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New Registrar - and Treasurer

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Association has a new Registrar… and a new Treasurer.

Peter Montgomery, JP, has been appointed Registrar, while the office of Treasurer has gone to Geoff Pownall, JP.

The two are filling part-time positions following the recent resignation of Roger Brookes. Association President, Selwyn Haworth, says it has been decided to split the duties traditionally managed by the Registrar alone, as the two new roles reflect the quite different responsibilities, particularly with our Association’s new computer programmes and recent legislative changes. 

Peter Montgomery is a member of three Institutes - Chartered Accountants, Secretaries and Corporate Managers - as well as other professional groups and he is an accountancy consultant working across a wide range of commercial undertakings including not-for-profit entities. He has been a Justice of the Peace since 1995.

Geoff Pownall is also a member of the Chartered Accountants’ Institute, owns a consulting company providing compliance and administration services to individuals and charities and holds office in several professional bodies. Geoff was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1992.

“The appointment of Peter and Geoff will assist our Association,” Selwyn Haworth says, “to meet the ongoing changing needs of our Council and members for now and the future“

Obtaining the Ministerial Manual

Ric Carlyon - Monday, October 26, 2015

The updated Ministerial Manual is being distributed to all Justices of the Peace.

The distribution of the first tranche of the revised Manual occurred at the recent Auckland Conference where hundreds of copies were collected by those attending. 

“Delivery’s going smoothly” says Registrar, Roger Brookes, “and the next step is distribution through Support Groups, rather than via the Association’s office. We want to deliver “in bulk” instead of individually so Support Group Coordinators will obtain sufficient number of copies for dispersal at the next meeting of their members. Accordingly, Justices of the Peace should plan to attend their next Support Group meeting to uplift their Manuals.

Details of all Support Groups, their coordinators and date/time/place of meetings are available on the Members’ Pages on the website - Support Groups. 

More than 60 Years' Service Honoured

Ric Carlyon - Monday, October 19, 2015

A South Auckland Justice of the Peace has been recognised for his remarkable long service to the community.

George Henry Mills Green, QSM, JP, known by everyone as Jerry Green, has been presented with a Certificate of Service for 61 years’ service as a Justice of the Peace. 

Jerry is in his mid-nineties and described as “bright as a button” and, in addition to Justice of the Peace duties, he serves on the Management Committee of Age Concern for Counties Manukau. 

His certificate was presented during Age Concern’s Annual General Meeting at Cambria Park Homestead in Papatoetoe, appropriately decked out with material to celebrate International Day of the Older Person, promoting awareness of elders. For Jerry, a ninety-something year old, the messages on the wall, “Remember When”, must have been especially appropriate, particularly perhaps recalling some of the intrigue about his duties over six decades as Justice of the Peace!     

Jerry has been a stalwart of Papatoetoe: he was Town Clerk of the local Council and has a street named after him in Wiri. He is the only Justice of the Peace who is an Honorary Member of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association.

Below: Jerry Green is presented with his Certificate by Pat Taylor, JP, coordinator of the local Justices' Support Group

Council Briefs

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, October 14, 2015

From Council’s October Meeting held today…

President Selwyn Haworth reported that with the date for Expressions of Interest having closed, the process is well underway towards appointing a new Registrar/Treasurer or, probably preferred, a Registrar and a Treasurer.

Subscriptions Catch-up
Following long hours of manual work tidying the Association’s database, those who sought Invoices for their subscriptions-in-arrears have now been billed for the 2014/15 year. And in a few weeks the up-to-date database will be used to send out invoices to all members for the 2015/16 year at the slightly higher subscription rate. The dues for Justices of the Peace, Retired, will continue to be $18. 

Service Desks Statistics
Ian Marshall says there’ll be a big push on Service Desks to furnish monthly statistics so that the Association is aware of the work all Justices are putting in across Greater Auckland.

Active and Current
Dawn Jones, who oversees Support Groups, suggested Auckland’s “Active and Trained” competency scheme be changed to “Active and Current” to better reflect expectations of all Justices of the Peace to be up-to-date.  Council members agreed. “The word ‘current’ better reflects the structure we want”, says Dawn, “which means no one will be able to opt out because they consider themselves ‘already trained’, even though their last training session was some time ago. ‘Active’ means being regularly available to carry out duties while ‘Current’ means having up to date knowledge of all JP services” 

Midwinter Luncheon
Sherryl Wilson, as chair of Fellowship/Social Committee, suggested a Members’ event, a luncheon probably on a Sunday in July next year. Wanting to give advance warning, Sherryl says full details will be announced in good time for Members’ diaries. 

Service Desks – All the Go

Ric Carlyon - Sunday, October 11, 2015

Popularity of Service Desks as a means of dispensing Justice of the Peace services is rapidly becoming apparent, and not just in Auckland. 

Other Associations who have trialed them as an experiment have also met with success, with usually higher than expected uptake.

Te Aroha, in Waikato Association’s territory is the latest.

Ten Justices of the Peace are now rostered for a session each Wednesday, 11am - 1pm, at the local CAB.

“Some Justices prefer to make their service available at a public desk rather than in their own homes”, says Te Aroha- Morrinsville Branch President, Eric Russell, echoing one of the reasons Auckland Association attributes to the success of its 52 Service Desks situated across Super City. 

One, Sylvia Park, which also operates in a CAB, recently extended its services to Saturday mornings. Jenny Hunt expects it to be just as busy as weekdays, if not more so, once the Saturday opening becomes known.

And Northland Association's Registrar, Sue Farrant, is quoted in the Northern Advocate saying Justices of the Peace signed more than 1,200 documents last month at the Service Desk in Whangarei Courthouse, in addition to services provided at Whangarei Central Library on Saturday mornings.   

Justices of the Peace to Settle Harbour Board Disputes

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Council has legislated that Justices of the Peace will settle any disputes against Harbour Board charges. Payers who have any concern about the amount they’ve been levied, or disagree with any other dues or charges imposed under the Harbour by-laws, should make application to a Justice of the Peace for a hearing. The Justice will then consider the matter, determine amounts to be paid and appropriately award costs to either of the parties, taking into account any distress suffered. The Justice’s  decision is to be issued by means of warrant.  
- Section 43 Auckland Harbour Board Act 1854, Auckland Provincial Council - the same Act that, unbelievably, appointed 100 men as the Board of Commissioners to govern Waitemata Harbour and waterfront. 

Robert Wynyard, Superintendent, who gave Justices of the Peace the task of hearing rates disputes.  

Seeking a new Registrar - and Treasurer

Ric Carlyon - Monday, October 05, 2015

The Association’s looking to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of our Registrar, Roger Brookes. 

It’s been decided by Council to take the opportunity to separate the Registrar’s duties from Treasurer’s functions, so expressions of interest are sought for two part-time positions… that of Registrar and of Treasurer.  

Both will be remunerated positions, independent contractors, the Registrar working out of the Association’s office in the Auckland District Court building while it’s envisaged the Treasurer would work mostly from home. 

The membership has already been canvassed looking for anyone interested: the positions are also to be publicly advertised. 

Those wishing to register interest should email before 13th October.  

Association’s Data-Base Being Overhauled

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, October 01, 2015

The data-base of the Association’s members, and their details, is being overhauled and it’s proving quite a project. 

Over the years information recorded in the data-base became out-of-date and inaccurate. This affected members’ current home and email addresses which meant it was difficult to communicate with them.
“It’s been a bigger task than we thought” says Association President, Selwyn Haworth, “and it’s not quite complete, despite a small army of 50 willing volunteers working through the records to produce an up to date master data-base of the 1,500 or so Justices of the Peace on the lists. The helpers have done a remarkable job correcting and purging the data-base and in some cases they have been contacting members by phone to confirm details”.
During inquiries it’s been found some members have died, others have relinquished membership because they’re no longer providing services, while some have moved permanently overseas or have stepped down as ‘JP Retired’.
In a week or two, once the make-over is complete, there will be a clearer picture of the membership and it’ll be much easier to communicate with members via email. A periodic emailed newsletter is planned to keep them in touch with Association’s activities. Another aspect - it will be easier to identify and advise those who overlooked paying last year’s subscription… not entirely their fault, because the out-of-date database meant they may not have received an invoice or reminder notices.  And, quite soon, invoices for the current year’s subscription will be emailed to all members.    

Support Group Coordinators Thanked

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Justices of the Peace who are also coordinators of Support Groups were thanked for their ongoing services on Sunday, following the Auckland Justice of the Peace association’s Regional Conference.

Dawn Jones, convenor of Support Groups, told the conference that the coordinators’ efforts, as leaders of the 27 Support Groups, are greatly appreciated.  Ric Carlyon, in his remarks to Conference, also thanked the coordinators, saying they are part of the vital “backroom team” which contributes to the Association’s most successful undertaking - provision of Justice of the Peace services at 52 Desks across Greater Auckland.

In appreciation, Support Group Coordinators joined Association Council members for lunch. 

Some of the Support Group Coordinators who attended the luncheon

The Missing 300

Ric Carlyon - Monday, September 14, 2015

Work begins in earnest today to try to reconcile the Association’s database of members. 

It’s thought some 300 Justices of the Peace, members or former members, can't be accurately accounted for. A small group of volunteers has this morning begun the task, comparing details in several databases to come up with a new master list. Once this is complete it’s planned to stage Part 2 of the exercise - to telephone those members whose details appear out of date or incorrect in the continuing effort to clean up the files. 

So where are the 300? Council members were told at their meeting last week, and again at yesterday’s Regional Conference, that over the years the database has had its faults, corrupted and out of date. In addition, it was advised, some Justices have died without the office being notified while others have moved house, changed email addresses, remarried with changed names, or have inadvertently (or deliberately) let their membership lapse and are now out of contact.

Auckland Justices of the Peace who have noticed they have not been getting membership information by email can check their details on-line, or should advise the Registrar, Roger Brookes. He has joined the hunt for the missing 300! 

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