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Conference News

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Congratulations and Thanks
At the today’s meeting of the Council of Auckland Justices of the Peace Association, President Colin Davis thanked the Organising Committee of the recent national Royal Federation of N.Z. Justices Associations' annual meeting and conference, recently held at Takapuna's Spencer on Byron.

“Congratulations to all members of the Committee. Few can imagine the amount of work that goes into putting together this 3 day event” Colin said, “and the committee’s meticulous planning meant it went without a hitch. Members did the host, Auckland Association, proud with professional organisation and added prestige with the attendances of the Prime Minister and Auckland’s Mayor”.

“The Gala Dinner, organised by Wallis Walker, was first class” said the President, “with a bonus: the superb entertainment by the Tongan Tenors Trio and accompanying pianist".

Conference News

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Briefs from Conference 2015 at Takapuna

# Graeme Kitto was re-elected President of the Royal Federation of Justice Associations for the ensuing year, his second in office. Denise Hutchins will again be Vice President. Both were elected unopposed. The Regional Representatives for 2015-16 are Rachel O’Grady (Northern), Patrick Samson (Auckland), Kath Blair (Central) and Gavin Evans (Southern).  Greg Weake continues in the office of Immediate Past President. 

# A special farewell was accorded long-serving member on the Auckland Association’s Council and Auckland Regional Representative, Wallis Walker. After a presentation, Wallis addressed Conference, reminding everyone that the Royal Federation was made up of Association-members, and was there to assist and support Associations, a fact that she said was sometimes overlooked at Federation meetings in Wellington.

# Board business at Conference confirmed next year’s gathering will be in Dunedin, followed by Rotorua in 2017 and Canterbury in 2018, that Association’s Centennial.

# Forum Topics at Conference gave delegates a wide range of choice, from “Fraud and Immigration” (NZ Immigration Investigator), “Trouble-shooting Difficult Situations in Court” (Judge Charles Blackie), “Technology” (Greg Weake), “The Family Court” (Judge Ian McHardy) and “Dealing with Cultural Diversity”, (Camille Nakhid). In addition there were workshops for both Presidents and Registrars.

# Apologies tendered to Conference include a handful from Justices of the Peace on the remote Chatham Islands, members of the Canterbury Association.

# Those attending Conference’s Opening Ceremony became aware the liner Queen Elizabeth II was in port on its special cruise marking the centenary of the ANZAC Gallipoli campaign. Delegates, observers and visitors took the opportunity to mark the 100th anniversary by observing a minute’s silence for servicemen and women, especially New Zealanders, who died at Gallipoli, in previous South African battles, and during all subsequent conflicts.

Conference News

Ric Carlyon - Sunday, March 08, 2015

“J.P.”, Cultural Diversity in the Spotlight

Prominent lawyer, businesswoman, columnist and author, Mai Chen, in her address to Conference, urged delegates to drop the abbreviated name “J.P” in favour of the full title “Justice of the Peace”.

She told the 2015 Royal Federation of Justice Associations’ Annual Conference that the full name has a certain ring to it, sounds better and accurately describes Justices’ duties both now and into the foreseeable future.

Mai Chen said many Justices of the Peace, particularly in the main centres, are already experiencing cultural diversity in our communities. “They’re dealing with a wide range of nationalities and these people now make up many of those seeking  Ministerial Duties,” she said, “and those Justices of the Peace in other places not yet seeing these people will do so soon… be ready… statistics project growing cultural diversity throughout the country”.

[Conference later resolved to seek dessimination of on-line information and brochures to explain Justice of the Peace services in different languages for key non-English speaking communities]

 

Conference News

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, March 05, 2015

Success for Auckland Remits

Three remits put up by Auckland were passed by delegates attending the recent Royal Federation of Justices Associations' annual conference held recently at Takapuna.

Two remits were significant because they were both first suggested by Justices of the Peace in ground-roots Support Groups, endorsed and put forward by the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association.

The first, from Auckland’s Eastern Districts, called for the Ministry of Justice to provide for demographic diversity with on-line information and brochures to explain Justice of the Peace services in different languages. It was suggested that this information would be most helpful to those key non-English speaking communities who seek Justice of the Peace duties. Conference agreed with the proposition.

The other remit originated from one of the smaller Support Groups, Waiheke Island. Members there canvassed for a rewrite of the Manual of Ministerial duties, to be provided both on-line and in hard copy. The current Manual is out of date, they pointed out, and Justiuces of the Peace need a ready, accurate Manual that they can refer to. Conference agreed and a request will be made to the Ministry.

Auckland Association also had a remit passed by Conference that called for voting figures to be made available following elections at Conference. But the attempt to get Auckland’s “Active and Trained” initiative incorporated into the Federation’s proposed Accreditation system failed.  

Conference News

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Minister: Thanks Justices of the Peace and Looks Ahead

Hon. Maggie Barry, standing in for Associate Justice Minister Simon Bridges, officially opened the recent Royal Federation of Justices Associations’ Annual Conference at Takapuna and began her remarks by thanking Justices of the Peace for their services which, she says, are “absolutely invaluable”. “The Government is very appreciative of your work, as are the countless New Zealanders who use your services, both in and outside of the courtroom,” the Minister said, “so thank you for all your hours of service to our communities and our justice system”.

Maggie Barry then pursued the theme of the conference “The Changing Skyline of Justice” when she said that the Government is committed to modernising our courts, so that the court system reflects the needs of New Zealand and New Zealanders in the 21st century.

“We want a system that delivers results faster, is simpler for people to use and understand, and provides a better experience for those who work in it. People expect modern customer service and the greater provision of services online” the Minister said, “and we also need to ensure that resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible”.

“But in seeking a modern court system, the Government is equally conscious of the fundamental values that underpin justice laid out in the Bill of Rights and other laws and conventions”

Maggie Barry continued…“this will require changes in law and operation, and the implementation of technology alongside a commitment of everyone who works in the justice system – judges, court staff and, of course, Justices of the Peace – to ensure these changes are successful”.

Annual Conference Gets Underway

Ric Carlyon - Friday, February 27, 2015

Auckland hosts the annual conference of the Royal Federation of Justices Associations which begins today.

Representatives of J.P.s from throughout New Zealand will gather at the Spencer on Byron Hotel in Takapuna for their three day conference, themed “The Changing Skyline of Justice”. Among the guest speakers are lawyer, author and businesswoman Mai Chen, senior District Court Judge Anne Kiernan and the Chief Executive and Secretary for Justice, Ministry of Justice, Andrew Bridgman. 

A new book , “Reading the Riot Act”, will be launched during the Conference. Authored by Philip Harkness, it details the history of J.P.s in New Zealand over 200 years since the first J.P., Thomas Kendall, arrived in the Bay of Islands in 1814.  

New Version of Birth Certificate From Today

Ric Carlyon - Friday, February 06, 2015

Justices of the Peace should be aware they might be asked to certify copies of a new-style New Zealand Birth Certificate. 

The Department of Internal Affairs has issued a one-off commemorative version of the document to celebrate 175 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. 

The certificate is available from today, 6 February 2015, until the end of the year. The Department advises the document serves the same functions and has the same legal status as a regular birth certificate.

JPs are Back at Highland Park!

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, February 04, 2015

“We’re Back!”

That’s the thankful message of Highland Park Centre’s Manager, Bruce Waller, welcoming the resumption of J.P. services at Highland Park. It’s been more than 5 years since the local pharmacist provided regular clients.The new service opened recently. Kevin McMinn was rostered as the first day’s Justice of the Peace so he launched the initiative.

 

Kevin McMinn, J.P. with the first client at the new Highland Park Service Desk 

The Desk will be open every Wednesday 10am – 11am, easily accessed in the heart of the shopping centre. Within minutes of the doors opening on the first morning the inaugural client arrived to have copies of personal documents certified by Kevin McMinn.   

Magna Carta Celebrations

Ric Carlyon - Monday, January 12, 2015

800 Years Ago
All J.P.s should be ready to acknowledge the approaching 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, the Great Charter, in June 1215 which ensured that everyone, including the Sovereign, was subject to law and that everybody had the right to justice and a fair trial. It was, and remains, a cornerstone of British Justice, the system on which New Zealand processes are modelled. 
This News Feature is timely - some events leading up to the Magna Carta occurred 800 years ago today - while the anniversary of the signing in May will be widely celebrated in England, the U.S. and other countries which have elements of the Magna Carta in their founding documents.

Backgrounder

England’s aristocracy was at odds with their King John who in 1214 increased already harsh taxes to help pay for his unsuccessful expensive military campaigns in France. The charges were hiked, including one called “scutage” paid instead of providing Knights at the front. This was one tax too many on top of the long-term merciless exploitation of baronial families and the unpredictable ruling styles that they had been subjected to by various kings. Rebellion was in the air.

King John, reigned 1199 - 1216

And Bad King John, as he became known, was off-side with the Church, too, after he rejected the appointment of Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Plaster maquette of Archbishop Stephen Langton 

Two groups, the Church (Langton and a Papal representative) and some 40 Rebel Barons were now against the King and they met late in 1214 to hatch a plan of action against their insufferable Monarch.

January 1215
The aggrieved parties met again on January 6th 1215 in King John’s headquarters, The Temple, regarded as the heart of legal London. They sought concessions from the King - not only remedies for their personal complaints, but in their document “Articles of the Barons” they sought wide-reaching reform with constitutional guarantees. Some authorities say King John personally attended the showdown in The Temple to angrily confront his adversaries; others commented that the likes of this rebellion had not been seen since the Norman Conquest in 1066.
But there was no outcome of the meeting, the stand-off continued, without resolution but King John was left in no doubt that he would have to do something to cool tempers. 

Hatching a Plan

Archbishop Langton had a plan, or rather revived a 113 year old document, a proclamation originally made by King Henry the First, his “Coronation Charter” of 1100. It outlined measures designed to avoid abuse of power such as that practised by his predecessors. But he, and successors, conveniently overlooked the Charter.
Now, in 1215, Archbishop Langton was playing mediator and showed the old document to the rebellious Barons. They liked the thought of regulating the King by written agreement and decided that a new and improved version should be worked-up. A rewrite of the “Coronation Charter” was begun. 

Yet To Come
By the end of January relations were at breaking point between the barons and their King. They showed they really meant business when in coming months they were to disown him. They sought, and received, support from the citizens of London who were happy to side with the rebellion. The barons had taken London: their success encouraged other land-owners to join their cause and so the protests were snow-balling. The King would be forced to negotiate a peace and his concession came in June at Runnymede Meadow, when he considered and signed the newly written charter, a constitutional document called the Great Charter, or Magna Carta.

Sources: History Learning website, the Britsh Library website, Salisbury Catherdal website, National Trust of UK website, Wilipedia websites. 

Auckland J.P.s in Honours List

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Five Auckland Justices of the Peace, members of the Association, have been named in the New Year Honours announced today.

Mr Gary Bevan Monk, JP, of Auckland is made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to the seafood industry and the community. 

The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) has been awarded to Mr Oscar Pioquinto Batucan, JP, for services to the Filipino community, an honour shared in today’s list by Mrs Miriam Alvez Batucan, QSM, similarly, for services to the Filipino community.

Mr Afa’ese Manoa, JP, also receives the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM), for services to the Pacific Island community.  Mr Manoa is one of Auckland’s newest J.P.s, having been sworn in at the beginning of this month.

Included in the list, awarded the Queen’s Service Medal, (QSM) for services to the community, is Ms Toni Ann Millar, JP. Toni was long-time member of local government, including six years as Auckland City Councillor and is currently a Member of the  Social Workers’ Registration Board, a Trustee of the ASM Community Trust and Deputy Chair of the Ministry of Social Development‘s Community Response Forum.

Mr Glenn Robert Mottram, JP, also receives the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the community. He has held senior positions in Rotary and spearheaded that organisation’s fund-raising for international projects such as the eradication of polio campaign.   

And Mr Raman Ranchhod, JP, has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the Indian community.


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