The Governor-General spelled out the worthiness of J.P.s at a function at Government House Wellington to mark the 200th anniversary of the appointment of New Zealand’s first Justice of the Peace.
Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae said that Thomas Kendall ‘s appointment so early in the history of European settlement highlights how important J.P.s are in the orderly functioning of civil society.
“There can be few organisations that can boast 200 years of service in New Zealand,” the Governor General said, “and if Kendall was with us here today he might be astonished to see how the role has evolved since 1814, reflecting changed societal needs and norms. He would probably be delighted to see that JP services have been made easily accessible - in private residences, at service desks in libraries and citizens’ advice bureaux, and at courthouses.
The Governor-General greets Royal Federation President Graeme Kitto
“What hasn’t changed in 200 years is the need for Justices of the Peace. The individuals and the institution that they represent are enduring. They are here to stay”.
“For many New Zealanders”, the Governor General said, “ a JP may be the only judicial officer we ever have contact with”.
“We can reflect on the long history of Justices of the Peace in our nation’s history. We can celebrate people who have freely contributed their time and expertise as JPs, who have helped with the functioning of this nation’s administration, and who have enabled their fellow citizens to meet their legal obligations”.