and Auckland Regional Conference to be held at Alexandra Park on Sunday 29th September. (Diary Note) 

Justices Included in the Honours List

Ric Carlyon - Monday, June 04, 2018

6 Auckland Justices of the Peace have been named in today’s announcement of recipients of  Queen’s Birthday Honours for 2018.

Emeritus Professor Charmian O’Connor, CBE, JP, of Epsom, has been made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit recognising her international contributions to chemistry and education. Dame Charmian was instrumental in establishing the independent Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust which, through its academic dress hire business, is now one of the largest non-governmental funders of women’s higher education in New Zealand. As chair of the Trust’s Awards Committee since inception, she oversees the distribution of more than $600,000 across 110 grants and research awards annually for women undertaking tertiary education.  Professor O’Connor has also served on advisory committee at the University of Auckland and has been on the governing bodies of both Manukau Institute of Technology Council and Unitec. She continues her involvement with chemistry organisations and conferences at national and international levels.

Miss Janette Tasker, JP, of Forrest Hill, has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her service to the community and education. She has served the Methodist Church for many years, during which time she held senior governance positions. As Deputy Principal of Target Road Primary School from 1987 to 2011, Miss Tasker made a significant contribution to special needs education, overseeing growth of the department to two dedicated classrooms and was a driving force behind the purchase of a house, which was relocated to the school grounds as the ‘Sunshine House’ for the special needs department. 

Mrs Virginia Chong, JP, of Epsom, has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for dedication for more than 30 years to the Chinese community in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland.  Mrs Chong was appointed a Trustee of the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust in 2014. She has taken the lead in organising many sporting, cultural, social and fundraising activities and has been active with, and served as an office-holder in, the New Zealand Chinese Association. She is currently a member of Women Leaders, a network of women leaders across the public, private and non-profit sectors. She has also had a successful career in local government as an elected member of the Eden/Albert Community Board and its predecessor. She helped oversee raising funds and restoring the 120-year old Mt Eden Methodist Church. She serves on the New Zealand China Council Advisory Board helping to progress the government’s NZ Inc Strategy for China.

Mr Tafafuna'i Fa'atasi Lauese, JP, of Mangere, has also been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the Pacific community for more than 30 years. He is currently a member of the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board and has been a strong advocate for maintaining and protecting local parks, reserves and sports fields, and local arts and culture projects. He has been Chairman of the Pacific Peoples Advisory Council for Auckland Remand Prison since 2004. He is Treasurer and an Elder of the Mangere PIC Church. He also serves as an Executive Member on numerous local organisations he’s a  volunteer with the Mangere Citizen’s Advice Bureau, and provides translation/interpreter services for the Samoan community.

Reverend Lucky Slade, JP, is a recipient of the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the Samoan community. He has been a Church Minister in New Zealand for 33 years, during which time he has led the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Te Atatu. Reverend Slade is instrumental in  working with the Ministry of Education to roll out early childhood education playgroups throughout throughout New Zealand. He is also involved as Reverend Elder for 11 other Samoan congregational churches in West Auckland. He has led a number of national remembrance services for the Samoan community, including the Museum Service commemorating 100 years of military service in 2015, and Samoan Tsunami Commemoration services along with service to local groups and Rutherford Primary School.  

Mrs Elaine Utting of Greenhithe has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the community and netball. 
Mrs Utting has served as a Justice of the Peace since 2004. She was on the committee which organised the nation-wide Royal Federation Conference in Auckland in 2015 and is a long-time volunteer putting in many hours assisting with administration in the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association’s office. “It’s great to see Elaine has been recognised,” says Garry Nicholls, President of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association, “finding time among her many other pursuits to help us in the office in numerous ways over a many years has been very much appreciated. It’s a well-deserved award”. 
Elaine has been with Netball North Harbour for 63 years as a player, coach, umpire, Treasurer for 10 years, and President for four years. Mrs Utting was on the committee of the inaugural 2012 Golden Oldies Netball and was responsible for organising North Shore Primary School Netball Competitions in the early 1970s. 
She has been involved with the New Zealand 60’s Up movement, having been Secretary and Entertainment Officer of the Takapuna branch for 13 years and Treasurer for the national organisation covering 34 branches She has been involved with Red Cross Meals on Wheels for 50 years as both a driver and roster coordinator. She has assisted with Hospice North Shore for 27 years. She is Treasurer of Greenhithe Residents’ Association and a Neighbourhood Support Street Coordinator. She is a member of the Auckland Schools Community Education Association and has run evening business classes for the community for more than five years. 

Update on Service Desks

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Data
Reports received from additional Service Desks is showing a more accurate picture of delivery of Justice of the Peace services.
Late last year Council Member, Wallis Walker, offered to chase up those Desks not sending in their reports, and this, together with a clean-up of files, has paid off with a much clearer picture.
Wallis’s most recent report, detailing the last 8 months shows a total of almost 304,000 transactions completed at Service Desks across Auckland with 85,500 individuals assisted. And Justices contributed 11,687 unpaid hours to Justice.

New Service Desk 
And Wallis will be adding a new Service Desk to her summaries in future.
From June 20th Justices will be attending a Desk at the Beachlands Medical Centre, Wednesdays, between 5pm and 6.30pm. This, our eastern-most Service Desk, will help those seeking a JP in the burgeoning suburbs of Beachlands, Maraetai and surrounds.

New Justices of the Peace

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Auckland has 9 new Justices of the Peace, sworn-in yesterday at Auckland District Court.

These were the first of a number of candidates awaiting formal admission as Justices… a further 11 Aucklanders are due to be sworn-in next week, with more scheduled in July.   

Those sworn-in yesterday were Sanjay Salendra Prasad (Clendon Park), Kenneth Ying Mee (Howick), Apolonia Dianna  Fuka (Mangere East), Maren Bock-Mueller (Hibiscus Coast), Karnail Singh (Manurewa), Ellen Yule (Takapuna), Christopher Paul Whittington (Freemans Bay), Carol Dee Parks (Epsom) and Sara Kumar (Flat Bush).

Judge Philippa Cunningham (centre) who presided at the ceremony with the new Justices and Auckland Justices of the Peace Association 
President, Garry Nicholls, (right). 
Also in attendance were family members and friends of those sworn-in and representatives of the Association's Council.  

"Golden Era of Antibiotics is Fast Fading" - Scientist

Ric Carlyon - Sunday, May 20, 2018

Those attending the Association's Annual Luncheon today were warned of the imminent consequences of the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

“It’s scary,” said guest speaker Dr Siouxsie Wiles, a microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast and Head of the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland.

“We are looking at the end of the golden era of effective antibiotics. Bacteria are becoming resistant to all known antibiotics, the medicine cupboard’s bare, with no new versions coming forward”.

 “The work hinges on superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics” she says. “It’s important - just Imagine a world where because of this very real risk with no effective antibiotics, there will be fatal sicknesses, untreatable infections and no surgery.

She likens the detrimental effects of this on society similar to that of global warming, except she warns, the end of effective antibiotics has already arrived.

    Auckland Association Vice President Sherryl Wilson and today's guest speaker Dr Siouxie Wiles 

Dr Wiles combines her interests in bioluminescence (the likes of glow worms and fireflies) with research into bacteria: to better understand infectious diseases.

Siouxie Wiles also advocates demystifying science for the general public, and works to raise awareness of the sciences. Those at today’s luncheon will vouch that she achieved both objectives during her talk. 

Council Brevities

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The Council of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association met today.

+ Two new members, Sharon Nicholson and Ginny Radford, attended their first meeting… another co-opted member, Terry Holding forwarded his apologies for absence. 

+ President, Garry Nicholls, reported on a recent successful meeting at Mangere Support Group which was attended by local MP and Associate Minister of Justice Responsible for Justices of the Peace, Aupito William Sio. He supports a programme in Mangere district to encourage non-active Justices to share the burden of work of Ministerial duties with their fellow Justices.
+ The President is writing to those members who have let their subscription lapse for 2 years, inviting them to renew or they face losing their membership. 

+ A total of 21 new Justices are due to be sworn-in during 2 planned ceremonies later this month and 10 candidates are down for interview mid-May. 

+   It was agreed to help Justices who “wear out” their rubber stamps. In a trial set-up, Support Groups will receive a supply of blue ink so that Justices who work on Service Desks, particularly, can re-ink their stamps.

+   There was a reminder about the Annual Luncheon on Sunday 20 May, 12.00pm - 2.30pm at the The Quality Hotel Parnell, Gladstone Road, Parnell, when the guest speaker will be Dr Siouxsie Wiles. Her topic: “Is this the End of the Golden Age of Antibiotics?”. Siouxsie is a microbiologist and science communicator, Head of the Bioluminescent Superbugs Laboratory at the University of Auckland. She was also one of the three finalists in the New Zealander of the Year Award this year. Bookings on line: see notice in News.

+   Although not all reports are in, the present round of Hub Training Meetings have proved successful. According to comments on feed-back forms, attendees have appreciated a change in format which allows more member input and participation. One aspect emerges: this round of Hub meetings has attracted more members who do not identify with, or belong to, a Support Group. Hubs are thus providing new opportunity for training. Last Chance: The final Hub Meeting of the present series is  this Saturday, 12 May, 9am - 11am at Kohimarama Primary School, 112 Kohimarama Road. 

+   One third of Association members are now accredited Justices of the Peace. While this is a notable achievement, Auckland Trainers have set a new goal: to have all those working on Service Desks, and 45 per cent of members, accredited by year’s end. 

MP Honours Long-Serving Justices of the Peace

Ric Carlyon - Friday, April 13, 2018

Four Justices of the Peace had their long service recognised today at a function arranged by their local Member of Parliament. 

Mark Mitchell, MP for Rodney, hosted the ceremony at his Orewa office and thanked the four Justices from within his electorate for their community service."Justices of the Peace give sterling contribution" he said, "and functions like this provide the opportunity to thank them all". 

Retiring Justices of the Peace Ross Anderson of Millwater, (33 years' service), Terence Hoskin of Orewa (13 years) and Ian Schedewy of Warkworth (23 years) were each presented with certificates and their Retired Justice of the Peace badge. Trish Lockie of Orewa was presented with a certificate to mark her milestone of service. 

Two JPs and an MP! From left, Ross Anderson JP, Mark Mitchell MP and Garry Nicholls JP at today's ceremony 

The Justices were congratulated by President of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association, Gary Nicholls, and Vice President, Sherryl Wilson. Garry thanked Mark Mitchell for hosting the function, noting that the MP is no stranger to the role of Justice of the Peace - his father, Lawrence Mitchell, is a long-serving JP.   

Some 30 Justices of the Peace from surrounding areas also attended to honour their colleagues. 

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