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From the new National President …

Ric Carlyon - Monday, March 21, 2016

New President, Denise Hutchins, is just one month into her Presidency. She was invited, through this column, to talk to Auckland Justices of the Peace. 

What a pleasure to meet with Justices of Peace from around Aotearoa - New Zealand, including the large contingent from Auckland, at the recent National Conference/AGM in Dunedin. It was a meeting of old friends and those experiencing a national gathering for the first time. We all learnt something new, did the business end of things, networked, had some fun, and above all enjoyed the fellowship of colleagues.

Welcoming new Justices is everyone’s responsibility. For Federations vision of ‘Excellence in the provision of accessible justice services’ to be realised, Federation has a responsibility to put in place the tools and processes that enable Associations to continuously improve this vital role. Associations have the responsibility to look after new Justices, supporting them to become fully functioning and active members of the wider Justice of the Peace network. Individual members within that Association likewise have the responsibility to mentor and support new Justices, teaching them the practical realities of providing a service to the public.
The Justice of the Peace population around the country is falling. Some amongst us are alarmed by this. It does not overly concern me (yet!). I can live with fewer, better trained/educated and active Justices. Along with this must go constant attention to how we deliver what we do. The extensive Service Desk network in the Auckland region is a sound basis from which to grow.
We play an important role in the Justice system, most people are likely to require the services of a Justice of the Peace at some stage of their life. The vast majority of New Zealanders will not venture any further into the Justice system. We are a key ‘cog’ in a very large wheel. Celebrate that, but remember along with it comes responsibility to maintain and grow our competence and communicate with the people we serve in a pleasant and professional manner.
We all have a part to play in a positive future for Justices of the Peace in our country. The Board of the Federation in seeking out new service opportunities, Associations in growing the competence of their members and individual Justices in providing a sound service to the public. Remaining relevant to the society we serve is the key to a bright future.
I wish all Auckland Association members well for the 2016 – 17 year and look forward to meeting as many of you as I can during the year.
Denise Hutchins

May Luncheon: A Truly Hip Hop Speaker

Ric Carlyon - Friday, March 11, 2016

Billie Jordan fled from Canterbury after the earthquakes, moved to Waiheke Island only to get a whole lot of shakin’ going on there. 
Billie founded Hip ‘Op, moulding a group of senior citizens into a dance troupe extraordinaire where aches, pains and walking frames are ignored as Hip Hop takes over. 

Led by Billie, the participants with an average age of 79 became polished performers. Modern music, and with the volume turned up a bit at that, was tolerated, indeed welcomed, as the beat went on, accompanying the hip-hoppers all the way to the USA to perform on the world stage.

Billie Jordan will recall highlights of her remarkable Hip ‘Op journey from Waiheke to the show-biz of glitzy Las Vegas wen she's guest speaker at the Auckland Justice of the Peace in May. Details also in the website Members’ Section, including on-line registration as an option. 

DATE: Sunday 15 May 2016 (this is NOT Mother’s Day!)
TIME: 12 noon – 3.00 pm
VENUE: Wellington’s Restaurant, Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre,58 Waipuna Road, Mt Wellington
GUEST: Billie Jordan
COST: $58.00 (incl GST) per person + Cash Bar

Payment: either by
Direct credit to the following bank account (our preferred method) 
Bank:           BNZ
A/c Name: Auckland Justices of the Peace Assn
A/c Number:         02-0256-0333810-000
Reference: Payer’s Surname and initial(s) / AJPA Lunch / MOJJP or telephone number
NB:  Please include all of the reference details prompted

OR by
Cheque posted to 
Auckland Justices of the Peace Assn
P O Box 108 229
Symonds Street
Auckland 1150

Council Briefs

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, March 10, 2016

From yesterday’s monthly meeting of the Council of Auckland Justices of the Peace Association 

Accreditation is coming to a JP near you! The Royal Federation’s scheme is being introduced mid-year: meanwhile Council is keen to retain its “Active and Current” initiative locally… that all Justices are Active, regularly providing services to the community and Current, competent in their work, up to date with. Council members believe the two measures to improve and maintain competencies can be dove-tailed and are looking at ways to amalgamate them. 

May Luncheon Council members were advised that, for the first time, registration for the May Luncheon (May 15th at Waipuna Lodge) will be able to be made on-line through the Association’s website… among other options for those without access to the internet.

Badge The Association’s unique badge is protected under our Rules. 

Council believes this may need strengthening and will consider formulating guidelines about its use. 

Our Subscription  It was noted during deliberations in Dunedin that Associations throughout the land have different subscriptions ranging from $30 t0 $70 and some have no reduction for JP Retired members. Auckland’ sub, at $55 is therefore about average… and we have a reduced sub, $18, for JP Retired folk. A

And by the way, those members who are not financial have been given a reminder that their subs are now due

Ongoing Education  This module is now available on the Royal Federation’s website, presenting ongoing education opportunities designed to support learning that takes place at Education sessions convened (in our case) at Support Groups meetings, District Seminars and at Regional Conference. 

RFoNZJA logo White-721-855  Ongoing Education Module

On Line Education incorporates changes made in last year’s Ministerial Manual. While a great aid towards competency, it’s not directly connected with Accreditation moves. 

Certificates of Service Those members eligible for long service (30 years, for instance) should advise the Registrar so appropriate certificates can be prepared. This is a one-chance offer, a “catch up” opportunity, for long-serving members who have not had long service previously recognised.  

Support Groups/Service Desks Council members are considering whether further guidelines should be formulated to assist activities of these two most important Association undertakings.

Further Conference Notes

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, March 01, 2016

From Conference Correspondent - member of Auckland delegation to Conference, Council Member Sherryl Wilson: 
  • Thought Provoking.  Saturday morning’s inspirational speaker was Lesley Elliott, mother of Sophie Elliott who was tragically murdered by her ex-partner of only five months in the most horrific circumstance.  Lesley is dedicating her life to the Sophie Elliott Foundation whose aim is to raise the awareness of all young women, and their families and friends, of the signs of partner abuse. This was an emotional and stirring start to Saturday’s business but gave everyone in the room much to ponder upon.
  • Farewell. The National Education Officer (NEO), Sarah Loftus has resigned after more than five years in the role and will shortly take up her new position with the NZ Law Society’s Continuing Legal Education Ltd.  Tributes were paid at Conference to Sarah for her commitment and dedication in the position. 
  • Retired. Conference passed Bay of Plenty’s remit requesting the Secretary of Justice to use his discretion to grant JP Retired status to those who have served less than ten years’ service.
  • Financial. The capitation fee payable by associations to RF based on membership as at 31 August 2016 was set at $15.00 plus GST – a rise of $2.00
  • Communications. The hard copy of the Justice Quarterly (JQ) will be phased out by 2020, but in the interim it’s to be modernised with a view to evolving into electronic format only.
  • Regional Conferences. Whilst the North Otago remit to hold the National Conference biennially was passed, the second part of their motion "that regional conferences be held in the intervening years, that is, every second year” was lost. Most Associations expressed the desire to be able to choose when to hold their regional conferences: these are mostly held annually.
  • Workshop Sessions. These were diverse and interesting with Auckland delegates attending all of these in order to give feedback to Council and the membership where needed. 
  • Education. The Ongoing Education Module (OEM) went live on Saturday evening and is now accessible on the Royal Federation’s website.  It is a stand-alone opportunity for members to upskill and is not directly linked to, but does support, Accreditation.  There are a set of activities that can be accessed online (although at the moment these need to be downloaded to use) and it does support the revised manual of 2015. It can be accessed as often as is wanted and no records are kept as to how often it’s utilised or for how long.  It is just the beginning with more to follow!
  • 2017. Next year's Annual Conference will be in Rotorua a little later than usual: 3-5 March.  

New Top Office-holders

Ric Carlyon - Monday, February 29, 2016

The Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices Associations has a new President. 

Denise Hutchins took over the reins at the Federation’s National Conference in Dunedin at the weekend after serving some 4 years on the Board - 2 years as Central Region Representative and 2 as Vice President. Denise’s professional background has been in public health, for 44 years, and after retirement she continues as a consultant in the health sector. Appointed Justice of the Peace in 2002, she has progressed through all the executive offices in the Nelson Bays Association’s Council.

Auckland contingent to Conference pictured with new President Denise Hutchins, centre in blue.   

Rachel O’Grady is Vice President of the Federation. She was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 2008, served on Wairoa sub-branch as Ministerial Trainer and in 2010 completed the Judicial  Course:  she has been sitting as Judicial JP in Wairoa and Gisborne since. As Northern Region Representative on the Board since 2013 Rachel’s duties have expanded to include the Legislation and Judicial Affairs portfolio. Rachel works in partnership with her husband on their beef and sheep farm in Kotemaori. 

Changing of the Guard: Graeme Kitto, outgoing President with Denise Hutchins
Background - Greg Weake, Kath Blair and Terry Byrne

Major Change: Biennial National Conferences

Ric Carlyon - Sunday, February 28, 2016

In a departure after holding National Conferences of Justices of the Peace for some 90 years, the Royal Federation will change to biennial conferences after 2018.

The suggestion to have conferences every second year was made by North Otago Justices of the Peace Association
at this weekend’s conference in Dunedin. In support of their remit, North Otago said travel and conference expenses were financially overwhelming smaller Associations, in some cases exceeding income. 

The remit was passed. 

The next two Annual Conferences are already arranged and will go ahead… next year in Rotorua and in Christchurch in 2018… after which Conferences will be held every other year. Royal Federation Board will figure out the form of Annual General Meetings in the “off years” enabling constitutional, etc, requirements to be satisfied: arrangements to be put to delegates at Rotorua next year.     

Changing Personal Details

Ric Carlyon - Saturday, February 27, 2016

In papers produced for the Royal Federation's Annual Conference, Justices are advised how best to register alterations to their personal details such as change of name, address, email, phone number etc.  

The Royal Federation’s website is the place to do this. On the Home Page choose Member Services, then click on My Account, and finally check into Account Maintenance. Make the changes to personal details and click on Save at the foot of the page. 

The benefits of advising changes in this way, Conference was advised, is that this action triggers an automatic email to Royal Federation,  to the Justice’s  own Association Registrar and to Ministry of Justice.  

The Board of Royal federation encourages all Justices to follow this preferred process.     

Auckland’s Remits at Conference.

Ric Carlyon - Saturday, February 27, 2016

Lost one, withdrew one
That’s the story about Auckland's remits at Royal Federation’s Annual Conference in Dunedin. 
Auckland advocated that Royal Federation policies ought to be able to be amended at annual conference by notice of motion from any one of the member Associations. The remit was argued that an Incorporated Society acting democratically should allow any member to amend policy they are to action, reversing past practice when Associations were not able to change policies once set by the Royal Federation’s Board. 
The remit was lost.
Auckland’s other remit called on the Royal Federation to endorse Auckland’s established “Active and Current” scheme which encourages  Justices of the Peace to (a) actively provide services to the community and (b) deliver competent services with up to date knowledge. The remit also called on Royal Federation to recommend Associations adopt the scheme as policy to best meet their needs. Auckland's "Active and Current" scheme was an alternative to accreditation proposals offered over the years.  
Auckland Association withdrew the remit after consultation with other Associations. While many perceived the advantages of the Active and Current policy, they believed it was too confusing to introduce it at the same time as the current accreditation procedure which will commence July 1st this year. They advised that they would not support the remit this year. Despite not seeking the endorsement of Conference for the policy, Auckland invited any association to use the policy as they desired, and to give us any feedback.
The remit was withdrawn. 

Conference Matters…

Ric Carlyon - Friday, February 26, 2016

The annual conference of the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices Associations began in Dunedin today. 

After being welcomed to the city by Mayor David Cull, the Minister of Immigration, Michael Woodhouse addressed conference on behalf of Simon Bridges, Associate Minister for Justice. Mr Woodhouse thanked Justices of the Peace for their continued work in the community, especially their attention to immigration matters. He said Justices need to be younger and more diverse. 

Conference attendees received a spirited welcome from a kapa haka party comprising students from Kings and Queens High Schools.

The President of the Law Commission, Sir Grant Hammond, addressing conference, spoke of initiatives in Justice which may include roles for Justices of the Peace. 

Auckland Association’s delegation to the 88th annual conference is led by President, Selwyn Haworth. 

5 New Justices of the Peace

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, February 25, 2016

Auckland has 5 new Justices of the Peace, recently sworn in before Judge Phillipa Cunningham.
The appointments reflect the region’s diverse community.  
Jonathon Asi, a Filipino by birth, is an IT technician with tertiary qualifications in science, theology and technical subjects. He’s involved in sporting and organisations benefiting youth and immigrants. 
Michael Codlin, before retiring, was for 40 years in the telecommunications field.  He is a Lifeline counsellor and interviewer at his local Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
Aida Crombach was born in Peru, Spanish is her first language and she’s Honorary Consul for Peru, in which office she often assists Peruvians in Auckland. Ms Crombach teaches biology at Massey University’s Albany campus.
Kathleen Landsman, German-born, has spent most of her life in New Zealand, and has a record assisting community groups such as Birthright, Lifeline and Hospice North Shore. 
Claire Schoeller is well-used to public service - she works in the electorate office of Cabinet Minister Judith Collins. Claire has also service in numerous community and church organisations in Ponsonby. 

Recent Swearing. L- R: Selwyn Howarth, President Auckland Justices of the Peaces Assoc: Claire Schoeller: Judge Phillipa Cunningham: Kathleen Landsman: Aida Crombach and Jonathan Asi. Absent - Michael Codlin

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