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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.


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.

Te Harinui - Great Joy

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, December 25, 2014


"But on a summer day
within a quiet bay
the Maori people heard
the great and glorious word.
The people gathered round
upon the grassy ground,
and heard the preacher say
"I bring to you this day.....
Te Ha-ri-nu-i
Te Ha-ri-nu-i
Te Ha-ri-nu-i,
glad tidings of great joy”.

 - New Zealand carol, "Te Harinui", by Aucklander Katherine Faith "Willow" Macky, QSM, written to recall and celebrate the first Christian service on New Zealand soil, Chrsitmas Day 1814, led by Rev Samuel Marsden who used the scripture, Second Chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel, tenth verse: “Behold! I bring you glad tidings of great joy.”.

The service, 200 years ago today, is generally held by historians as positive engagement between Maori and the new-comers, one of the first moves towards the beginning of pakeha settlement. New Zealand's first Justice of the Peace, Thomas Kendall, was a member of the small missionary team who, just a few days before, had arrived from Sydney.  

200 Years Apart - Same Message - “Happy Christmas”

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Preparations were underway, exactly 200 years ago today, to celebrate Christmas with the first church service on New Zealand soil.

It was to take place at Oihi, Bay of Islands, led by Mission head, Rev Samuel Marsden, and attended by, among others, Thomas Kendall, New Zealand’s first Justice of the Peace who had arrived just days before as part of the Mission to introduce Christianity to Aotearoa.

Reverend Samuel Marsden : Led the first Christian Service on N.Z. soil

The 200th anniversary will be celebrated tomorrow with a huge gathering at Oihi.

Since December 1814 the Christian message has continued, J.Ps have served their communities and Christmas greetings have been exchanged.

“Especially at this Christmas which is a special milestone for J.P.s,” says President Colin Davis, “I wish all members of our Association Seasons Greetings, safe holidays and a prosperous New Year.”

Today - 200 Years Ago

Ric Carlyon - Friday, December 19, 2014

“Active” in Coastal Waters: Marsden’s Peace-making

The Mission Ship “Active”, carrying New Zealand’s first Justice of the Peace, Thomas Kendall is now in New Zealand coastal waters, having rounded North Cape and today (19th December 1814) is making a run down the East Coast. Leader of the Mission, Rev Samuel Marsden, is keen to meet friends of Maori Chief Korokoro, who’s on board “Active”, which means the ship will visit the Cavalli Islands (Motukawanui).  
As we now know, Marsden witnessed tears as the returning Korokoro was greeted by tangata whenua and the pakeha visitors, introduced by Korokoro to Maori, were also warmly welcomed.
Marsden learned of a tangi of a Maori warrior across on the mainland and decided to attend in the hope that he could talk peace among the natives gathered there and bring reconciliation to inter-tribal hostilities which had continued since the massacre of the Boyd exactly five years before. Maori sacked the ship and murdered most of the 75 passengers and crew, cannibalised.


Marsden’s party went ashore at Whangaroa on the 20th December 1814 under chief Ruatara’s direction and after gift-giving Marsden listened to narratives, teasing out the different versions regarding the consequences of the Boyd tragedy. Tara, who had been a crew-member on the Boyd alleged mis-treatment by the Captain, and had the marks of punishment on his body to prove it. This had sparked the convoluted and confused story of the Boyd episode, a kind of who-did-what scenario leading to warfare between tribes. 
As the day wore on Marsden could see the convivial atmosphere and decided to stay the night in the Maori camp, well aware he was in the company of those responsible for the Boyd massacre. Around the fire Maori Chiefs offered any part of the remains of the ship that Marsden cared to name - Marsden thus knew he had engaged with them so talked of cultivation of the soil, the art of civilisation and peaceful pursuits.

Aboard "Active"

In the morning all the chiefs, without hesitation, accompanied Marsden to the “Active”. This was further evidence, Marsden thought, that relations with the locals were being cemented. He took the opportunity to explain the mission - Kendall had come to teach, Hall to build, King to make lines, and Hansen to command the ship. The onlookers were ranged around the cabin, this unique gathering was brought to a close by a lengthy speech from Ruatara, addressed to Tara, describing the beauties of a peaceful life, and at the same time telling him what he might expect if he declined to follow it. All shook hands, and Marsden had the pleasure of seeing his efforts to secure peace between the contending parties entirely successful.

“Active’s ” next move would be to round the headland into Bay of Islands, to anchor at Rangihoua, the intended headquarters for the Mission, where passengers would disembark and the livestock, poultry and cargo unloaded. 

Sources; NZETC, National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past, Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser

Philately Will Get You Everywhere!

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Well, actually it’s flattery that is said to open all the doors, but JPs have an opportunity to stamp their own mark with special postage stamps issued to mark 200 years of J.P. services in New Zealand.

Booklets of 10 stamps are now available for $10 from the Registrar, Roger Brookes.

Kiwi has produced the special stamps in 5 styles which feature slogans such as “Ordinary New Zealanders Providing Extraordinary Service”, "J.P.s – Access to Justice” and part of the Royal Federation’s objective for all J.P.s “Let Justice be done though the heavens may fall”  

The stamps and first day covers were launched at the function at Government House, Wellington, to celebrate the milestone in November, the 200th anniversary of the appointment of Thomas Kendall as New Zealand’s first Justice of the Peace.  They can be used for all postages within New Zealand.

Orders for the stamps may be placed with Roger

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